Anthea Stratigos – February 15, 2017
Many moons ago, as we tracked how marketers’ spending moved away from advertising and into direct-to-consumer or direct-to-professional activity, we remarked that with everyone having a website anyone could go direct to their market. People looked at us askance until our metrics proved that marketers were moving over $60 billion of spend away from traditional spend categories and into their own websites, their own events, and their own social activities. At the time, we said that advertising would give way to commerce and wrote a report on two main mechanisms for publishers to claw back that spend — by providing marketing services to help marketers reach their own audiences and to move from advertising to lead generation but more so into commerce. We highlighted some publishers doing exciting things — Dwell Media, Bazaar, Hanley Wood, and F+W Media. Good stuff, following our famous line that marketers don’t want leads, they want sales. It’s one of the reasons we continue to place Amazon high when it comes to their platform brethren: Facebook, Apple, Facebook, Google, and even Netflix. Amazon delivers sales. Netflix and Apple do, of certain media, but not most of what the world sells. Did you hear this week that Amazon is taking on poor Victoria’s Secret by selling bras at a fraction of the price? Two weeks ago it was auto parts. A year ago, disposable diapers, undercutting the P&Gs of the world that had used Amazon as a channel for years. While Amazon is gobbling up the world, the other platforms are hanging out in the land of digital advertising. It’ll last, but it’ll never ever be as powerful as delivering sales, and this week Pinterest did an end around and made it easy for consumers to buy the stuff they see with a click.
Brilliant! Nothing bugs me more than seeing something in a Neiman Marcus catalog or good old fashioned Elle magazine only to go online and search and hunt and scratch the web’s surface or comb through 130 pages of Google Links to not find that pretty piece on page 134. The digital world is all about immediate gratification, and Pinterest plays to the needs of marketers and consumers by making what we see easy to buy. Bravo to them. Bravo to folks who get that marketing and advertising is so yesterday and breaking under the strain of the platforms and a digital, social, mobile world. Take us to the cash register or bust, and with one fell swoop, Pinterest landed on the leading edge. Well done for sure. Can’t wait to see the results and who follows suit at scale next. Bets anyone?