Pinterest Marketing: Forrester Says Cool It for Now
In what may be a blow to Pinterest, the social network that just had a huge feature in the New York Times about how it is "pushing deeper into ads," Forrester Research published a report titled "Pinterest Is Not Ready For Prime Time: Its Enormous Potential Demands Richer Ad Targeting."
In a Jan. 15 blog post summarizing his research, Nate Elliott—an analyst for the Cambridge, Mass.-based research and advisory firm—is unequivocal.
"Pinterest's marketing value lies more in the future than in the present," he writes. "By 2016, Pinterest's ad offering could trump that of other social sites—but today, most brands struggle to successfully use it as a marketing tool."
In a prompt response to Target Marketing's request for comment Friday, a Pinterest spokesman writes in an email about how marketers find plenty of value in the network.
"We have had a very promising Promoted Pins beta and, as a result, we made our CPM product available to all brand advertisers," says Mike Mayzel, with partner communications at Pinterest. "While we, and our partners, are excited by the performance of our Promoted Pins beta (30 percent earned impressions, on average, for brand advertisers), we are committed to learning and evolving the product."
Elliott contends that even though 21 percent of U.S. online adults visit Pinterest monthly and its amount of data on users could "drive more sales than Facebook's data," the network is so "confusing" it confounds notable marketers like Coca Cola. Plus, users may engage with brands there, but Promoted Pins don't allow enough targeting, Elliott says.
Mayzel cites research from IBM and, oddly, research from Shareaholic titled "In Q3, Facebook Drove 4x More Traffic Than Pinterest."
The IBM research is more favorable, saying during Holiday 2014, referral traffic from Pinterest drove higher order values than Facebook. Pinterest referrals resulted in $105.75 orders, while Facebook sent traffic buying an average of $101.38.