Marketing Lessons From Pinterest Fails

Ah, Pinterest.

Land of overachievers and professional photographers that make things look so easy.
Promoter of DIY projects that should really be labeled DEDIY (that’s "don’t ever do it yourself").

Instigator of baking projects that transform this:

Bunch of chocolate cake pops covered in colorful sprinkles

…into this:

Pile of cake balls covered in melted chocolate















Sadly, some of us just aren’t Pinterest pros. But there is a silver lining to our many Pinterest fails (other than plenty of good belly laughs, of course): They show that we want to be inspired and that we’re constantly seeking new ideas.

It's kind of like marketing in that way. Marketers always have to be thinking of new ideas.

How you implement those ideas makes all the difference.

To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at a few failed Pinterest projects.

Pinterest Fail: Melting Minion


The minions from the "Despicable Me" movies are everywhere these days: minion birthday parties, minion pumpkins, minion clothes, minion costumes, minion cakes… What could be cuter than a minion cake? Well, a lot of things if you cook it in the microwave and use watery frosting to attach burned, chunky fondant to the cake.

Minion cake inspiration and final product

Sources: Room 16 UHPS and Pintrosity

Marketing Lesson: Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Ideas Over to a Professional

Learning from successful businesses’ marketing campaigns is a great way to discover new ideas for your business, whether it’s a new pay-per-click (PPC) strategy or a phone training program that produces awesome phone agents.

But if you try to copy these ideas and don’t have the expertise (or time) to do so properly, the results could be a little, well… deflating. No matter how easy the idea looks and no matter how excited you are about it, don’t be afraid to let a professional take charge. For example, if you want to ramp up your PPC campaigns, you could hire an online marketing firm. Or if you want to make sure your phone service meshes with the brand image your marketing conveys, you could have a call evaluation specialist personally review your calls for training opportunities.

Pinterest Fail: No-Sew Pillow… Straitjacket?


If you’ve ever been pillow shopping, you know they’re expensive. So it’s easy to understand the appeal of taking a swath of fabric and twisting it into a fashionable pillow cover. But as one pinner found out, using a thick, neutral fabric for this project results in something that more closely resembles a straitjacket than home decor.

No-sew pillow cover before and after
Source: Craft Fail

Marketing Lesson: Use Tried-and-True Tools
Sometimes keeping up with the latest marketing tactics requires resources like marketing automation software, PPC management tools or call management technology. It might be tempting to piece together a solution using a combination of free programs or manual processes, but that can be both inefficient and ineffective (just ask our pal Byron). To get the professional results you want while tracking ROI, stick with a professional product that’s tried and true.

Pinterest Fail: Mini Caramel Apples Caramel Soup


Caramel apples are a staple fall treat. But consuming a whole apple covered in chewy caramel is a challenge, even for the most accomplished sweet tooths (and really, who wants to share?). Bite-sized caramel apples can help cut down on consumption time, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can cut down on prep time by haphazardly chopping the apple into chunks and then dipping them in store-bought caramel sauce.

Mini caramel apples before and after
Sources: MyLitter and Pinterest Fail

Marketing Lesson: Don’t Cut Corners Where It Counts
Optimizing ROI is — and should be — every marketer’s goal. However, when you start skimping on marketing tools and nixing campaigns without careful evaluation, you can actually end up sabotaging your success.

For example, if your company’s sales are typically completed offline, you definitely want to track phone call conversions to determine which campaigns are most effective. By cutting corners on online-to-offline conversion tracking technology, you’re not doing yourself any favors. (By the way, we know Google AdWords’ free website call conversion tracking feature is really tempting. But there are a few reasons investing in a dynamic call tracking provider is worth it.)

Now here’s the moment of truth: What Pinterest projects have you destroyed? Share them with us in the comments!