18 months after the Bizo acquisition, following the launch of LinkedIn Lead Accelerator (LLA) and LinkedIn Network Display, LinkedIn has chosen to shift its strategy. LinkedIn will no longer accept new Lead Accelerator or Network Display clients after March 31st and will sunset the program at the end of the year. Past Bizo team members have begun to eulogize the loss of what they built.
At the same time, LinkedIn is expanding its Sponsored Updates capabilities to better target accounts (ABM is so hot right now!). LinkedIn is expected this month to offer bulk upload capabilities. Advertisers on LinkedIn will be able to upload a database of companies to target using LinkedIn Sponsor Updates. This will significantly streamline the process of creating targeted-account campaigns as LinkedIn initially limited campaigns to 100 accounts.
Reading the tea leaves, LinkedIn’s changes are generally a good sign for advertisers. Shareholders may not be excited about the $50 million write down, but online marketers should be. LinkedIn has signaled they plan to focus their efforts on the self-serve platform, incorporating much of LLA’s features. This is superb news as advertisers will have more, direct control and greater options for targeting.
LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates have performed remarkably over the last couple years for Obility clients. Any expansion of targeting options where the advertiser maintains control is welcome.