What do you know about Pinterest? Enough to decide whether your business needs to get involved? Here’s a great source for detailed answers.

Today’s guest post features Karen Leland, the bestselling author of 8 business books including the recently released Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For Business. Karen is the president of Sterling Marketing Group, and writes the Modern Marketing Blog at Thanks, Karen!

Before you jump headlong into Pinterest it’s worth taking a step back to decide if a good match exists between you and the site’s users. Depending on which marketing expert you ask, defining your target market is best achieved by looking at either demographics or PsychoDemographics—customer lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors—or both.

Demographics include age, income, and gender. These represent three of the big dogs in data, and it’s worth considering your ideal customer to see if they currently fit within the most common Pinterest user profiles below.

Age. Think about what role age plays in defining your target market. Do you provide services or products (i.e., beer or baseball caps) that anyone from a 21-year-old to a 91-year-old might buy? If not, what particular age groups do you serve and what are their unique needs?

Income. What level of earning or disposable income do your ideal clients have? The pinner whose business operates at an average sale of $13.99 (vs. the pinner whose smallest sale is $3,999) is going to have to approach what and how they pin in a particular way to meet the monetary considerations of their customer base.

Gender. Does your product or service appeal exclusively to men or women, or is it more inclusive? Men and women respond differently not only to what is offered but to the way things are promoted and displayed.

What the Numbers Say. Now take a look at your answers and compare them with this demographic data according to Google Ad Planner: 72 percent of Pinterest users are female
 and the average age of Pinterest users is between 25 and 54
.  25 percent of Pinterest users have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree and the majority have a household income of between $25K and $75K.

Does your demographic profile fit in with the prototypical Pinterest customer? If so, you may have a match made in online heaven, and it’s a good bet you will want to add Pinterest to your marketing mix. If not, you can still maintain a Pinterest presence—just to stay in the game—but it might not warrant putting a lot of time into pinning.

A word of warning: social media statistics—like a love of Cracker Jacks and cotton candy—can change over time. Hence the numbers quoted here are as of publication and, given Pinterest’s relatively new status on the playground, are likely to change. Updated data can be found at several places on the web including: and Google Display Planner.

PsychoDemographics are the other lens through which to look at your target audience. This includes their lifestyle preferences, personal commitments, and values. The fine research minds at such companies as Experian Hitwise and Nielsen Prizm research how these distinctions translate into different customer segments.

Understanding the ways in which these factors impact your customers can greatly influence your Pinterest strategy. For example, let’s take a look at just one of the segments from Claritas Nielsen Prizm and how they might apply to the Pinterest audience.

The Affluentials. These folks represent close to 23 million Americans with a median income of $66,913. They are typically couples with white-collar jobs and college degrees. Their consumer tastes include home-related items, health foods, computer equipment, and consumer electronics. One of the top followed brands on the web is home design company west elm ( With over 87,000 followers, they do a great job of creating boards aimed at this demographic. Likewise the magazine Real Simple ( has over 192,000 followers and 73 boards that focus on the affluentials’ interest in food and home life.

Aside from hiring a marketing consultant to create a full profile of your potential customer, here are some of the ways you can identify the PsychoDemographics of your audience:

• What books and magazines do they typically read?

• What television shows, or types of television shows, do they watch?

• Where do they tend to shop (big box retailers, luxury stores, discount marts)

• What kinds of consumer goods do they tend to buy?

• Where do they spend their disposable income?

• Where do they value spending time (family, work, exercise)?

The bottom line is that you need to look at your customers in total. In addition to traditional demographics, strive to understand your ideal audience’s state of mind through PsychoDemographics. Then you can consider the contextual relevance a site like Pinterest will have and strategize accordingly.


What do you think about Pinterest? Just one more fad, or a potential tool for your business development? Let us know by leaving a comment!