In the old world,marketers werein control.We were sending out a message and wanted people to react on it. Today, we see that consumers have moved into the driver’s seat, more so than ever before. We see marketing moving toward working together with consumers, to collaborate with them. We need to move from marketing TO fans…to marketing through fans. To do so, many marketers tap into the power of social media. But doing effective marketing in this new reality raises also lots of questions; how to find consumer insights to determine your social media strategy? what content can be best used to make your consumers tick? How to evaluate the success of your actions?
A couple of months ago, we received a similar request from Diesel, the clothing brands. They wanted to know how they could increase the value of their own Pinterest page. Most of you are probably aware of Pinterest but Pinterest can best be compared with an online scrape book. Users can post (‘pin’), search, like, comment and repost visual content into collections (‘boards’) that can be viewed from their profile. Pinterest offers an easy way to find and collect design and lifestyle ideas.Although the site was only launched in 2010, it quickly became one of the most popular social media sites ever. Early 2012, the platform was announced as the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark (Techcrunch, 2012).Besides the fast expansion of the platform, Pinterest also has some other distinctive characteristics that have drawn the attention of marketers. To start with, it is one of the first visual platforms, which makes it ideal for brands to present their products to consumers. It can be viewed as a personal online catalogue where consumers pin their wish lists of products they would like to possess. The visual nature of the platform also makes it a great platform for branding: through visuals the brand personality can easily be expressed, e.g. by pinning both their own products as well as other visuals that express the identity of the brand. Second, Pinterest is unique because it has so far mainly attracted women (Van Belleghem & Thijs, 2012). And last, but not least, Pinterest is one of the platforms with the highest conversion rates. Recent statistics show that it drives more referral traffic to retailers and company websites than other social media platforms (Smith, 2013). It comes as no surprise then that the platform has also drawn the attention of the digital marketing department at Diesel. Diesel recognizes Pinterest as the ideal location to inspire and connect with females within their desired target demographic. Diesel launched their Pinterest page in the early days of the platform. Over the last year, they maintained their boards as a mirror of their Facebook content. Early in 2013, the growing popularity of the platform brought Pinterest into strategic focus in its own right. Additionally, considering Diesel’s strategic decision to increasingly focus on communicating with women, and the fact that Pinterest is overwhelming used by women, Diesel wanted to increase their efforts on Pinterest and to use it as a valuable channel to communicate with this target group online. So they turned to us with a need for insights on the best digital strategy for the Pinterest Diesel page. The Diesel project challenged us in several ways. To start with, we had to understand the current value of the Diesel Pinterest page. Let’s have a look at one of the most commonly used kpi’s to do so….
Wel most often, we look at behavioural measures; the number of likes, the number of followers... They foucs on large scal reach. But what does this really means? Generating reach is easy and can be bought, but ultimately it is only a reflection of a lot of low-value consumer brand-commitment. Real value lies in creating true engagement and brand intimacy with consumers.So to measure the real value of in this case the Diesel Pinterest page, we wanted to include also different measures in our research.
A first kpi to look at is brand identification. We often call somebody a ‘fan’ where in reality, he or she might not even identify that much with the brand.
In additiona, if somebody is truly engaged, he will help the brand. And it will lead to both online and offline advocacy: we should measure to what followers of the Diesel page brand do with the content and what impact their actions have on others. They will spread your message by connecting with their networks.
And last but not east, we should look at....conversion.like in traditional communication research, we want to know to what extent the content on the Diesel page stimulates consumers to visit the online shop but also the regular store. And ultimatly to buy more Diesel clothes.
So the first challenge for this project was to understand the value of the current Diesel page. However, we also had to detect the mechanisms that would help diesel to increase the value. Again, one could take a simple approach and reuse existing content...for example in case of Diesel, it means uploading a board with content of their fashion show or to put the same content on pinterest like with our other channels but is this really the content that will activate consumers?
So many challenges with this project...and to help Diesel out, we decided to use a combination of three approaches.
So many challenges with this project...and to help Diesel out, we decided to use a combination of three approaches.
First of all, we thought it was important to measure current behaviour & interactions on the Diesel Pinterest page. Therefore we parterned up with octopin, a social media monitor which is specialized in behavioural measurement of Pinterest activity. Through this approach, we were able to track the number of followers, pins, repins, etc but also the current top content of the page.
In addition, we also conducted netnography. Unlike social media listening, in netnography, you’ll take a more qualitative research approach to in this case the pins and you analyze the content specifically with the goal of finding new insighs. to find insights on social media, it typically requires that you take a more holistic approach so also in this case we started from a random selecting of Pinterest content from different pages into different categories. We decided to apply the guidelines for visual analysis put forward by Sara Pink which prescribes guidelines on how to analyze visual conent. By doing so we were able to cluster the content in digital persona’s. For each persona, we created a moodboard . comprising typical content that this persona would find engaging. In total we discovered 8 persona’s…However, to be truly succesful, we still had to link the persona’s and learing’ from the social medie monitoring to the Diesel target.
And therefore we applied a third method which we call an activation mapping; it is an essence it ia quantitative survey where we map the degree of activation & engagement of the Diesel target. For this research, we involved over 1200 consumers and we made sure that we had a mix of current followers of the Diesel page, Pinterest users & the online target. In this way we were able to profile there current followers both on socio demographic, lifestyl & passion points. In addition, we measured all nescessary kpi’s to determine their value like buying behaviour & intention, identification and advocacy. Moreover, we also presented the digital persona’s and ask them to what extent they identified withthis content so we could determine the right content for the page.
So how did this approach go for Diesel. Well at insites, we measure the success of our work with the aid of three kpi’s. First of all, we want to ensure that our client, in this case Diesel gets new insights. And indeed, they learnt a lot on several aspects. To start with, we were able to measure the value of their current Pinterest page.
Without going into all details, we found out that the current followers could really be classified as huge fans for example 57% of the group had a very strong identification with the brand; 53% considered Diesel as their favorite clothing brand and the average knowledge of Diesel, including the sub brands was very high. When looking at their buying behavior, almost half of them indicated that they bought the Diesel frequently and [respectively 58% and 67%] were planning for sure to visit the online and offline shop in the next two months. With a Net promoter Score of 56, they claimed to definitely recommend the brand to family & friends.
However, there was clearly room for improvement. It was clear that despite their enthusiasm, they were no advocates on Pinterest. They followers base of the Diesel Page was fairly small. In addition when looking at the amount of pins & likes, it was low.
A second thing that Diesel learnt was on strategy... Thorought the research we detect what makes the Diesel target tick.
Insites consulting did Previous research on this matter. We also wrote a book about this ‘how cool brands stay hot’ where we put forward a CRUSH formula on how to be successful as a brand today. One of the key insights is that brand success (Van den Bergh, 2012) states that identification is a crucial condition for building engagement. The personality of the brand and of the consumers should overlap. To be successful as a brand, you need to understand the identity of your consumers.
They want to impress people, look for status, show their style...
As mentioned before, we also linked the digital persona’s. we found that the current users of the page were engaged by two persona’s in specific. The first one was what we had labelled as the high street persona. This people are very motivated by keeping their body into shape, they like fashion, luxury. Also they tended to pins lots of content related to drinks and exclusive parties.
A second persona that the current followers identified with was completely different. They were the model mainstreams… For them looks were also important but they were much less edgy. They represented mainly females aspiring an exclusive educated, affluent young urban lifestyle. They liked fashion but they were looking for looks that were achievable for them.
So clearly we found a lot of new insights so we were definitly able to have a knowledge leverage. However, we also wanted to be sure that the results were used by the digital marketing team and also their agency. So to create an impact and to ensure that our insights would lead to action, we decided to use the power of images. Instead of just presenting the results, we organized a ‘research art exhibition’ for the digital marketing team that allowed the team to interact and engage with the content. The best way to demonstrate to you that we were able to create an internal impact with our research is of course to let our client directly speak at you so i have made a small movie. In the movie you’ll see two things:First of all, we have stefano, global head of digital marketing at diesel who will explain to what extent he learnt something new. In addition, you will see how the research art exhibitino worked.
As it told you, a part of the current followers were engaged by this persona, the model mainstream. They clearly indicated that they would prefer to more wearable fashion rather than just catwalk images.
Therefore, diesel decided to approach their swim wear collectiong this time differently instead of just showing the new collection, they made a board called ‘beached out’ where clothges were also presented in a more natural setting together with also non branded mood boards.
So, we were able to come up with new insights and also turn them into action. But how did that increase the value of the Pinterest page. It is of course a little early since we only finished the research quite recently but based on the new strategy that Diesel had implemented, we can already draw some conclusions.
First of all, after 4 weeks of implementing the new strategy, we saw that the followers base of the page increased with 25%. Although, the numbers are not huge yet, we clearly saw an uptake because of the research.
But we went beyond reach. We re-contacted the people who originally took part in the survey and ask them to evaluate the changes diesel had done to their pinterest pages. We see a clear effect both on brand identification & conversion. 65% top 2 boxes on to what extent does this content make you identify with the brand71% indicates that the new content ….
In addition, we also asked those people if they were following now the Pinterest page of Diesel. it is worth mentioning that from this 25%, 10% of the new followers were people who got enthusiastic about the Diesel pinterest page by particpating in our research. This result is for us important for us, since we see research as a branded touchpoint towards consumers. Research does not only changes organization like Diesel, it also changes the participants.
Finally, we also see that advocacy is really inreasing. Looking at absolute numbers, the nunber of repins so sharing on Pinterest increase with not less than 41%. Also 55% of the people indicated that the new content stimulated them to talk about diesel offline.
Although we are still a bit early to predict the future success of the page, i think i was able to illustrate that our combined approach let to positive results in this project. I will leave you with what is in my opinion is the main insight behind this success. It is moving from reach to relevance! Collaborating with consumers and understanding their identification is key for succesful brand activation. Thank you!
Vlerick conversation management platform insites
How we increased the value of the
Diesel Pinterest page
The art of research
Sophie Van Neck | Senior Research Manager | InSites Consulting
M +32 472 418 640 | T +32 9 269 15 39 | E firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded 1997 as a business school spin-off
Structure Fully independent, 7 managing partners
Growth Average yearly growth +25%
Locations USA I ROM I UK I NL I BE
Team 125 passionate & talented people
Reach Global Consumer & Moderator Network
Clients +35% of 2012 Best Global Brands (Interbrand)
Awards ESOMAR I AMA I ARF I MRS I MOA I AMMA
Life Sciences & Healthcare
AstraZeneca I Barco Healthcare I Baxter I Bayer Healthcare I Bristol-Myers Squibb I GSK I Janssen I Johnson &
Johnson I Lilly I Merck Serono I Nutricia Advance Medical Nutricion I Pfizer I Roche I Sanofi Pasteur MSD I UCB
Media & Entertainment
BBC World I Bloomberg I Google I Kinepolis | LinkedIn I National Geographic I News International I RTL I
SBS Broadcasting I Sony I Viacom Media Networks I VRT I VMMa I Stievie I Yahoo!
ABN AMRO I BNP Paribas Fortis I ING I MasterCard I PayPal I Rabobank I US Bank
FMCG / CPG
AB InBev I Avon I Beiersdorf I Campbell Foods I Carlsberg I Chiquita I Coca-Cola I Danone/Dannon I Diageo I
Ferrero I Givaudan I Heineken I Heinz I Kellogg’s I Kraft I McDonald’s I Nestlé I PepsiCo I Reckitt Benckiser I
Sara Lee I Unilever
Technology & Services
AirFrance KLM I AT&T I eBay Classified Group I IKEA I Panasonic | Philips | Skype | SkyTeam | The Phone
House I TomTom I TUI | UPC | Vodafone Group Services
We allow participants to ENGAGE with us
anytime, anywhere (online, mobile,
asynchronous methods…). We make it fun
for them to give more & better answers
(gamification, audio-visual cues, design…).
We empower them to be co-researchers
(crowd interpretation, co-moderation…).
We want to
bring our clients
to the future first
the most effective
We engage consumers to think
harder and better. We activate
them to structurally collaborate
with us and our clients to co-
create the future of brands.
We drive ultimate consumer
centricity by engaging employees
and other stakeholders around
the consumer. By bringing
consumers inside organizations, we
change people’s hearts, minds and
actions and create internal
By turning research into a unique
consumer experience, we create
a meaningful impact on your
brand. Through deep
engagement and collaboration
with consumers, we drive
positive brand conversations and
The art of research
How we increased the value of the Diesel Pinterest page
From marketing to people
to marketing through people
How to increase the value of the
Diesel Pinterest page?
New York I Timisoara I Ghent I Rotterdam I London
Evergemsesteenweg 195 I 9032 Ghent I Belgium
Sophie Van Neck
Senior Research Manager
+32 472 41 86 40
Meet us in one of our 5 offices
Connect on LinkedIn
Become friends on Facebook
Download free content on Slideshare
Read corporate InSites Consulting blog
Read ‘Conversation Management’ blog
Read ‘How Cool Brands Stay Hot’ blog
Join our ‘Smartees’ events