Made.com takes a greater interest in Pinterest

Furniture e-tailer Made.com identified Pinterest as an avenue for driving growth in 2020, and the early signs of the partnership appear positive.

A strategy consisting of several different strands, including search campaigns and conversion optimisation using Pinterest’s shopping ad and retargeting tools, resulted in a reduction in cost per click in its key UK, France, and Germany markets.

What Made did

Focusing on keywords directly related to its products, and long-tail keywords including terms such as “inspo” or “ideas”, Made built branded digital creatives each with headlines referencing the product/room of the house it was targeting with its bid.

In the retailer’s search campaigns it regularly implemented bid optimisations, enabling its marketing team to reduce costs when possible, and capitalise on the strategies driving the best traffic.

Made.com is experimenting with Pinterest ads (image credit: Pinterest)
Made.com is experimenting with Pinterest ads (image credit: Pinterest)

Charlotte Robertson, who joined Made as marketing director in November 2019,  says the campaigns have involved working in close partnership with Pinterest.

“97% of Pinterest searches are non-branded, so it’s an opportunity to build affinity with potential customers before they’ve made up their mind,” she explains.

“It’s where we can influence shoppers and ensure we are top of mind.”

Use of automation and improving data connectivity is part of the broader marketing strategy at Made, according to Robertson.

She says the business wants to utilise automation both on its own website and on its partner sites, and Pinterest’s automatic bidding function helped it capitalise on cheaper auctions and outsource what can be time-intensive process. Made and Pinterest continue to work together using new automatic bidding technology.

Marketing in a pandemic

When Essential Retail caught up with Made’s chief creative officer, Jo Jackson, last year, a key focus for the company was on digital-out-of-home advertising as it marketed its ‘Design your happy place’ campaign which featured brand fans.

With major cities less populated as the coronavirus-enforced lockdown took hold, Made’s marketing strategy pivoted to digital.

“We made a strategic step change in our media choices to focus our resources on digital media, based on the value and how it can help us connect with our customers more effectively,” notes Robertson.

While many retail sectors are struggling in the pandemic, home and garden is one category where sales remain buoyant. An index provided by trade association IMRG and consultancy Capgemini shows online sales in the home category alone were up by 81.6% year on year in July, and they are currently running 47.2% ahead of 2019.

“We have demanded more from our homes which have now also become our gyms, our offices, and our favourite restaurant and bar,” Robertson states.

“Continued focus on understanding our customer during this time is key to our strategy. It’s hugely important for us to listen to them and understand how we can help them.”

Robertson acknowledges Made’s marketing strategy continues to follow a path of experimentation. She says Made is in talks with TikTok – a platform that gained traction during lockdown – to work out how to tap into the home-focused community on the site.

The marketing director describes social media as “a key investment area”, with projects including new YouTube content, its Instagram shop, and influencer programmes.

“Social is beyond marketing for us – we are working across our customer departments to better utilise social media as a channel of choice for customers,” she explains.

“In our showrooms, we have plans to activate our virtual content and start experimenting with conversational commerce with our showroom teams."