Is Microsoft’s Purchase of LinkedIn an Account-Based Marketing Game Changer?

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

What does Microsoft want with LinkedIn and what does that mean for account-based marketing? Learn more inside.

Recently, Microsoft announced its acquisition of LinkedIn, and the tech industry met the news with a mix of shock, excitement and bewilderment.

In his email to employees, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, explained that the common mission of LinkedIn and Microsoft is “empowering people and organizations.”

For years, LinkedIn has been considered a mainstay in the professional networking world and has proven to be one of the most powerful tools available to contemporary companies.

Microsoft has been synonymous with forward-thinking technology and enterprise solutions for decades. One can readily see how this new partnership has the potential to bring amazing things into the modern business world. 

Related Article:Find a New Approach: Rethink Your LinkedIn Marketing and Social Selling Approach

Creating Cohesive Networking Solutions

One of the key goals Nadella mentions in his letter is that the synergy of Office 365 and LinkedIn will allow more precisely targeted ads and articles that are relevant to each individual’s projects, goals, and contact networks. LinkedIn users have enjoyed an intuitive platform for connecting with other professionals, and now this platform comes with the back-end support of the Microsoft powerhouse. 

Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, explained in his own letter to his company that the economic world faces many challenges and those hurdles are going to become more prevalent and impactful on society in the not-too-distant future. Today’s businesses are contending with unemployment, socioeconomic disparity, and employee displacement. Weiner believes that “creating economic opportunity will be the defining issue of our time,” and few could dispute that claim. 

LinkedIn has been committed to helping the world’s professionals connect with one another and develop meaningful relationships, fostering economic growth through these partnerships. The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft allows this vision to continue without the threat of economic downturn hamstringing its efforts and grants the social platform more flexibility in its future investments and growth.

Related Article:4 Secret Ingredients For LinkedIn Content Marketing Success

Account-Based Marketing and Sponsored Content

One of the most meaningful effects of this acquisition is a new way to perform Business-to-Business Account-Based Marketing (B2B ABM). This type of ABM is part of a larger trend in the business world, where many companies are dedicating staff to ABM management. ABM has taken off dramatically in recent years, and now more than 70 percent of B2B companies are committing staff to ABM services and programs.

ABM allows more tailored marketing efforts that reach the most likely customers in meaningful ways. This approach to B2B marketing also generates more leads since it’s more precisely targeted. 

The LinkedIn acquisition heralds a new way for B2B marketers to reach their leads and potential clients in several ways:

  • Sponsored updates in the Office 365 suite specifically Outlook. Now, sponsored content customers will have access to the entirety of Microsoft’s user base. 
  • ABM in Bing Ads. B2B marketers will be able to upload their account lists into Bing for more precisely targeted ads.
  • Bing Ads retargeting. The LinkedIn Lead Accelerator will allow Bing Ads to compete more heartily with Google Ads when it comes to ad retargeting. 

LinkedIn will now be able to drive engagement among users over Microsoft’s billion-strong user base. The tested and reliable networking features of LinkedIn will now be interwoven into the suite of Microsoft Office software and apps, such as Windows, Outlook, Skype, Cortana and Bing. Sponsored content customers will now be able to achieve more meaningful interactions with the right people faster.

Related Article:Beyond Job Search: LinkedIn as a Tool for Building Relationships

ABM in the Future 

ABM isn’t going anywhere. In fact, LinkedIn’s acquisition points to it becoming even more of an economic mainstay for years to come. The functionality of LinkedIn over the entirety of Microsoft’s network means that the company will be able to create a more widespread opportunity for meaningful economic developments. In essence, it’s giving users all the tools they’ll need to connect with the right partners at the right time.

Recruitment and developing partnerships between business professionals will be easier than ever with more focused and relevant ABM through this acquisition. The modern working world is more flexible and agile than ever before, and more young professionals are opting for flexibility and freedom over compensation and benefits when it comes to choosing a workplace.

LinkedIn has been a valuable tool for independent contractors and freelancers for years, and integration with the Microsoft user base means that top talent can be found and retained far more easily. 

With Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, one of the most powerful and reliable networking tools in the business world just became part of one of the biggest technology giants on Earth. B2B marketers, in particular, have ample opportunity ahead of them and this announcement is a game-changer for the world of ABM.

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