Evolving Our Marketing Solutions Product Strategy

February 8, 2016

By now you may have heard that we’re evolving our Marketing Solutions product portfolio, and you may be wondering what this could mean for you. Here at LinkedIn, creating value for our members and customers is our true north. We work hard to measure how we’re delivering value and then adjust course when we see opportunities to deliver even more. With this in mind we decided to make some changes to our product strategy, specifically as it relates to our Network Display and Lead Accelerator products.

I wanted to shed light on the decisions and what the near-term changes mean for our customers and partners. In summary, Network Display and Lead Accelerator will be retired as standalone products this year while the key benefits and capabilities of Lead Accelerator will be integrated into our core campaign management platform. We will continue to support all customers with current investments in these products through the migration.

What’s changing and why

When we introduced Network Display and Lead Accelerator as part our Marketing Solutions portfolio last year, our goal was to extend our portfolio into an integrated marketing platform. We aimed to add new capabilities that enhance how we help our customers reach audiences, nurture prospects, acquire customers and measure success. This strategic focus remains, and we believe we have all of the needed assets to help our clients achieve a wide range of meaningful results for their businesses.

Over the past year, many customers have found great success with these two products as core parts of their program mix. Specifically, they are using Lead Accelerator to reach high value prospect audiences and to extend their marketing automation programs on LinkedIn and across the Web with relevant content and retargeted ads. In the case of Network Display, they are extending LinkedIn audience targeting beyond LinkedIn.com with display ads.

We also learned a few important things: first, our native and mobile-friendly ad formats such as Sponsored Content were typically far more valuable for customers than Network Display ads because of their contextual and multi-channel relevance. Second, there were clear limitations to offering two platforms, and Lead Accelerator customers found it challenging to access different platforms to manage their Lead Accelerator and Sponsored Content programs.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to use and to get extraordinary value from our ad products. We faced a key question - how do we continue to provide the cutting-edge capabilities of Lead Accelerator while doubling down on our Sponsored Content offering given the additional value we can drive through focused innovation here? We determined that in order to attain these goals and scale to the millions of customers we want to support, we had to bring these capabilities together and simplify the experience for everyone.  

What’s next

We will deliver a single, unified advertising platform, where customers will access all of their LinkedIn programs. We will take the best of Lead Accelerator and integrate those capabilities with our Campaign Manager platform which supports Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads and other LinkedIn ad products. We will also continue to invest in helping clients reach valuable LinkedIn audiences offsite with a focus on native ad formats and mobile. Additionally, we will deliver centralized reporting and APIs, giving customers and partners better visibility into their investments with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

The near-term success of our customers remains paramount, so as we roll out key features into our Campaign Manager, we will continue to support the stand-alone Lead Accelerator platform until the end of the year. We will work closely with customers to create a smooth migration, taking their feedback along the way.

We look forward to partnering with you through these changes, and we are excited for this evolution that is guided by delivering increasing value to our customers in a scalable way for years to come. If I can ever be helpful to you as a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions customer and partner, please reach out to me on LinkedIn.