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With a wave of industry conversation focused on the consumer journey, so much attention is focused on the past. But what about the future? The right time for a brand to make its way into the consumer’s life is when that consumer is planning for the future, as this is when a consumer is telling you what they are about to do.

One platform providing visibility into the thought process behind the purchase journey for life’s major events is Pinterest. Recently, Millward Brown Digital partnered with Pinterest to examine the impact Pinterest has on future purchases. We found that active Pinners were 47% more likely to experience a major life event in the next 6 months. They are also disproportionately using Pinterest to plan for these moments—especially Millennials. Whether consumers are getting married, buying a home, remodeling or redecorating, having a baby, buying a car, taking a vacation, or simply planning a party or dinner for the night, they are more receptive to new ideas and new brands.

pinterest helps me make purchases related to these categories

The research findings also demonstrated the powerful relationship that consumers have with their pins. With two-thirds of pins representing brands and products, we find an interesting phenomenon of consumers utilizing a new touchpoint to further their brand relationships. Of the survey respondents who have actively used Pinterest in the past 6 months, 96% reported they use Pinterest to research and gather information. Ninety-three percent reported that they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and another 87% reported Pinterest engagement has helped them decide what to purchase.

So what does this mean? Consumers use Pinterest to curate their vision of their ideal self – a really powerful concept for marketers. For a long time now, the industry has talked about moving away from disruption and toward meaningful engagement with consumers. Our study shows that Pinterest is facilitating a big step in that direction.

Between February 20 and March 7, 2015, 2,001 respondents from Millward Brown Digital’s Ignite panel, previously identified as Pinterest users, were recruited via e-mail for participation in the survey. The survey consisted of 45 questions and respondents were weighted on age and gender to match the demographic profile of Pinterest visitors.