Pinterest nears key data deal to track offline sales

Pinterest is striking a partnership with Datalogix to help brands find out how effective their ads were in driving sales, according to sources with direct knowledge of the plans. The new relationship is expected to be in effect in time for holiday shopping, according to one digital marketing exec, but it could come in 2016. Pinterest is also in talks with Acxiom, the source said.

“Pinterest is moving very quickly to integrate Datalogix and other third parties into the platform,” the digital marketing exec said.

Datalogix helps brands determine which of their customers viewed online ads before making a purchase decision. It’s a key metric that helps brands see how effectively they are spending their media dollars.

“It has big sweeping implications and opens a ton of advertisers for Pinterest, looking for that degree of attribution,” said another advertising source, who helps brands buy Promoted Pins through Pinterest’s ad platform. “This shows brands in-store sales they’re unable to see without Datalogix.”

The source added that a number of brands have been reluctant to spend on the platform without having a way to the ultimately gauge the impact. Datalogix has partnerships with Pinterest rivals like Facebook and Twitter, which use its data technology to inform ad retargeting, as well as measure results.

Sources said that Pinterest would lean on Datalogix and others for the benefits they bring to measurement, more than ad targeting.

Pinterest has been strengthening its ad technology slowly but steadily over the past two years, positioning itself as a rival to Google and search marketing, because its users are busy posting pins in a way that implies an interest in future purchases.

The company likes to say that it’s not a social network where people go to say what they’re up to; people use Pinterest to plan their future projects — whether it’s a vacation, wedding, home renovation or wardrobe.

Pinterest has built up its marketing platform, which helps brands post freely to the site and track how well their pins perform. It also built up its paid advertising business, giving more tools to brands to plan campaigns and the ability to buy Promoted Pins through third-party ad platforms. There are also newer formats like Buyable and Cinematic Pins, which are kind of like GIFs.

Salesforce is among the marketing partners that help brands plan their Pinterest promotions. Datalogix has information on consumers, such as loyalty card purchase histories, a rep for Salesforce said. “So if someone views an ad or a post, what do they do after that?” the rep said. “Datalogix can match that engagement data with in-store purchases.”

Pinterest would not comment on any specific partnerships. “We remain very focused on finding the right measurement solutions to help our partners understand the full value that Pinterest is driving for them,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We are always on the lookout for innovative and effective solutions but don’t have any additional details to share at this time.”