Consumers Love Pinterest, Marketing Execs….. Meeeeh!

A recent survey of marketing and advertising executives by The Creative Group found a major lack of interest for Pinterest (I know, that totally rhythms!)  Here is a small break down of the findings:

  • Only 7% said they are currently using the platform
  • 10% said they are planning on utilizing it
  • 44% said they had no interest in using the platform
  • A shocking 18% didn’t even know it existed!

Image via The Creative Group

This lack of attention to Pinterest resembles the initial lack of interest many marketing executives were showing for various social media platforms or social media as a whole, haven’t we learned our lesson yet?  As a social network Pinterest has grown to a user base of 20 million in the last year, and has raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation by Japanese ecommerce experts Rakuten.  I can’t see how any marketer can ignore a platform that can provide them with access to millions of users, either for the purpose of of direct communication or just monitoring and analysis.  As a marketer you must know anything that keeps your potential audience engaged and browsing is worth spending some thought on.  I can even see how Pinterest can be used during design or idea stages of product, in a way it could be utilized as  indirect crowd sourcing.  It is shocking how still some marketing executives are so quick to dismiss new social platforms or technologies. It is simple, more time spend on Pinterest equals more eyeballs on your brand/product.  And with the introduction of third party app such as Pinfluencer (Klout for Pinterest), Pinshopper (putting price tags on Pinterest items), and Curalate (image recognition & aggregation) the show has just begun!

If consumers are voluntarily going on your website and sharing products they find appealing with their friends wouldn’t you want to know about it? and perhaps engage them in some sort of dialogue? It is ok for brands to ignore their fans simply because they are on a new platform that the brand doesn’t have time for?!?!  Isn’t ignoring your brand admirers marketing sacrilege?!

While recent data from Jirafe, a New York-based ecommerce analytics company suggests Pinterest is more of a traffic driver than revenue, it is still too early to tell what type of effect Pinterest will have on ecommerce.  Even though Jirafe’s study points to low conversion rates for Pinterest, there is other data that suggests the contrary.  A recent article in Forbes magazine states:

Online retailers, like Katia Beauchamp from Birchbox, have noted that the increasing number of referrals generated by Pinterest makes it extremely valuable as an acquisition channel. According to MSNBC, 40 percent of all social media driven purchases are expected to come from Pinterest during this quarter.  Shopify, a company that offers software for creating online stores, notes that Pinterest users are 10% more likely to make a purchase (within the Shopify network) than those who arrive from other sites.

So what to make of all this? Like I said, it is still too early to tell, and we can’t base these decisions on a couple of studies, especially since the type of metrics used in each study might differ and could potentially skew the data and hence the findings.  But what doesn’t change here is the need for marketing executives to be open and accepting of new technologies, this is not to say that every company needs to on every platform (we all know social media mishmash can be a serious disease), but at least give these platforms the benefit of the doubt, and some much deserved thought and analysis.