It seems like uncomfortable timing for this announcement, but Pinterest has today unveiled a new, 'Dynamic Creative' ad process which will enable advertisers to automate the ad creation and targeting process for their campaigns based on individual user behavior.
The process essentially responds to how users interact in the app - if a user is searching for 'decorative lights' for example, and they narrow their search for specific items, the system will then show ads for items from your uploaded catalog which best match the users' stated interest.
As explained by Pinterest:
"Advertisers can now generate multiple versions of new Pins from uploaded assets or a product feed where they can automatically import product data (price, location, availability, etc.). Parts of the Pins will dynamically display creative elements like product images, copy, pricing, etc. which will only be shown to the advertiser’s assigned audiences."
That'll effectively enable businesses to generate hundreds of ad variants automatically, with unique messaging tailored to each audience segment.
"This not only reduces the time and effort required to make custom ads that are relevant to unique groups of consumers, but helps advertisers test and identify which creative elements drive performance."
Pinterest is partnering with RevJet, StitcherAds, and Smartly.io to facilitate the new process, with these data-driven platforms providing the in-app tracking and systems to then create the ads based on automated insights.
Which leads to the 'uncomfortable' element.
Definitely, the process makes sense, and will provide more ways to reach users based on their individual behaviors and interests. But it could also be impacted by Apple's upcoming IDFA changes, which is expected to reduce data-tracking capacity within apps. And with some 85% of Pinterest's 442 million users accessing the platform via the app, that could render this option significantly less beneficial - though, of course, not all of those users are on iOS, and we have no idea how many will choose to switch off in-app data tracking.
But the expectation is that many users will opt-out of such - and if they do, that could lessen the data that powers this process. Pinterest would, however, still be able to use data-tracking from your own website, using the Pinterest Tag, then match that with individual user data for this targeting. But that wouldn't be as effective as utilizing the full capacity of IDFA tracking.
Which, as noted, makes the timing of this announcement a little strange. But still, we don't know what will happen with IDFA, and it could still be an effective, beneficial process for automating custom ad delivery on the platform.
And with Pinterest seeing big growth amid the pandemic, with more people turning to eCommerce, more advertisers will indeed be considering their options.
Pinterest's new Dynamic Creative option is being made available via its partners from today.