Pinterest Pins Targeting And CRM Matching Onto Its Tech Stack

pintereststackTargeted advertising on Pinterest has taken a big step forward with the introduction new interest segments as well as first-party data matching.

Pinterest hopes to “massively expand the categories for interest targeting” from 30 to 420, said product manager Nipoon Malhotra, who leads the company’s monetization team.

And with its CRM data matching capability, Pinterest is following Google (which debuted CRM matching last year) as well as Facebook/Instagram and Twitter.

While Pinterest’s 100 million-plus monthly active users (MAUs) don’t provide the scale other platforms can offer (Twitter struggles to achieve digital marketing scale and it has three times more MAUs), Pinterest does have a few unique features – namely the fact that users are in the mood to shop. Perhaps that’s why about two-thirds of all Pinterest content comes from brands; it’s tough to imagine that ratio on Instagram or Twitter.

“People are in a browse and search mindset,” said Malhotra. Which is why the social media platform has focused on categories like fashion, home décor and CPG, even at the expense of other verticals.

The furniture company Industry West was an early Pinterest advertising adopter and beta tested Pinterest’s expanded category targeting, said Industry West CMO Ian Leslie. Leslie appreciated “the evergreen nature of a pin,” noting that Pinterest’s reporting pixels as well as Industry West’s attribution partners show pins from January still generating sales.

But Leslie has not tested Pinterest’s new first-party data tool, which went through a more selective, rigorous testing process.

Brands looking to deploy the new first-party data solution will have to go through Pinterest’s Marketing Developer Partners (MDP) program, a network of vendors that have particular knowledge of Pinterest ad practices. However, Pinterest expects to add CRM matching to its self-serve offering later this year.

Malhotra added that while Pinterest does the audience matching on its own, not through a vendor like Acxiom, that might change. “We’ll be definitely be looking at areas where we can improve the product,” he said, “and if it made sense to do that, we would.”

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