At the end of July, LinkedIn announced that it will be acquiring Bizo for $175 million. Bizo is a marketing tool for B2B marketers, providing full-funnel marketing and data solutions. This acquisition has not been on the front page along with other hot ticket corporate deals, but this transaction is still expected to bring about a lot of change for LinkedIn and digital marketers.
LinkedIn currently has more than 300 million users and its ad revenue grew by 36 percent in 2013. This is how things stand without LinkedIn engaging in a major advertising solution push, which it is about to do with the help of Bizo’s proprietary technology. Get ready for the new digital marketing stage.
Most of LinkedIn’s ad revenue is generated by display ads and increasingly popular sponsored updates, but Bizo has the potential to open that up. LinkedIn can “cookie” users that are exposed to its current ads and then use Bizo’s data along with it to be able to follow users outside of LinkedIn. Using Bizo’s data network, LinkedIn can serve ads to its users as they browse other sites online. LinkedIn has already begun doing something similar, but the current method is expensive and limits it only to the Google Display Network.
In addition to allowing LinkedIn to advertise on other sites, the Bizo acquisition is poised to increase the value of LinkedIn’s online real estate. Facebook and Twitter have long since relied on outside data to properly target ads on their platforms and LinkedIn is about to follow suit. Bizo’s business audience data makes it possible to serve more relevant ads directly on LinkedIn.
Bizo has also developed a marketing automation solution that addresses the challenges of traditional marketing automation (like using a single-channel approach and serving ads across various devices). By adding display as a delivery tool to target random visitors, Bizo allows you to reach a larger audience than the traditional automated methods. In return, it is rumored that Bizo will have access to LinkedIn as a direct source of inventory.
If you operate a B2B company, you should probably already be using LinkedIn as a marketing tool considering it’s the largest professional social network. However, it has only been the beginning, with LinkedIn poised to dominate the digital advertising market.