Pinterest, which just made its Promoted Pins tool generally available, will soon offer more features for its paid advertising products, said Pinterest COO Dan Faul at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conference on Thursday.
These features will include integrating rich targeting features with a brand’s first-party CRM data and solutions around branding and direct-response advertising.
Despite this investment, Pinterest faces an uphill battle in courting advertisers.
Major brands like Target, Walmart and Kraft are already beta-testing some of these tools, but other advertisers have expressed hesitance to pay to invest in Pinterest because they don’t want to kill off their organic reach.
The answer to getting advertisers on board will be more robust advertising tools and data to show the platform works, Faul said, a vision that’s still laid out in paper and not in code.
“Our targeting now is insufficient,” he acknowledged.
Besides incorporating brands’ CRM data into its targeting, Pinterest also wants to move beyond demographic targeting to intent-based targeting. All those pinners saving healthy dinner recipes or planning vacations to Hawaii should turn into targetable segments. And Pinterest wants to measure its offline influence on purchases.
“The landscape has changed a ton in past five or six years,” Faul said. “What people expect now didn’t exist in 2008: build an ad server, analytics and measurement solutions that weren’t in use five to six years ago.
To that end, Pinterest made its sixth acquisition earlier this week, Kosei, which makes product recommendations.
“We have this enormously valuable data set,” Faul said. “The team will be working directly on recommendations for organic content, and that same infrastructure will power our ad targeting.”
But if Pinterest wants to attract a diverse set of advertisers, it also needs to grow its audience. Its $4 billion valuation comes with the expectation that it will expand beyond its female-dominated user base.
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