Linkedin and Microsoft – playing in the big leagues
When Microsoft bought Linkedin in June (they have to do something with their money) it created a stir, but we are still waiting to see what the takeover will bring.
The latest news is that there will be improvements in the use of data, advertising targeting, and integration with other platforms to produce a better return on investment.
With 467 million members and continued growth, Linkedin is in a position to really grab some of the B2B marketing budgets. Where Linkedin has been weak is in keeping up with the other advertising channels. Facebook and Google are much better for accurate targeting. The cost per click on Linkedin has been disproportionate against other channels making it a third or fourth choice for budget allocation.
Where it is improving is going to be based on the data. Targeting people by companies, geography job titles etc have all been taken up by B2B marketers, but in an SME economy in a small population area, the numbers do not stack up.
The data that they have accrued is excellent, and we want to use Linkedin for client marketing, but it has to deliver a return on investment that competes with the other channels.
Microsoft has made a big comeback in the past couple of years, with the Surface taking on Apple in the hardware market (I am typing this on a Surface – I really like it), they have shown the world that they are not sitting still. If they do the same with Linkedin it will be helpful to have a channel that challenges the growing duopoly of Google and Facebook.