Find it, Pin it, Buy It

First of all, apologies for probably ''borrowing'' that headline from one hundred other posts about Pinterest's new 'Buy It' button

Back in June, Pinterest announced it's intention to give brands the opportunity to add a 'Buy It ' button to the their boards

With a recent study by MillwardBrown Digital that surveyed over 2,000 Pinterest users finding that 93% of these Pinners that were active in the last 6 months saying that they use Pinterest to plan purchases, the move makes complete sense.

The Buy It button effectively helps consumers from 'Window Shopping' to actual shopping.

They have made it look smooth

This is obviously a great move for retailers as we know them, but in my mind has opportunities well beyond the Nordstroms, Next and ASOS's of this world. 

Other brands that can use 'Content' as a means of attracting new customers are bound to try it. Imagine The Times or Telegraph newspapers offering a subscription on the back of this, or BT promoting its TV and Sports packages!

Of course, this has technically already been done in the real world with QR Codes

Window shopping in Amsterdam

From marketing content to content marketing

Content providers such as Netflix and  Sky, amongst others, spend a considerable amount of money using traditional means to launch new channels or TV series.

Reviewing some of these recently,  I came across a number of examples that I enjoyed, were innovative and I felt were worth sharing.


I’ve shared this with  clients a number of times and is a favourite of Matt Simpson, International Business Director at Zone but formerly their Head of Content.

It’s a great example of how creating an innovative piece can become viral and in fact can outstrip the traditional marketing approaches (to date the spoof has had 63m views in comparison to the official trailers 4m ). As Matt put it..moving from marketing content to content marketing

The Simpsons Movie

Re-branding a dozen 7-Elevens in the US into Kwik-E Marts complete with Buzz Cola , KrustyQs and signage relevant to the series, this take over was only seen physically by a few thousand people but generated masses of PR. In fact PR Week called it a case of Reverse Product Placement.

Reverse product placement converting 7-Elevens into Kwik-E-Marts

Reverse product placement converting 7-Elevens into Kwik-E-Marts


Not surprisingly it also had a positive impact on the 7-Elevens in question whose footfall and sales doubled!


A TED Talk in the future about the future. A nice 3 minute piece by the film’s Character, Sir Peter Weyland, CEO of Weyland Industries on key themes from the movie


To launch TV channel TNT in Belgium they placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town. A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button. And I always thought Belgium was a little dull.  Quite an action packed day

The Ring Two

Probably not as good a movie as The Ring but their site allowed people to enter a ‘friends’ telephone number and email address. The email was used for them to receive link to the trailer but during the trailer a call was made to the mobile number. When they answered they heard the words ‘7 days’ being whispered


Manifested itself as a game with its own website and Facebook pages that offered fans the opportunity to essentially create their own labyrinth and win exclusive prizes.   Mind Crime.

Do as I do, not as I say

Or how data based on behaviour delivers better customer experience than data based on what customers tell you

Versions of this have appeared via Zone's weekly Digital Distractions email and the The Wall blog

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses’’ Henry Ford (allegedly)

History is littered with examples of how actually talking to customers about what they want has resulted in shall we say less than productive outcomes for organisations. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink cites numerous and entertaining examples of how consumer research lets us down.

This boils down to many factors and in fact doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to customers, but try to understand the context in which they are making those decisions or providing us with that information. I wonder how many restaurants collect information from customers signing up for discounts who tell them that Aberdeen, Aberaeron, Abingdon or Acton is there favourite restaurant; how many retailers see people who register for an account who have their birthday on January 1st; or market research companies have questionnaires completed by individuals who claim their annual income is one range higher than it actually is.

You could argue that all data is made equal, but some more equal than others.

In general I have a rule of thumb that Demographic data is less reliable than Profile data is less reliable than Behavioural data is less reliable than Transactional data.

Demographic data – Does my postcode really flag me as being similar to my neighbour

Profile Data – Even if accurate when I gave it to you, that was 12 months ago

Behavioural Data – Yes, I told you I was interested in Politics but the funny pages online are so damn appealing. Anecdotally I’ve heard that Film Four audiences in research groups told them they should be running French art house films and it turns out everyone just tuned into Dumb and Dumber 2

Transactional Data – Ok, so now I’ve put my money where my mouse is

But of course context is important and that can often be the most important factor that needs to be considered. Amazon were great at suggesting products similar to the cake boxes we recently bought for our daughters christening. But to be then bombarded with emails and given recommendations all about cake boxes and related products doesn’t really work when I’d rather be getting recommendations based on the constant stream of comedy DVDs and CDs I’ve bought over the last few years and watch on Amazon Prime.

It’s confusing isn’t it. And that’s before we start talking about how customer behaviour might give us a clue to future spend. I hear that Homebase can predict that a major home project is on the cards based on your purchase of a random packet of bird seeds when in one of their stores.

All of this data can be useful, but perhaps it’s the changes in a customers behaviour or transactions that matter the most. I may be constantly engaged with your content and with your products but what does it mean when I start to show a decline in watching your TV programmes or eating your pizzas?. Is that an indication of future churn?

Conversely what happens over a period of time if I become even more engaged with your content? Is that the real time to deliver a member get member offer rather than just running it to everyone who currently has an engagement score of 8. It’s the rapid movement from a score of 5 to 8 that might offer more insight

Stringing together data and the customer journey both off and online can be a powerful tool but a journey that can be quite heroic . Don’t believe me? Check out this ad by software company Thunderhead