The Future of Pinterest

Sparksheet is a publication that provides “Good ideas about content, media and marketing”.

Pinterest’s unique user base and e-commerce potential means brands and investors are lining up to spend. And that’s why audience retention matters more than ever, writes brand consultant Jeff Swystun.

In May of this year, Pinterest raised another U.S. $200 million, putting the value of the social network at U.S. $5 billion. Smarter minds than mine have arrived at these numbers but it got me thinking about Pinterest’s efforts in customer engagement, retention and loyalty. It is one thing to create hype and acquire users, but it’s an entirely different challenge to keep those people coming back.

The shopping catalogue of social networks

Pinterest investors are attracted to, among other things, the network’s e-commerce and m-commerce potential. At this point, the platform’s key metrics are all trending in the right direction:

70 million: users
750 million: user boards (where people ‘Pin’ their stuff)
30 billion: individual Pins (pieces of content)
14.2 minutes: average Pinterest visit time
98 minutes: average Pinterest user time per month
23%: percentage of users who frequent the site at least once per day
18%: percentage of users with income over U.S. $75,000

Read more

Jeff Keynotes in China

Jeff was honoured to be one of two keynote speakers at the Tsinghua University Design Symposium. He joined Paul Gardien, Vice President of Philips Design along with other great speakers. This is the preeminent design event in China and is held every two years. This time it was in Shenzhen. In preparation for the symposium, the organizers posed four questions to Jeff.

How do you see the conference theme of “design-driven innovation”?

This is a highly relevant and exciting theme. The way I interpret it is good design is the result of observing and serving the needs and wants of consumers. True innovation results when a product or service makes people’s lives easier, more fulfilling and interesting. Even the best marketer in the world cannot help a poor product because the more attention brought to it, the quicker it will fail. Read more

Don’t Forget the Details

Social media is an ongoing experiment. It holds great promise for marketing, yet still perplexes many companies. However, ignoring it is like someone in the year 2000 saying “we don’t need a website”. The challenging (and fun) part of social media has been figuring out if, where, and how a company should play. The variables are a veritable Rubik’s Cube of choices.

I enjoy working through these strategic struggles with my employers and clients. But the fact is many companies fail to anticipate the demands of the required day-to-day details. And this is why countless efforts crash or disappoint. Shocking too, is how little this is mentioned by the experts who prefer to tantalize with metrics of social media’s use.

I am assisting a North American law firm on their marketing strategy, a subset being social media. The work has retaught me a lesson: if you choose to go for something, really go for it. To their credit, this law firm has decided to pursue, for their industry, an aggressive social media strategy. Read more

You Had Me At Gin

I appreciate cool packaging but in the case of liquor am usually quite happy just with the liquid.

BOMBAY-SAPPHIRE_Electro_MediumNow Bombay Sapphire is being distributed a “The Electro Global Travel Retail pack”, a limited edition gift pack using electroluminescence. Electroluminescent ink is used to light up the Bombay Sapphire design, accentuating the motto, “Infused with Imagination”.

The current is conducted from the battery on the base of the pack which uses a hidden mechanical switch to activate it. When the package is picked up, the current runs through the various pathways illuminating them sequentially thereby creating a cascading effect. Each cycle of animation is 18 seconds long at which point the sequence stops until activated again.