Pinterest Marketing for B2B Companies

I gave a basic Pinterest Marketing introduction at the Capital City Club in Raleigh this week.  New-to-me group of people, all men, in a variety of positions.  CPA opening a new satellite office in Raleigh for a larger firm, Equifax Commercial, Time Warner Cable, PC maintenance services, web site management software developer (large catalog sites), two non-profits, others.  Mix of solopreneurs, small business, and big business people.

A few of the attendees had Pinterest accounts for their business; most of their wives and/or girlfriends used it.

One man said, “The car pictures there are SO GOOD!  not like the junk you find in Google images.” (We do reveal ourselves…)

Everyone was surprised to see how much Pinterest activity CSC and SAP had.

Afterwards, a tiny bit of business heresy floated across my mind.  I’ve had this battle before, and lost more than once, but I believe:  Businesses don’t buy from businesses.  People buy from people.  “Business” may be the wrapping, and the logo on the sales order and invoice, and I fully understand that no-one ever got fired for buying IBM.  That said, the direct marketing people have been teaching businesses that sell to other businesses to use the same techniques that move merchandise on the Home Shopping Network, and they can’t be all wrong.

If there is any chance, any chance at all that the person you want to reach in a B2B setting MIGHT be a Pinterest user, or her admin or her sister or her brother the designer might, you owe it to your BUSINESS to have a marketing presence in Pinterest.

I understand that it can be hard to think of some businesses in terms of pinnable images.  But here’s a question:  is your business MORE B2B than CSC (Computer Services Corporation)?  They run NC Medicare claims processing, among other LARGE. IMPERSONAL. HIGHLY TECHNICAL systems.

Pinterest is (currently, briefly, temporarily) full of midwestern Morman mothers (in other words, that will shift).  Fine.  Many of them have day jobs.  Some are purchasing agents.  Some are electrical engineers.  Most of them are married, to men who have day jobs (and if they’re not married now, they may well be planning a wedding…).  Anyone whose partner uses Pinterest has heard the phrase, “I saw this pin that ____.”

Make sure the next time someone says that about a business in your industry, it’s your pin they’re talking about.

afterword:

An article on MarketingProfs discussed “How to Evolve Your B2B Customer Experience Using Images” The article is over a year old, and Pinterest was too small in 2011 to be a player in the B2B space.  If the article were written today, the research would be conducted with Pinterest contests–design a board that reflects your understanding of our brand.

Want to talk about how your B2B can be marketing through Pinterest?  Call me.

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