While recruitment tools account for more than half of LinkedIn revenue (55%), Marketing Solutions accounts for about 25% or $113 million. With LinkedIn’s Bizo purchase, this ratio might soon change.
“Precision in marketing is the next age [of marketing] and that’s why targeting and data is really the most important aspect,” Ray said. “It’s not the amount [of users] you have as it’s the quality of who’s there, especially on the business side. I think that’s where LinkedIn may take some more share of overall marketing spend once they have this ability to go off-network.”
One of the key benefits for B2B marketer clients is the ability to more effectively move leads through the sales funnel, according to Mary Beth Keelty, VP of marketing for agency PM Digital. "With content and relevancy continuing to grow in importance, this combination will offer great opportunities for B2B organizations to [get even more targeted with] media."
DWA's Ray said consolidation of disparate technologies used to track buyer journeys is a welcome move by agencies.
“If we have new segmentation strategies through programmatic ways to buy audiences and connect that to behaviors off the LinkedIn site and on the LinkedIn site and back to (a brand’s) dotcom, it creates a much more predictable outcome for agencies and marketers,” he explained.
As agencies are tasked with providing routine benchmarks for incremental campaign outcomes, “having a solution where more things are interconnected and measurable (will help the brand) move more budget or people to pipeline and deliver revenue,” he said. “I think this is what the deal solves. If LinkedIn hadn’t been thinking about what business buyers and marketers were looking for, they wouldn’t continue to grow.”
But balancing privacy and monetization will need to be a development pillar for LinkedIn, DWA’s Ray pointed out.
“One would have thought they’d double down on HR, but (marketing) appears to be their long-term growth path,” Wang agreed. “It’s concerning for users who may not want to be marketed to, but this appears to be where the balance will be struck between individual privacy and network marketing.”