Pinterest’s Promoted Pins – First Look?

Last week when Ben Silberman announced that Pinterest would start experimenting with promoted pins – I started looking for them. I think I just found one, but I’m not 100% sure. (Correct me if you think I’m wrong).

First, here is what Ben said in the announcement post,

Silberman quote2

And here is what I found when I searched for shoes compared to searching for watches or jackets. Did I find a Promoted Pin? I think so!


Why is this such a big deal? That’s easy. Monetization. But the coolest part is the care and class the Pinterest team is using to monetize. It’s truly fantastic that they are being super sensitive to do it in a way that is non-obtrusive. I first wrote my thoughts about how they could/should monetize back in April of last year with my “Open Letter To Tim Kendall”. Bottomline, I suggested they should attempt to be loved like priceline, not tolerated like Adwords & FB Ads. It’s not an easy thing to do.

Can Pinterest roll out a monetization strategy that actually serves users and strengthen our love and respect for the site?

So far – so good!


Posted in Pinterest Monetization

J. Crew and Pinterest Powered Predictive Production

J. Crew just did something revolutionary with Pinterest.

Have you heard about it?

Let me explain it using our small business as the example. And allow me to explain the problem thoroughly, so you understand how revolutionary the break-through is.

The Problem:

Our business is 80% digital goods & 20% physical goods. Right now we’re trying to grow the physical product sales, so I’m doing my best to learn how to make that happen.

Even though we’re a small company – and most of our revenue is from digital goods – I can’t afford to have a lot of physical inventory backing up and sitting on the shelves.  We manage this by doing our own sewing with our small team of 20 sewers. Still, I often notice things that aren’t selling well – and I wonder:

  1. Why didn’t those do as well as the darker denim version?
  2. How am I going to get rid of these slower sellers without lowering the price and damaging our pricing power?
  3. How can we get better at predicting what will sell – so I can make more of the winners and avoid over-producing the losers?

So  our “Perfect World” is simple:

  1. The designers design what’s in popular demand.
  2. The sewers sew an amount that we can sell quickly.
  3. The price & promotion work well – and customers see the item, and say “yes to the dress”.

But what really happens is this:

  1. The designers design things that are popular, but also a few things that are less popular.
  2. The sewers make an even amount of each since we don’t know which will be “really popular” and which won’t.
  3. The less popular items sit on the shelf – and I have a problem – I paid the sewers & designers a lot of money to work on those items, but I’m not making my money back.

The growing inventory costs can kill you. To cope – most retailers give the unsold items away to charity at an industrial scale for distribution oversees (yes, I used to work at World Vision  – they receive hundreds of millions of dollars of Gift-In-Kind donations).

Revolution Time:

Now let’s look at this same process and insert the J. Crew revolution…

  1. The J. Crew designers design things that are popular, but also a few things that are less popular (like everyone else).
  2. (This is my assumption, since J. Crew isn’t talking about it) They make a small amount of the physical items – say enough to be super conservative & not have inventory problems.
  3. They publish their catalog on Pinterest & (this is the revolutionary part) use the customer response to all the items to predict the future sales.
  4. (Again, my assumption) with this information they can scale production for the “really popular” and throttle back production for the “less popular”.

Inventory nightmare avoided (maybe not entirely, but this has got to help a lot).

Benefits Of Pinterest Powered Predictive Production:

In addition to making more of the truly popular items and making less of what you won’t be able to sell profitably (and therefore must hold in warehouses and eventually right off and donate), with this Pinterest Powered Predictive Production (give me a shout out for coining that phrase) retailers can:

  1. Raise the prices for the really popular items so they can maximize earnings.
  2. Feature the popular items on display in the front of their stores – winning the walk-by prospective customer.
  3. Feature the popular items more prominently in their paper/offline catalogs and ads.
  4. They have less inventory to right off since they used Pinterest to help predict which items would sell the best.

This is a real break-through…it will be interesting to see how other retailers follow the J. Crew lead. Here’s a nice graphic to pin :)

pinterest powered predictive production

Ps. We first wrote about the idea of creating a product catalog on Pinterest back in May of 2012, you can see that original post here.

All the best on your Pinterest Marketing efforts!

Jason Miles

Author of (the bestselling) Pinterest Power

Posted in Pinterest News

Using Pinterest For PR (Lessons From The Boston Marathon)

Using Pinterest for PR

Have you ever thought about the difference between Pinterest & the other social media sites – as it relates to Public Relations?

I had the honor of speaking to an East Coast PR Society group recently, and of course the events in Boston were top of mind for people. As I was preparing to present I asked myself the question,

Is Pinterest Useful For PR Work? “

There are two types of emergencies – A “rapid onset emergency” is one that, as the name suggests, comes about rapidly. A “Slow onset emergency” is one that develops over a much more gradual timeframe.

So as examples:

Boston Marathon: Rapid-Onset Emergency

North Korea Conflict: Slow Onset Emergency

I’m sure you get the idea.

So as a PR person, the question we wonder about is how best would we use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube or Instagram in these types of situations.

Here are my observations & analysis as it relates to Pinterest & the other social sites:

1. Not Real-Time Focused: Whereas Twitter, Facebook & Instagram are built for real-time sharing, Pinterest is not. Most users pinning items in Pinterest related to the Boston event are items like “Pray For Boston” type memes – not minute by minute accounts of the situation.

2. Slow Search Algorithm Speed: In Twitter the Hashtag “BostonMarathon” went from something like 2,600 mentions on Twitter to over 288,000 (per almost immediately. And although you can search hashtags in Pinterest, when you search for that Hashtag in Pinterest (less than 24 hours after the bombing) there are no images presented associated with the event even though they’ve been uploaded. Several days later that was still true. Their search algorithm just isn’t refreshed rapidly enough (or something – I’m not a hacker so I don’t know exactly how to express this, but I know it’s true).

But fast forward one month and the boston marathon is out of the news cycle and is turning into a historical. Now ask yourself the question,

Which social media site has the best information about the Boston Marathon Bombing?”

Clearly it will be Pinterest. Look in Pinterest for Boston Marathon & choose the “Pinboards” option and you’ll see lots of curated content related to the issue. Here’s a screenshot:


Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 6.15.35 AM

The information is:

  • Thorough
  • Easy to find
  • A mix of both images and video

PR professionals should consider how Pinterest can be integrated with their work. If you’re in the business of providing information and resources as emergencies occur – then Pinterest should play a part in your media mix.



Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Pinterest Basics, Uncategorized

Award Winning Email Marketing Strategy

2012 Constant Contact All Star AwardI hope you don’t mind this post is off topic a bit for my usual Pinterest focus…but let me ask you…

Do you need to grow your sales? Do you use email marketing?

You should! We started using email marketing in the fall of 2009 with 125 email addresses, now we have over 25,000. Trust me when I tell you – sending an email to 25,000 raving fans can generate some strong sales.

And a few weeks ago we were told that Liberty Jane Clothing won the Constant Contact 2012 All-Star Award for our use of their Facebook Integration Tool. You can see the results here. The reason we won (we think) is that in January we added 2,395 new subscribers to our primary newsletter list – most of them came via Facebook. Most slow months we add 700+ names, many times twice that many.

According to the Constant Contact Team adding that many new subscribers in one month is fairly rare.

I know you’re thinking that I suck at email marketing for my work here at marketing On Pinterest. I rarely send emails out. Fair enough. But email marketing is about two things:

  1. Acquiring New Names Effectively.
  2. Marketing To Them Effectively.

We’ve seen huge gains in our primary business using email marketing because we do both of these things well.

And how did we learn this stuff?

Mainly from hearing Bob Bly do a webinar on effective email marketing. And as it happens – that webinar can be embedded – so I thought I’d share it.

All the best on your email marketing journey!

Tagged with:
Posted in email marketing

Pinterest Power On 33 Voices

Pinterest Power Interview

Hi everyone,

Here is a new interview Karen & I just did with the 33 Voices host Moe Abdou. We talk about Pinterest Power of course, but also about Pinterest marketing strategies. Listen to it here:

Pinterest Power Interview

Pinterest Power Interview

Posted in Bloggers: Interview Us, Media Mentions, Pinterest Presentations

Is Pinterest Preparing For Ads?

Does Pinterest’s New Look Set The Stage For Advertisements?

Have you been playing around with the new Pinterest look like we have? You can read about their redesign here. Their stated goal was to tighten up the navigation – read their thinking about that here.

They even outline “What’s coming soon” and it doesn’t include any statement like, “Hey – were about to introduce Ads”. But if you look at their design modifications – then you could see how advertising could be easily introduced. Let’s look at the before and after – and I’ll show you what I mean:

The Old Look:

Note: I added the Red Arrow!

Note: I added the Red Arrow!

Note the un-optimized space in the right hand column. That area needed a clean up. Also note how the user name “Lauren Jacobson” has a lot of prominence in the header section of the pin. Now look at those 2 areas on the same pin in the “New Look” format…

The New Look:

This is the new look of the same pin.

This is the new look of the same pin.

Note the improvements to the 2 spaces. Interesting how in the header section – the user has been “de-emphasized”. and a nice big chunk of real-estate has been left un-used – to the right of “website” and to the left of “Share”…Also notice how the right hand column has been utilized by bringing content up from below the pin. Also note – the “Other Pins From Flickr” box is a handy 280-ish by 240-ish. And when you focus just on the 9 image thumbnails – that space is roughly 225X225. See where I’m headed with this? …

(Warning: Pure Speculation follows…)

The New Look With An Imaginary Ad:

Note: I made this in photoshop for illustrative purposes - it is not from Pinterest directly...

Note: I made this in photoshop for illustrative purposes – it is not from Pinterest directly…

Note (again) … I made this in Photoshop – I did not find it on Pinterest. But you could easily see how an ad related to the pin could easily be added in the right hand column. One could also be added to the top header section I suppose.

Could they have a better monetization team? … Given the fact that Ben Silberman worked at Google on the display Ad team before founding Pinterest – it stands to reason that this hypothetical future step would not be hard for them to engineer. Of course using their own advertising back-end – similar to Adwords or Facebook’s Advertising platform, (we use them both at Liberty Jane Clothing and love them and we’d use the Pinterest Advertising Platform as well). Especially since last year they hired Facebook’s monetization guru – Tim Kendall. Read my open letter to him about how an alternative to the traditional display ad system could be used.

Is it all going to happen as I’m speculating here? Probably not – but eventually Pinterest will monetize.

What do you think?

Ps. Hey, don’t forget to…

Follow Me on Pinterest

About Jason Miles Marketing On Pinterest

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Pinterest Monetization

The Traffic Jam Pinterest Interview with Jason Miles

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 9.03.04 PM

Wow, how fun is this? A funny cartoon of my giant head – and an exciting podcast with James Reynolds.He asked me some questions I’ve never been asked before …Listen to it here:

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 9.03.04 PM

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Media Mentions
Grab My Most Popular (Free) Resource

Get Pinterest Power

Listen Now, (Webinars)

Recent Posts…
Selling Infographic
Selling On Pinterest Infographic
Pinterest Data Infographic
Pinterest Vs. Facebook Vs. Youtube Infographic
Pinterest Referral Links
Pinterest For Bloggers
Pinterest Marketing Plan

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,206 other followers