Microsoft showed their buying power this past month with the purchase of the well-known B2B social media platform LinkedIn. For many, the sale of LinkedIn was imminent due to their inability to extended their core product offerings and innovate. Prior to the acquisition LinkedIn stocks plunged as much as 46.5%, registering its sharpest decline since the company’s public offering in 2011, asking the question:
What did Microsoft see in LinkedIn?
There are many reasons why the acquisition of LinkedIn makes sense for Microsoft. The acquisition dovetails Microsoft’s shifting business strategy to focus on the B2B service industry, which has been a pillar of their past success. The acquisition of LinkedIn will allow for additional integrations into the Windows operating system and their heavily trusted Office 365 suite. This also ties into the successful launch of Windows 10, which seamlessly integrated Bing into the Office suite and operating system, resulting in a significant increase in searches and an 18% increase in their online ad revenue.
This acquisition has the potential to be a big deal for advertisers, especially for those with clients in the B2B industry.
Below are some of the potential outcomes of the acquisition:
- Integration of a LinkedIn-like news feed into the Office 365 interface allowing users to more closely track their network. Imagine having the ability whilst working on a PowerPoint presentation to be able to quickly view all parties in attendance? This would grant you the ability to more closely tailor the presentation to all attendee’s backgrounds.
- LinkedIn owns the online education company Lynda, which will allow for additional access to thousands of learning materials and cross selling opportunities. “Having difficulty setting up a pivot table on excel? [cue popup] Well why not take this $xx.xx course on Lynda and become a pivot table master.” Of course, these pop-ups will need to to be well timed and non-intrusive to receive a positive response.
- Cortana, Microsoft’s equivalent to Siri, now has access to a plethora of user information such as phone numbers, email addresses, education, employment history etc. This has useful applications within Microsoft Dynamics – the customer relationship management platform – and their suite of cloud computing software.
- The greatest potential of this merger and what excites me the most is the ability to manage campaigns with Bing Ads Manager while including LinkedIn targeting options. Imagine being able to target a specific profession related to a keyword search on a search engine? Very powerful stuff!
Bing gets a thumbs up from Dan.
I know this has been said before, but I urge fellow advertisers to start paying more attention to Bing. If we take a trip down memory lane and recall how sceptical we were when Microsoft’s acquired Skype back in 2011, only be proven wrong with the tremendous integration of the video chat program into their ecosystem with Cortana, Xbox and Windows. Today, Skype makes up of a third of all the worlds telephone traffic.
Our infatuation with Google can create a sense of tunnel vision for advertisers. Bing always seems to be lower priority option, despite the fact the Microsoft’s search engine powers well-known services and apps such as Apple’s Siri and Uber.
At EHD we will continue to monitor this development and ensure that your campaigns are considered for any applicable product or advertising platform.
Written By Daniel Augello
Click the big red button below to get our case studies & weekly blog posts sent directly to your inbox.