The story of Pinterest and Made.com is a great example of the harmony of a brand and media platform dovetailing together perfectly. Online home lifestyle destination, Made.com was one of the first brands to advertise on Pinterest, back in 2016 when the site was just creating its commercial offering. From the start, it was a match made in heaven as the brand's high-end yet accessible designs made perfect 'pins'. The commercial alchemy between the two parties has over the years created an inspiring virtuous circle that continues to reap a wealth of benefits.
Pinterest is unique among tech platforms in that its users tap into its content very actively for inspiration. This isn’t just idle scrolling, but conscious searching for help on a project. Nielsen research shows that 98% of ‘Pinners’ report trying new things they find on Pinterest, compared to an average of only 71% across all social media platforms.
So Pinterest works particularly well for brands keen to showcase their products to a receptive audience. Images of Made.com’s high-quality, exclusive designs have proved ideal visual fodder for this purpose, meaning that Pinterest has been able to build up a successful search marketing strategy for the brand.
Like most things in digital advertising, both parties were constantly on the lookout for ways to upgrade the efficiency and effectiveness of the activity. When Pinterest started offering automated bidding on keywords, Made.com marketers were keen to be involved in early testing of the technique.
There were potential benefits for Made.com as they were able to reduce the time spent on manually checking in on bids and adjusting the goals. Automating this process, by setting a budget and then allowing the system to maximise the volume of bids accordingly, raises the efficiency of the spend.
But the benefits of the technical upgrade ran much deeper than this, and provide a great illustration of the start of a trusting direct relationship between Pinterest and client - allowing abilities to evolve.
Driving creative efficiency
One of the fruits of this change was the adaptation of the images featuring Made.com products on Pinterest. The brand had previously created each image individually, but the switch to automated bidding led to the Made.com team questioning whether a similar automation could be made on the creative side.
Pinterest and Made.com worked together to create a series of 'templates' for the design of Pins, establishing a distinctive combination of colour and logo placement that users could easily associate with the brand.
This process also took account of the full funnel stages between consideration and purchase, designing Pins that would appeal to users at the various points of their customer journey with the brand. They also ensured that Pins included as many as possible of the keywords that users typically searched for.
Pinterest's automated bidding system began in early 2020 and Made.com was one of the first clients to start using it. Tangible results emerged quickly – relying on the algorithms to run bids meant Made.com earned far more opportunities to be seen than rivals. Because of the perfect blend of brand and platform, these opportunities quickly translated into sales.
The automation was also able to free up time for Made.com marketers, enabling them to focus more on strategy and innovation on the platform.
Traffic to its site from a Made.com Pin rose by 400%* as a result of the change to the bidding process, a clear sign that users were being more accurately targeted and that the creative was also hitting the mark. Relying on the algorithms to run the bidding, rather than humans, also led to an 80% fall in the rate of cost-per-click (CPC) across the three key markets of UK, France and Germany – a significant saving for the brand.
Building a value exchange
But the statistic that stands out the most is revenue. There was a 250% year-on-year increase in the brand's sales on Pinterest across 2020 (Q4 2020 v Q4 2019). This is particularly impressive when you consider that Mintel estimates that the UK furniture retail market fell in value by 17.9% over the course of 2020. The automated bidding meant that more Pinterest users were seeing a greater number of Made.com Pins and they were also more likely to buy a piece of Made.com design as a direct result of seeing them.
These tangible boosts to the bottom line for Made.com have also translated into an even stronger partnership between client and media owner. On the strength of their performance marketing successes in 2020, Made.com has decided to plough extra budget into brand building work on Pinterest, creating 'How to' guides for buying furniture and working with influencers to provide users with styling tips.
It's a success story that has led to what Pinterest partner manager, home retail lead Jackie Klimes calls a 'constant value exchange' between the two parties. Pinterest has used the lessons learnt from the Made.com work to inspire other retailers advertising on Pinterest – notably B&Q and John Lewis.
Matt Pollington, director of marketing performance at Made.com says: “Made.com is on a mission to redefine furniture and homeware shopping by creating exciting, digital-first experiences to really connect with customers. Pinterest is an ideal platform for users to be inspired by our products and styling tips as they curate their vision for their homes. Importantly, it enables us to tap into discovery journeys while remaining front of mind to reinforce our brand values.”
“Automated bidding is the latest innovation in our close partnership with the team at Pinterest that has continued our success in efficiently bringing new customers into the Made.com experience.”
So as Made.com's pins continue to inspire lovers of quality design, its marketing activities are bringing useful food for thought to other businesses, who seek similar opportunities. Enduring business relationships are always those where both parties are doing well in parallel – the Pinterest and Made.com story provides a great example of how to achieve that.