Podcast
How Pinterest's growth team reached 400M active users

After listening to this episode of Out of the Box with Valeria Navea, a growth marketing manager at Pinterest, you will be able to build a well-structured growth marketing team and better equip yourself to wear tons of hats as a marketer. Listen now and make yourself a better marketer. 

Overview of growth marketing 

3:06 Valeria - “We, very recently, changed the way that we work so we have a cross-functional team that is all working towards the same goal, a similar goal. We have our engineering team, marketers, analysts, data scientists, and creative all working together toward the same goal. The biggest impact here is that this encourages efficiency and velocity because you have the dedicated support and cross-functional team members so you’re not up against the prioritization of other teams and projects when you have things to do.” 

Who is considered a high-value user 

4:42 Valeria - “It’s all about engagement. As you can imagine, we want our customers to come back and stay engaged with the platform, create new content, and, also, distribute the content by pinning or repinning. A high-value customer uses Pinterest to the fullest and all that it has to offer.  

Pinterest is a lifestyle platform

5:21 Valeria - “Pinterest is a lifestyle platform. As you mentioned, it often gets lumped into social buckets but it’s not. The primary mission of Pinterest isn’t about social interactions by the people, of course that’s a component of it, but the mission is to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. For pinners, it’s about using the platform to turn an idea into a reality. You can find inspiration for just about anything, whether it’s trying a new recipe or building something from scratch. Users create a space that is entirely their own and curated for their lives.”

How to create good creative

7:14 Valeria - “We have such rich data from our users, the types of pins that they’re pinning and what they’re interested in, and growth is about the targeting, creative, and the channels as well. We try and use what we know about our users to be as relevant as possible, as much as possible. That really shines through in the creative and our value is the content, the rich content that you have on Pinterest. We try to show that as much as possible and give users as many use cases as we think are relevant and useful to you.”

7:59 Valeria - “We have core categories that are very popular and I think it’s no surprise that it’s things like, food and drink, home, DIY. Generally, themes in those categories work really well… Pinterest is all about making dreams into a reality and we try and make the creative show that, that you’re dreams are attainable. Our creative is very approachable and real and the messaging is also very positive and action oriented.”

The typical pinner 

9:13 Valeria - “No surprise, women make up 60% of Pinterest users globally. But, we are saying a ton of growth in Gen Z and millennials and the number of men on Pinterest also jumped nearly 50% year on year. There’s tons of growth there and with 400 million active users, we get a ton of stories from pinners. Pinners send in these stories about how Pinterest has impacted their lives and how the platform has helped them in one way or another. One way that people are using the platform, now more than we’ve seen in the past, is to cope with anxiety, stress, and depression."

Data and insights

11:37 Valeria - “We have a pretty full-funnel view to look at what is going on with the user once we acquire them to get them onto the platform, like how we retain them. There’s some metrics that we track, inherently, that will give us indicators whether it’s XYZ user is pinning X amount of times or they’re engaging with the platform x amount of times. In terms of trends and insights, we have analysts on our team and they do deep dives into that. More broadly, beyond what growth is driving, we have an internal insights team that keeps a pulse on changes in use cases and what our pinners are doing more broadly on the platform.”

The loops in the marketing team

12:52 Valeria - “We have several different types of loops at play - growth, content, retention. It looks something like growth marketers acquire high-value, resurrected users from the platform through various pay channels and they do so by showing the rich content and use cases on Pinterest. A percentage of these users sign up or reengage with Pinterest. Ideally, these users become active users because of the content and experience.”

The balance between performance and brand

15:16 Valeria - “I would say it’s a mutually beneficial type of relationship. There’s not one team that dictates tone or messaging or what’s allowed and what’s not. We’ve really pushed so these types of guidelines are our brand and encompass all types of marketing, paid or brand. I would say it’s a joint effort and I think both are very important.”

16:41 Valeria - “I definitely help with feedback and testing. Since I’m in several different platforms regularly, I come across features that I find really useful and others that become pain points. I’m able to share my personal experience as an advertiser with them.”

Future trends

17:51 Valeria - “I think KPIs and the types of KPIs that are being looked at are really big. More things like lifetime value are being injected into how things are measured and there’s been a lot of developments on how accurate the KPIs are that we measure against. Growth has always been about the impact that you can measure, but it’s about going beyond that and seeing the down funnel or the long term impact of these users that you’re bringing in.”

19:00 Valeria - “Something that’s really interesting with Corona specifically, is the big shift that we’re seeing in companies using their influence to move the needle for social causes or to make a positive impact”

Out of the box marketing 

20:10 Valeria - “Pretty recently at Pinterest, we worked on an inclusive beauty campaign. That campaign was mainly used to announce updates to two beauty features - skin tone ranges and augmented reality try on. In partnership with different beauty brands, augmented reality try on allowed users to virtually try on lipstick shades with Pinterest’s camera…And then skin tone ranges allows pinners to refine their related searches based on a set of skin tone ranges…  If you’re searching for something and in the results you’re not seeing things that are really relevant to you so we really want everyone to feel like they’re represented on the platform.”

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