Friday, January 23, 2015

Pinerest Aims to Target Men

In today's Wall Street Journal, Yoree Koh writes about Pinterest's attempts to target male customers.  According to the article, "About 42% of online U.S. women use Pinterest, according to a Pew Research survey released this month, a coveted audience with enormous spending power."  The articles goes on to say that the company is trying to solve a problem that has plagued it for some time, namely its inability to attract male customers.  Koh writes:

"But Pinterest’s success with women has also created a conundrum for the business. The company has outsize aspirations to become the go-to place for discovery on the Web. And yet the other half of the world’s population has largely stayed away from the site in part because of the stigma that Pinterest is a clubhouse for women.  “We’re really trying to unpack and understand that so we can communicate to [men] that Pinterest is absolutely for you,” said David Rubin, who joined as head of marketing in July from Unilever PLC, where he worked on women’s beauty and helped launch the Axe men’s deodorant brand."

I find this "problem" rather intriguing.  What they see as a problem I see as a great strategy.  Pinterest has been laser focused on the female demographic.  They have done an amazing job of building an integrated system of activities and capabilities that serves that target market.   Why not focus on how to monetize the audience that it has and turn that audience into sustainable profits?  Why not be willing to say that they are not about serving male customers (primarily)?  Why try to be all things to all people?  Perhaps they don't have a male problem.  Perhaps they are about to create a strategy problem for themselves. 

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