27 April 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Will Pinterest Work For Toy Companies…?

The marketing world is ever changing these days. No sooner have you set up marketing systems that work with the current media formats, they completely change the way they work, or a new ‘must use’ media explodes onto the scene.

Pinterest is one such new kid on the block, which is currently causing a humungous level of buzz out there. But in reality, is it of any use to us as Toy & Game marketers, or this just another budget blowing, time wasting distraction?

The first thing to look at is what it is, what it does and how it’s different from the other forms of social media.

Pinterest is in effect like an online pinboard where people pin up images around particular themes, events, hobbies or interests. So in the same way as many users share video or images on Facebook, Pinterest is all about grouping and sharing images with others. It goes without saying then that the primarily appeal is to those who are visual centric in terms of sensory inputs.

The commercial opportunity is twofold – one is that images can be linked through to websites i.e. if I posted images of Transformers toys, then each one could have a weblink so that if I’d positioned my group of images as a ‘Christmas wish list for Transformers fans’, then traffic through to e-commerce sites would be likely…of course for those with active e-commerce sites, this is a strong opportunity, and you may want to jump on that bandwagon before the wagon rolls out of town!

The other opportunity is slightly less tangible, and more indirect, which is releasing very ‘cool’ images of must have Products, to build social word of mouth, thus raising awareness & aspirations to purchase, which while less tangible, is nevertheless likely to be effective judging by the latest reasearch on the effect of social media word of mouth & consumer Products sales.

So we can see what it is and what it does, which is all very good, but there are hundreds of ‘nice’ media online nowadays, so why bother with this one? ┬áThe answer quite simply is sheer scale of metrics. Pinterest is currently ranking as the 16th most visited website in the US, 29th in the UK & the 44th globally (stats at the time of writing, supplied via www.alexa.com).

So Pinterest is huge.

Even if you personally don’t get it / it doesn’t appeal to you, you can guarantee that it has huge influence with a vast array of your end consumers, and therefore should form a part of any social media strategy, especially for Toys, as a very visual type of Product.

The other key factor is demographics of usage. Currently, the overview of Pinterest user demographics globally shows a significant female bias, with key user segments being females 25-34 (likely to include moms), and 45-65 (likely to include grandparents). Therefore, the key Toy purchasing demographic are into Pinterest, and that’s yet another reason to incorporate a Pinterest plan in your social media mix.

Now frankly, before I get too evangelistic, I should point out that Pinterest is a copyright / intellectual property legal nightmare waiting to happen, in that users post images which they may or may not own. Brand protection as a defensive rather than offensive measure should be considered by those owning established Brands as well as up & comers. But bear in mind that all the social media have encountered challenges on this front as the law tries to keep track of technological advancements, and where there is such a public following, there will nearly always be a solution found.

So this was just a brief article to get you thinking about Pinterest & see beyond the hype to some hard realities that make this a potentially powerful tool for Toy co’s.

Steve

P.S. Free Guide on 21st Century Toy Marketing available at: http://toymarketingacademy.com