Agencies Don't Pin Pinterest


Pinterest may be the darling of the social media world, but it has not been widely embraced by agencies. A new survey by the Creative Group finds that only 7% of advertising and marketing executives said their firms are using the visual social network for business purposes and 44% have no interest in adopting Pinterest.

Another 18% had never heard of the site, and 17% said it caught their eye but they were hesitant about using it for work. Just 10% said they planned to start using Pinterest as a business-related tool. Staff at larger agencies were more likely than those at smaller agencies or companies to be on Pinterest. Among those with more than 100 employees, almost a quarter (24%) used the virtual pin board as part of the marketing mix, compared to 19% at those with fewer employees.

But a higher proportion of smaller firms planned to go on Pinterest -- at 30%, compared to 6% of large firms. 

The findings were based on more than 500 phone interviews with 375 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees, and 125 ad executives from agencies with 20 or more.

Pinterest enjoyed meteoric growth earlier this year, becoming the fastest stand-alone site to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark, according to comScore. As of July, it had 23 million monthly visitors. Its rapid rise also made it the next big thing on the shifting social media landscape and a new marketing vehicle for brands from fashion e-commerce site Bottica to home improvement chain Lowe's.

Still, the vast majority of agencies and companies are still on the sidelines.

“While Pinterest has attracted a large following recently, it’s still a relatively new site,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, which provides staffing services for design and advertising professionals. "Agencies, or any organization for that matter, may be hesitant to join the social network until they determine how best to use it given their businesses’ goals and needs.”

Among the large agencies on Pinterest are Digitas, Saatchi & Saatchi, Edelman, Wunderman, and JWT. The Creative Group also emphasized that the visual nature of Pinterest makes it a natural platform for agencies or individuals to showcase their creative work.


5 comments about "Agencies Don't Pin Pinterest".
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  1. Isabelle Almeida from Function Point, August 23, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.

    As the social media manager of a company that provides workflow management software for the creative industries, I have noticed that agencies are more active on Facebook and other social media for sure. Although they are not very engaged on Pinterest yet, examples of campaigns, ads, logo designs, infographics etc. are commonly pinned due to their visual attractiveness. This is the approach we have taken for our Pinterest page

    One of the challenges we have had (that can apply to agencies as well) is that Pinterest is more focused on individuals than business, and we are essentially a B2B company.

  2. David Murdico from Supercool Creative, August 24, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

    My agency Supercool Creative is on Pinterest, and we recently approached them to do an innovative branded tie-in for an upcoming major motion picture. They weren't able to swing the technology at this point but I see plenty of opportunities for agencies and brands to run everything from simple to complex marketing initiatives as the platform grows.

  3. Alyson Lex from Alyson Lex, August 25, 2012 at 12:19 a.m.

    @Isabelle Almeida -

    You mentioned that you have a challenge because you market B2B instead of B2C... but although the buying process is different in B2B, you're still dealing with a person who is deciding whether or not to buy your product.

    If you market with that person in mind, then maybe your company can use Pinterest to target them while they're on their own time... after all, how many people think about work while they're at home?

    Just a thought!

  4. Bryan Nagy from Vivaki, August 28, 2012 at 9:43 a.m.

    I think the main point of the study was that agencies aren't using it for their clients, not necessarily regarding their own agency use.

    The main reason for this is that many agencies dabble with paid advertising, and Pinterest does not offer this yet. Media buying agencies buy advertising at a large scale on other social networks. While they do manage their clients' social media profiles, posts, and strategies, this is a smaller portion since it revolves around earned media- not paid. Agencies and marketing teams on the client side are managing their Pinterest profiles themselves. Once Pinterest offers paid advertising and the ability to analyze direct performance of pins, however, I think brands will take the site more seriously and begin marketing themselves on it.

    Many brands are already using Pinterest, especially by creating contests. I've taken a look at some of these brands here:

  5. Ondine Bult from BestBuzz.Bz, August 30, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.

    We have started to use Pinterest and find the engagement is good. It helps to keep your content unique, so if you pin about your business, make it original and thought provoking. You can see what we mean here.

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