When it comes to digital marketing, there are very few who know more about the ins and outs than Katrina Klier, Senior Director / VP Worldwide Digital Marketing at Microsoft. I caught up with Katrina at a recent The CMO Club cocktail party and she was nice enough to let me pepper her with questions about Pinterest. Her answers are refreshingly honest and informative–of particular note are her suggestions for how Pinterest could become more brand friendly–I hope they’re listening.
Drew Neisser: How do you see tech brands like yours being able to take advantage of Pinterest?
Katrina Klier: Pinterest is a wonderful way to showcase new products in a highly visual way as well as gain endorsements via re-pins that help create product brand awareness. Overall though I would say the tech world has been slow to get in to Pinterest. Dell has done a pretty good job: http://pinterest.com/dell/ .
Drew Neisser: Has Microsoft used Pinterest effectively thus far?
Katrina Klier: LOL, no I wouldn’t say we’ve used it effectively yet so far but we’ve learned a great deal. (The Pinterest.com/Microsoft page in inactive & the Pin it to Win it contest by the Windows team didn’t seem to get much traction.) We’ve done what most big brands do, claimed a profile and have plans for much more to come, but it isn’t live yet.
Drew Neisser: Do you have any thoughts on how Pinterest could become more brand-friendly?
Katrina Klier: Pinterest is pretty brand friendly already. Some things I’d love them to do: Create sub-boards so it’s easier to do topical boards with multiple themes; somehow connect to a purchase place – so drive ecommerce conversion potential either directly or via some type of visual search engine that can give you a list of online or offline stores to buy what you see. Ecommerce is a partnership opportunity for Pinterest to drive with the likes of Amazon, Wal-Mart and others. Also finding people or brands to follow is rather clunky – if you search for people you know, you can find them, but if not a general reco is not easy. Also would like to embed boards in other websites – allowing pinboards via a service provided by Pinterest (similar to how Bing or Google provide in-site search for brands)
Drew Neisser: Are you active on Pinterest yourself and if so, what do you really like about it?
Katrina Klier: Yes, I use Pinterest http://pinterest.com/katrinaklier/ I like the visual components and the link to Facebook. I started another blog a couple months ago Travel Like a Lady and Pinterest over time will be a big part of that to show products, ideas, how-to, etc. I had to put some of my writing on hold for other demands but hopefully will get back to it shortly. I haven’t connected my marketing blog much to Pinterest as the topic is not as product or visually centric. My husband is a photographer and very active on Pinterest. It helps him categorize inspirational work as well as check out stylists, other artists and companies he is or would like to do business with. His business is very visual of course so Pinterest is a good fit and he loves the Facebook integration as well.
Final note: just in case you were wondering where Pinterest could be heading, please check out my story on MediaPost and or join me for MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit in Lake Tahoe next week.