Yesterday, social pinboarding phoneme Pinterest announced the release of a new set of tools to help brands analyze the effectiveness of their content marketing and social engagement on the platform. Known simply as Pinterest Web Analytics, product manager Cat Lee, in an interview with Reuters, is quoted as saying, "The goal is really to help websites understand what content is resonating with people on Pinterest."
This is potentially big news, as businesses and marketers try to figure out the best way to approach the fast-growing social network. At a time when marketers are scrambling to improve social conversion rates by offering personalized user content, Pinterest Web Analytics should be well received.
As the lion's share of marketers wake up to the utility of personalized content marketing implementation, many organizations are still figuring out how they can efficiently (read cost-effectively) do so. According to data from Adobe/eConsultancy's latest Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, purchase history is only leveraged by 21% of marketing organizations, even though 77% of those say it has a "high impact on ROI;" moreover, behavioral data is employed by only 20%, while fully 68% acknowledge it is tied to strong ROI.
Back to Pinterest. For retailers especially, anecdotal evidence suggests there is a correlation between on-site content offerings and user spending levels. For example, data from e-commerce consultant RichRelevance shows that Pinterest shoppers, on average, spend roughly $170 per browsing session, a huge increase over that of Facebook ($95) and Twitter ($70) users.
The very layout and structure of the Pinterest site lends to its sales action-ability. A recent article from Reuters confirms this notion by quoting Kyla Brennan, chief executive of a Santa Monica-based company that analyzes Pinterest usage habits, as saying, "It's a huge window-shopping platform... it helps people find what they really like. Does it encourage people to be a little impulsive? Of course."
Music to retailers' ears, I should think.
The secret to Pinterest's rampant success, and the key to its inherent value for businesses and marketers, can be found somewhere along the intersection of user affinity and sales action-ability. People want two things from brands: affinity, or likeability, and action-ability. To get consumers to purchase a product or service, businesses must first give them a reason to buy, and then provide an easy way to do it.
Pinterest offers brands a unique platform to accomplish both of these.
To this point, a different Reuters article quotes the perspective of an average Pinterest user, 26 year-old Becca Bijoch from Minneapolis--young, female, well-educated, with disposable income.
Although interesting enough to read that she has bought many things after seeing them on Pinterest, it is the way Becca explains her user experience on the site that is most instructive: "I'm probably spending more now. I'm on the couch at night, after having two glasses of wine... I tell everyone that Pinterest has changed my life."
For Becca, and countless others like her, Pinterest more than just a social platform, it is a way of life.
To the extent Pinterest Web Analytics allows this pinning zeitgeist to be tapped into, analyzed, quantified, and replicated, it can be worth a lot of money for retailers and other businesses. Importantly, it may also provide an ad-free monetization strategy to Pinterest. Such a strategy would likely go a long way in preserving the natural and structural integrity of the site - a novel feat among the social networks.