A different social network, Pinterest’s changing strategy will encourage users to transition from the site’s pinboard based inspiration, to a position further down the funnel closer to purchase decisions.

This is according to a new WARC Exclusive, Media owner spotlight: The future of marketing on Pinterest, in which Jon Kaplan, Pinterest’s Global Head of Sales explained how the company is looking to teach the market “a new way to think about media.”

Many brands continue to place Pinterest within the “social media bucket”, but Kaplan claims this “misperception” underestimates the role it can play in driving business results for advertisers, and thus the distinct potential role of Pinterest marketing.

Consumers create billions of ‘Pins’ each month, with activity heightened around both personal milestones and public occasions. He cites the curious example of marriages: 30 million US users are using Pinterest to plan nuptials, but only 2.5 million weddings take place in the country each year.

“This [activity] is a manifestation of what consumers intend to do or buy in the future,” Kaplan said.

They're trying to plan something, they're there to get to get good ideas, but they don't have a preconceived notion of which brand to go with. “If you talk to a brand today about the mindset of an individual when they have high commercial intent, but they're undecided, that's the sweet spot.”

Brands must think about being “additive” to users’ experience with their Pinterest marketing rather than “interruptive”, Kaplan added. They can provide a vital “utility” for consumers at varying stages of the purchase journey – notably around 35 key “seasonal moments” when user numbers are greatest, including Valentine’s Day, Cinco de Mayo and St Patrick’s Day.

As well as facilitating discovery, Pinterest is looking to become more central to users’ purchase habits. Kaplan is quick to admit that, compared with Amazon, users are unlikely to research and make a purchase in the same session – 75% of purchases occurring on or through Pinterest take place after seven days or more from first encounter.

“The priority – for both Pinners and partners – is to make that connection from inspiration to action.”

Sourced from WARC