‘Pinterest is yet to provide value for marketers’

UK marketers anticipating the launch of ads for Pinterest may be shocked to hear that it is not yet the most beneficial move.

Pinterest’s ad platform, Promoted Pins, was launched in the US in January 2014. A Forrester report announced today (16 Jan) that it has so far provided limited targeting and effectiveness.

Forrester claims that marketers are struggling to find the value in created branded boards, with only 56% of top brands having created a board on the platform. Pinterest users can select images from a range of virtual ‘boards’ to add to their own feed.

The report shows that brands collect fewer followers and re-pins, the equivalent to Facebook ‘likes’, on the platform when compared to other social networks.

Few brands have shown to be active on the platform; with more than half of top brands not pinning content on their boards in the week the study was taken. Coca-cola is said to have gone six months without pinning anything on 10 of its boards, according to the report.

This may be widely due to the fact that brands are not receiving the engagement and followers that they experience on other social networks.

Top brands on Pinterest claim an average of 14, 591 followers compared to 9.2 million on Facebook. In addition, brands find that less than 0.1% of their Pinterest followers interact with each of their posts.

Limited investment

The platform has a wide collection of data, particularly data that shows what users intend or desire to purchase in the future. However, it’s ad platform only lets marketers target people using a fraction of that data.

This has led to an unclear ad performance for Pinterest, where the platform can’t cite any success data for Promoted Pins other than an increase in earned impressions, according to the report.

It was suggested in the report that marketers put “limited resources” into Pinterest until the site broadens its targeting capabilities.

In November, Pinterest’s global head of partnerships, Joanne Bradford told Marketing Week that there is still work to do before paid ads roll out in the UK, in November (2014).

Bradford continued that brands should focus on utilising the website’s features, building brand profiles and using analytics to gain effectiveness from Pinterest rather than focusing on the arrival of the ad platform in the UK.


While ad targeting is not yet fully developed for the platform, it is still useful for non-direct marketing activities as it can provide insight into user’s buying intentions according to the report.

In addition, the report states that Pinterest can generate marketing success if it allows brands to target more intention data.


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