On September 22, 2016, Sue Bethanis hosted Cat Lee, Head of Partner Marketing at Pinterest. Known as one of the most innovative shopping platforms in the world, Pinterest has revolutionized how people discover products and content, and how customers engage with businesses. Cat gave WiseTalk an insider’s view on how Pinterest has become an extremely disruptive social media powerhouse while building a marketplace of 100 million users.
“Authenticity is about not holding back your point of view and saying what needs to be said in a skillful way with warmth and respect.”
On How Pinterest is a Disruptor in Advertising
At its core, “Pinterest is about exploration and discovery. The big opportunity for businesses on Pinterest is that there is no trade-off between the experience it provides to users and businesses.” Pinterest customers are open-minded to the ideas that come from businesses because they are native to the Pinterest experience. 75 percent of the ideas on Pinterest are from businesses because they are useful, actionable and relevant to users.
What’s unique about the Pinterest platform audience is the intent that can be modeled out based on user actions. The way that people search on Pinterest is based on exploration. If you look at the consumer journey through a partner’s point of view (business), it closely resembles the marketing funnel. The consumer starts with casual browsing, then moves on to engagement (pinning), and then finally the consumer moves to the mindset of wanting to take action.
The Importance of Talent and Processes to Disruption
Cat believes it is important to focus on organizational health in addition to organizational smarts. Through both, you get efficiency and speed in how the teams can work together and ultimately disrupt the market. A key component is communication. If all employees have the same information it empowers everyone to do their best and be in alignment of what’s most important to the company. Macro level processes helps teams go faster.
Cat also believes, “you are doing your best work when you are leveraging your strengths and making sure that they are well balanced. You don’t need to worry about weaknesses as much as helping people to do their best work.”
What We Found Most Interesting:
- The Four Values of Pinterest Knit: The best products come from “knitting,” where everyone works together— from engineering and design to marketing and community. Innovation happens when disciplines “knit” together.
- Put Pinners First: If something doesn’t work for Pinners, it doesn’t work for Pinterest.
- Go: The best way to find out if something works is to try it and learn as you go.
- Be Authentic: Being honest and open (and sometimes saying the hard thing) is a core value.
To learn more about Cat Lee and her thoughts on disruption, listen to the WiseTalk recording.