LinkedIn’s new data-led product suite will have a big impact on online advertising for the B2B sector, writes Starcom MediaVest Group's Liam Brennan.
These new products follow in the footsteps of recent developments at Facebook where user login data is being used to usher in a new era of addressable media – both in terms of paid media targeting and the creation of tools that help fuel better audience understanding.
Not only are these new products revolutionary for B2B marketers and agencies, but they are also incredibly valuable for brands that target the higher net worth individual.
A new deterministic paid media opportunity
The product that will be of immediate interest to agencies and advertisers will be LinkedIn’s Network Display. Like Facebook’s Atlas proposition, it uses both user login data, in addition to other identifiers (such as job title, industry, education background etc) to target the 330m+ LinkedIn users outside of the platform.
Whereas other ad networks use more probabilistic targeting methods in order to reach certain audience segments, Facebook and LinkedIn use ‘real’ deterministic data to ensure the right consumers are targeted – ensuring less media wastage and better message resonance.
While B2B brands will find this targeting appealing, it will be brands targeting higher net worth individuals who will best benefit from this accurate targeting.
By setting targeting parameters by job title, and/or within specific industries, advertisers from sectors such as automotive, luxury, and travel will be able to better target individuals with high disposable incomes across the internet.
The usual go-to solution for reaching this audience is to advertise with business-minded newspapers and luxury titles, who often carry a high CPM due to limited availability.
The product may also open the doors to ultra high net worth advertisers to embrace online advertising. These advertisers often avoid digital media due to the high levels of wastage associated with broad online publications (compared with their print counterparts).
Moving beyond paid media
I feel the most exciting product in the suite is LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator. This tool, placed on the advertiser’s website, allows the marketing team to find out more about those who are visiting the brand’s site (based on LinkedIn login data).
These LinkedIn visitors can then be re-targeted – both on the platform and beyond using the aforementioned Network Display product.
Not only is Lead Accelerator a powerful retargeting tool, it is also one that can help advertisers close the loop through more efficient media buying – using improved audience understanding to inform new targeting parameters and site selection.
Importantly, this information can be used to benefit more creative endeavours – allowing brands to tailoring website content (and other content) to key audience segments, and inform creative messaging across online, ATL and direct comms.
The era of ‘big data’ and ‘media addressability’ is not just about using data to inform better media targeting, but also one where data is used to understand people.
From that, we can inform all areas of marketing – media, content and beyond.
A win for brands, agencies and LinkedIn
Brands that focus on businesses and high net worth individuals are the big winners from LinkedIn’s new product suite. There are now more ways to reach their audience online, and find our more about their audience in the process.
And LinkedIn will be a much bigger player in the US$1bn B2B marketing industry – monetising its data at scale via the creation of new ad products.
In 2015, agencies are no longer seeing digital media owners as paid display advertising platforms. Tech and data based products are the new commodities.
Liam Brennan is digital strategy director at Starcom MediaVest Group. He tweets @LCBrennan