By Kendra Barnett | Senior Reporter

June 7, 2023 | 5 min read

The professional networking platform today published new B2B research and rolled out a handful of B2B tools, including generative AI ad copy features. A flashy campaign from Ryan Reynolds’s Maximum Effort spotlights the products.

New LinkedIn research finds that 76% of B2B chief marketing officers feel pressure to prove short-term returns on investment, and seven in 10 B2B marketers say that their marketing budget is focused on generating new business.

These and other data points paint a picture of an industry under increasing pressure in LinkedIn’s inaugural B2B Marketing Benchmark study, published today.

To help B2B marketers drive the bottom line and grow their business, the networking platform is debuting a suite of new marketing products and services. The updates include new ad formats, including in-stream video ads, inbox-placed ‘conversation ads’ as well as ‘thought leader ads,’ whereby content from executives or other employees is boosted. The new ad formats will be available beginning in July.

Plus, to aid in copywriting, LinkedIn is rolling out a new ad copy suggestion tool powered by generative artificial intelligence. It’s a key focus for the platform: LinkedIn has witnessed a 142% surge in AI-related posts in recent months, many of which indicate growing interest from B2B marketers. And according to the company’s research, nearly 8 in 10 B2B marketers plan to increase their use of generative AI – to help drive efficiency, produce more content at speed and put out content that resonates deeply with target audiences.

Additional features include an API for audience insights designed for agency partners, the ability for users to message a brand page on LinkedIn and a new ‘CMO Scorecard’ to help evidence the overall impact of paid brand activities.

To promote the new B2B tools, LinkedIn teamed up with Ryan Reynolds’ creative agency and production firm Maximum Effort on a multichannel campaign starring Olympic medalist and figure skating legend Nancy Kerrigan.

In a 30-second spot, Kerrigan is seen endorsing ‘CRM Solutions Software’ cereal in a TV ad – to the frustration of a viewer, who can’t understand if the product will help with user adoption or support interoperability with his existing database. A dancing panda doesn’t quell his concerns. While a cereal commercial won’t help a B2B marketer sell his CRM software, LinkedIn ads will. The spot closes with the tagline: “With 70 million decision-makers, LinkedIn is the place to B2B.”

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The concept, according to a statement from the brand, was to offer “a comedic spin on some of the common ad tropes seen in B2C advertisements,” like “featuring a celebrated spokesperson on a cereal box, cute talking mascots” and more.

The campaign also includes placements across digital and social – and will feature out-of-home creative at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this month.

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