MRA enlisted several researchers attending the Corporate Researchers Conference in Dallas this week to report back summaries & insights from the conference sessions.  This report is on “Making the Most of Pinterest in Marketing Research” by Rebecca West, Vice President, Marketing Research Services at Civicom.

Social network Pinterest is a virtual pin board designed to let users share their interests by using a visual interface, making it especially useful for people who are into recipes, decorating, crafts, etc.

Three take-aways that Rebecca West presented to the audience:

  1. Pinterest is a good platform to gather insights
  2. Pinterest is a good platform to promote a company’s products
  3. Companies can use Pinterest to determine what to after a successful product launch and/or campaign


  • According to Rebecca West, referral traffic from Pinterest is better than any other social media site out there
  • Pinterest’s most practicable application would be for qualitative researchers who need to prepare a study guide for focus groups, especially those that are geared to female consumers.
  • Pinterest focuses mainly on what is perceive to be “beautiful” and “perfect” and reflects the ideal aspirations of the particular person. There is not a lot of room for negative feedback.
  • The Pinterest population in the U.S. skews heavily female (80%) and has the highest concentration of users in Utah and Tennessee.
  • Pinterest can be used as a peripheral app for on-line qual, especially for brand studies for food, clothing and scent.
  • Currently Pinterest is still in the experimental phase and has many limitations, especially with sentiment scoring.

Reasons to embrace Pinterest include, but are not limited to:

  • Consumers are moving to it (~21 million users)
  • Brands are using it to build relationships
  • Easy integration with Facebook and Twitter
  • Tool to drive people to your website(s) / blog(s)

Research implications:

  • Good potential for food and clothing companies
  • Limiting if you want to target men as only 14% of U.S. users are male
  • Idea Boards would have good potential for ad campaigns
  • Might be good to use to run some activities before focus groups
  • Beware the copyright and privacy settings
  • Limited sentiment analysis is available