Pinterest’s Road to Glory Exhibits the Bright Side of Marketing

Pinterest Good vs EvilSome marketers and SEOs presume that I’d deemed the whole Internet marketing industry as just a giant cobweb of deceive and manipulation, that I use my blogging paintbrush to generalize all Internet marketers as wrenched peddlers. But although I do cover scam-related topics, I’ve never come to this assessment, nor claimed it.

In fact, my opinion couldn’t be more different. I’m certain that for some (perhaps most) young startups, marketing is the difference between bloom or a decay. Marketing is the way to broadly unfold the product, to distribute its services, to raise funds, to enlarge its user-base. To find the path to success.

Choosing the right marketing firm to work with or hiring the right marketing person can determine the fate of a company which struggles with low budget and only has one shot of reaching to its targeted audience before the finances are completely drained. Life and death in the hands of the marketer.

Take Pinterest for example. You would think that with such a beautiful design and interface, which so many other sites adopts these days (last one is eBay), the image-based social networking service had easily and expeditiously distributed itself like a snowball rolling down the Everest. But that is not what happened.

A few months after Pinterest was launched, it apparently had a much lower user-base than its founder and CEO Ben Silbermann had expected. Silbermann didn’t thought that the product was flawed, but rather needs a better distribution channel to reveal the site to more people. “Instead of changing the product, I thought maybe I could just find people like me,” said Silbermann at Stanford University on October 20th.

Eventually, those were the marketing efforts such as public meet-ups and interactions with prominent bloggers which have boosted Pinterest to the top of the social networking pyramid, becoming one of the largest sources of traffic online.

Pinterest’s story epitomizes the whole purpose of marketing- exposing the product to the market. Even if you have an extraordinaire service, you might need that extra push into wide visibility a professional marketer can prod. Building a great product comes first of course, always, but it doesn’t worth much if no one knows about it, right?

The Problem

The marketing industry suffers from an illness. A disease that consume the money and lives of too many people who should’ve known better. It contains scams, frauds and bogus proclamations. Some marketers privately told me that this sort of plague dwells in any other industry, somewhat as an excuse to justify their incompetent to speak out.

What I retorted to those marketers, and say it again now, is that their own loud silence only makes people think that SEO and marketing are practices of swindlers. Their unwillingness to recognize the problem while some of them even have the audacity to criticize me for speaking against it is what distancing many businesses from them.

This muteness is what creates the false sense that the Internet marketing industry as just a giant cobweb of deceive and manipulation, not me.

Quality legitimate marketing can make wonders for businesses and lead companies into the promise land of startups, like in the case of Pinterest. Not all marketers and SEOs are scammers and the vast majority of the industry is clean, but that little dirt threatens to stain all of it.

Without reckoning there is a problem and confronting it, more people will be defrauded, businesses will stay away from marketing, legitimate marketers will be perceived as crooks and everybody will enjoy less Pinterests in the future.