Pinterest Brings On A New Head Of Its Advertising Partner APIs

Pinterest has brought on a new executive to manage the technology its marketing developer partners use to power advertising campaigns on Pinterest.

Michael Akkerman, formerly a vice president at Kenshoo, will help manage the technology and relationships with the company’s advertising partners that are using its APIs. The company started its Marketing Developer Program earlier this year that gives its partners access to better tools to manage those campaigns on Pinterest.

The role has essentially become so large as the company’s marketing tools expand — Pinterest added three new partners today, and is now working with 11 marketing development partners (Amobee, Unified and Manifest) to power campaigns on Pinterest — that it’s merited bringing on its own executive to manage those relationships and the technology powering them, as well as chart its growth.

Those firms power thousands of campaigns from brands, offering advertisers different ways to run campaigns on Pinterest outside of going directly through the company’s advertising platform.

“There is a lot of vision within the industry on the value that Pinterest will yield for the advertising community,” Akkerman said. “We’re trying to be very selective of which partners we bring into the program, to always yield the best results for advertisers.”

Big brands work with outside advertising technology firms, running campaigns across multiple platforms, and many are hoping to work with Pinterest. But just having a self-serve advertising platform is often not enough for those bigger brands. Each partnership the company has built has come from brands looking to run campaigns on Pinterest through the firms they are already working with, Akkerman said. (Though, they can also work with Pinterest directly to manage their accounts in addition to using its self-serve advertising platform.)

Pinterest, of course, does these sorts of hires and adds new partners deliberately — and, as is often the case, very slowly. Its movement toward becoming a larger advertising player can frustrate advertisers at times, which are eagerly hoping to work with the company that has become one of the most powerful discovery platforms on the Internet. The company basically has access to all moments of time that brands are looking for: discovery, the intent to do something, and an action — like a purchase or an install.

Still, the anticipation for Pinterest’s strength as an advertising platform is undeniable in the business world. The company was last reported to have a valuation of $11 billion, and recently also started opening up its developer platform, slowly making Pinterest live up to the anticipation investors had when they first poured money into the company. And, to be sure, the company has done quite a bit in the past six months as it rolls out new marketing tools and its development platform.

“Ultimately the third-party ad tech definitely gets it,” Akkerman said. “We have 11 partners in total, their big focus is understanding the uniqueness of Pinterest — not as a consumer platform but as an advertising opportunity. What’s wonderful is in these conversations the partners are proactively identifying what makes Pinterest so unique.”