Why Marketers Should Get Excited About Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn

December 16, 2016

Last week, Microsoft announced that it had closed its acquisition of LinkedIn. I wanted to share a bit about what I think this deal means for digital marketers.

Six months ago, when Microsoft announced its intention to acquire LinkedIn, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, and Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s CEO, identified many benefits from the deal. At the time, Nadella said that the combination of LinkedIn’s network, Office 365, and Dynamics would make possible, for example, “a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on.”

And Weiner said that joining with Microsoft would enable LinkedIn to realize its mission faster. “We will continue,” he wrote at the time, “to help our customers hire top talent, market their brand, and sell to their customers.”

After the deal officially closed last week, both Nadella and Weiner identified specific products that Microsoft and LinkedIn would integrate to deliver value for the business world. They mentioned, for instance, integrating LinkedIn Learning in the Office 365 ecosystem and redefining social selling through the combination of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365.

What the deal means for marketers

On the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions product team that I lead, all of us are excited by these possibilities. But we are particularly thrilled by the opportunity to do even more to help marketers communicate with their customers.

We have an exciting product roadmap for our Marketing Solutions products next year, which features LinkedIn Sponsored Content, LinkedIn Sponsored InMail and other tools to help marketers communicate with their customers. Now that LinkedIn is part of Microsoft, we are also making plans together. We remain committed to building the best B2B marketing platform the world has ever seen. Over the next many months, marketers will see a continually improving product unfold, but today I want to focus on the area we’ll be working on first.

Both Nadella and Weiner mentioned that the combination of LinkedIn and Microsoft would extend the reach of LinkedIn Sponsored Content across Microsoft properties. Specifically, we see a huge opportunity to expand the reach of Sponsored Content beyond the LinkedIn platform to reach audiences on Microsoft’s web properties.  We are excited about the potential to allow marketers to use LinkedIn’s targeting to serve targeted and relevant Sponsored Content to professionals as they read content on engaging sites like MSN.com or Outlook.com. This will allow marketers to continue to target the unique LinkedIn professional audiences, but now they will be able to reach our members who aren’t using LinkedIn every day.

Integrating LinkedIn Sponsored Content with MSN.com and Outlook.com is just the beginning. More opportunities to help marketers reach their target audience at scale are in the pipeline, and we’ll be releasing them throughout the year.  

We’re excited to bring these advances to you, and think you’ll be excited to use them!

For more detailed information on how to use LinkedIn Sponsored content right now, download the guide, "Laser Focus: 10 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Sponsored Content," today.