After reading so much “buzz” about Pinterest, I finally looked into it as I wondered whether it would make sense in the context of life science marketing. The short answer…don’t bother.

Wikipedia describes Pinterest as ” a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more”. That sums it up well. While it might be a useful site for any number of reasons, such as collecting pictures to plan a wedding or redecorating your home, I’m just not sure it has much practical use for life science companies.

Advocates of Pinterest for marketing make a valid point for retail companies…Pinterest reduces the number of steps from discovery to conversion. That may be the case for a customer who sees a jacket that he just can’t live without and makes an impulse decision to buy it on the spot . However, if you’re a research scientist looking for an antibody or a new medical device costing thousands of dollars, you’re probably not going to be looking on Pinterest, and even if you do happen to see a cool life science product on Pinterest, you’re not going to make an impulse buying decision…right?

Another valid argument for Pinterest is the idea that it can help you know your customers better. Whether you’re looking at categories, boards, or something else, the information can help you to better understand your target market. Here’s the problem. Are the buyers of life science products and services even using Pinterest, and even if some are using, are they even thinking about buying life science products and services?

In summary, I think Pinterest has the same problem as Facebook when it comes to social media marketing for life science companies…most people are just not using it for that purpose.

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One Response to Pinterest for Life Science Marketing?

  1. Pramod says:

    Working in a company selling a life sciences product myself, this rings true to a great extent. But we do need to keep in mind that sites like Facebook or Pinterest might also include some of your target audience.

    The question is when someone is casually browsing a social site can they switch to a “transactional” mode, as they are when searching on Google. I don’t think we have the answer to this yet. General Motors for one didn’t see much yield in advertising on Facebook.

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