When LinkedIn and Microsoft announced their merger last month, the biggest number most people thought about was the $26 Billion buyout price. This was after all one of the largest tech purchases in history.
Furthermore, it was the largest purchase of a social network to date. It even surpassed Facebook’s $19 Billion purchase of WhatsApp. While that purchase was a disaster waiting to happen, the LinkedIn-Microsoft merger shows more promise.
Microsoft is the worldwide leading supplier of office software. Linkedin is the largest business social network in the world. Consider this, Microsoft created PowerPoint presentations software. LinkedIn owns SlideShare, which makes PowerPoints accessible online.
The congruency however is even more powerful when you consider how much this could affect the LinkedIn ad market.
Combined, Microsoft and LinkedIn are unrivaled in business intelligence data. That can only mean more targeted ad data for those interested in marketing across the multiple channels.
Below we discuss the benefits of this potential merger, so you can see how LinkedIn and Microsoft advertising might change in the near future.
The benefits of LinkedIn and Microsoft on LinkedIn Ads
- Data, data, data- As we mentioned earlier, the data potential here is enormous. How would this work? Let’s consider one aspect of Microsoft’s business: Azure Cloud.
Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform helps developers build mobile and web apps for Microsoft products across the cloud.
The challenge according to David Pann, Bings General Manager 2014 is they are not sure how to monetize the business intelligence they receive from Azure.
Yet, this business intelligence could be invaluable on LinkedIn. 14% of LinkedIn users are in IT. By knowing what developers are doing on both platforms, you can then help advertisers market to them in a specific and targeted method.
In essence, combine the reach of 433 million LinkedIn users and the ever-growing data that Microsoft receives when users search Bing through Cortana, log into Office 360 enterprise products, and use the various services at their disposal.
This is where you can see how the data can trigger an explosion in targeted marketing on LinkedIn. It can be immense, and useful for any company that wants to mine it for detailed stats and figures to market their business across Microsoft and LinkedIn’s platforms.
- Microsoft and LinkedIn complement each other– We mentioned the WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook earlier. While the messaging app doubled its user base worldwide from 450 to 800 million in the past three years, the acquisition continually loses money for Facebook.
While it is early to tell, it could be a big black mark for Mark Zuckerberg.
However, Microsoft and LinkedIn fit much better than Facebook and WhatsApp. Microsoft provides software, cloud services, and search results to their user base. LinkedIn provides a social network where business professionals can get together.
When all is said and done this means, users now have the ability to spend more time on the unified company. Plus, it helps Microsoft finally get a foothold in social media. They were late to the game, and lost a lot of ground to Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
The only major acquisition in this space they made so far was Yammer, the business messaging tool. Not exactly stellar progress.
However, now users can do crossover ad campaigns between Bing and LinkedIn. Both had stellar growth last year, and can do even more when working together to find prospects across multiple platforms.
- Mobile– Microsoft has wanted mobile ad traffic for years. However, the failure of the Windows phone and Yahoo deal thwarted them from finding a solid partner for mobile ads.
LinkedIn has a strong mobile app with close to a 100 million users between the Apple store and Google Play.
This allows users to get even more mobile time with the business pair. With the increase in mobile searches, it is important to have a strong mobile ad presence. Combining LinkedIn and Microsoft does this for both companies.
This is an exciting development for B2B companies looking to expand their reach and improve the quality of their ads. Both companies complement each other well, and show the potential to make more together than the sum of their pieces.
Time will tell, but right now it looks like a great match. The key is to ensure that you have the best targeting data available from the combined companies. It is exciting to think what Microsoft and LinkedIn can do together with an improved LinkedIn Ads product.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can benefit from LinkedIn advertising, feel free to reach out to Shout for a FREE consultation.