We don’t talk much about it because it’s scary but much of the marketing in today’s world is more reliant on third party platforms than ever. Platforms have always been a part of the marketers’ existence when you think about the platforms of TV and print. Online platforms are a bit different in that only a few truly rule the roost (unlike 500+ channels to spray TV ads over) and the inherent risk is that if a marketer invests a lot of time and money into a platform that ultimately goes away (or is bought and euthanized etc, etc) they could be, well, screwed.
Having put that nasty thought in your head, the news that Pinterest received about $200M based on a $2.5B valuation might bring comfort. Ah but didn’t we say that about Groupon as well? Anyway, All Things D reports
Pinterest, the popular social scrapbooking site, has completed a massive $200 million funding, which values the company at $2.5 billion, according to sources close to the situation.
There have been reports that the funding was coming, but now it is done, in a round led by Valiant Capital Management. Existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital also participated.
The article was updated when Pinterest confirmed the investment and its CEO did the usual ‘give them the warm fuzzies’ with
Pinterest confirmed the funding and released this statement from CEO Ben Silbermann: “Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life. This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”
So the question is, how much of your marketing hopes are you pinning on Pinterest? What would happen to your efforts if the platform suddenly went away for any unforeseeable or unpredictable reasons? Sure it’s not likely but was MySpace turning into a piece of garbage something that many anticipated? Would the holes that many are poking in the Facebook approach have been ‘top of mind’ just a few short years ago? Nope.
So what are your Plans B, C and D in case something that you depend on goes away? Are you thinking like that? Do you have the time to think like that? Can you afford NOT to think like that?