It's a strange dichotomy in the making, but a recently released study from Responsys details that, while retailers have been turning to Pinterest to promote their goods and services in larger numbers, when it comes to promoting what's on their Pinterest, they're turning to an unexpected technology: e-mail.
The Responsys study shows that, while major retailers are making Pinterest a "focal point" of their marketing campaigns, and have been doing so through much of 2012, its e-mail that's putting some extra fuel to the fire for Pinterest.
Over 55 percent of major retailers are using e-mail to drive their Pinterest campaigns, and 53 percent of retailers in general are using e-mail to highly their Pinboards specifically. 17 percent of retailers are also planning contests involving Pinterest, and Pin It links are found in fully six percent of e-mails involving Pinterest from major retailers. Moreover, that's expected to actually increase as the holiday shopping season--which includes Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, among others--ramps up in the coming days.
This is, as the lead researcher for Responsys, Chad White, pointed out, "retailers' first holiday season with Pinterest", and as such, it's worth expecting that more retailers will put the social networking service to work on their behalf. White also expects more giveaways involving Pinboards with a wish-list kind of approach.
Perhaps the only thing left unclear at this stage is whether retailers would aggressively pursue a Pinterest campaign, or take a more relaxed approach to see if it actually works before putting a lot of investment into the development of same.
Since Pinterest is still comparatively new, they haven't had the opportunity to set a lot of rules about what can and cannot be done like Facebook (News - Alert) did, and getting caught in a rules change that kills a carefully orchestrated campaign mid-season is a killer for any business. Yet at the same time, it also leaves a lot of potential for businesses to miss out on big gains should Pinterest's comparatively laissez-faire attitude carry on in earnest through the holiday shopping season and any changes land next year.
It's a delicate balancing act to be sure, with companies having plenty of venues with which to spend their marketing dollars, yet having only a finite quantity of dollars; companies want to get the most bang for their collective buck, much the same way regular shoppers do. But taking a chance now may result in big payoff this holiday, or it may result in a waste when it's caught up in a rule shift. It would seem, however, that rule changes in the next two months, when holiday shopping will not only start up in earnest but be at its fullest pitch, are comparatively unlikely.
Thus, putting some time and effort into a Pinterest campaign is likely to be rewarded in the short term, and may not even be possible in the long term.
Edited by Brooke Neuman