Power move from the software giant Microsoft, jumping neck deep into the social media platform waters. Did I see it coming? To be honest no, but what matters more to me is how I see this going forwards, how it will impact my business and more importantly, how it will affect my client’s businesses.
First off let’s take a closer look at the deal itself
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) will buy LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N) for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal, marking CEO Satya Nadella’s first big effort to breathe new life into the software giant’s business-productivity tools.
By connecting core software like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint with LinkedIn’s network of 433 million professionals, the deal marks a turn for Microsoft, which stumbled in a mobile phone venture launched under Nadella’s predecessor. It also aims to take on challengers in several areas.
The deal could help keep services like Outlook email relevant enough that customers won’t want to leave it for rivals such as Google’s Gmail, analysts said. And because the acquisition brings a network heavy in marketing and sales professionals, it delivers a shot across the bow to competitors in those areas, such as Salesforce (CRM.N) and Marketo (MKTO.O).
For LinkedIn, the opportunity to tap Microsoft’s customers, including the 1.2 billion users of its Office suite of business software, could help it jumpstart growth, which has slowed in recent quarters.
“LinkedIn and Microsoft really share a mission” of helping people work more efficiently, said Microsoft CEO Nadella in a conference call with analysts. “There is no better way to realize that mission than to connect the world’s professionals.”
As you can see there is a great benefit for both sides. Microsoft adds to the relevancy of its office suite products, helping it stand its ground against the user migrating to other services. Linkedin is made up of working professionals so this really is a target market for products like Word and PowerPoint.
The move really does align the two companies mission of helping professionals increase productivity and efficiency.
Smarter Solutions To Increase Productivity
As a basis of comparison, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion 10 years ago. Facebook ultimately paid $715 million for Instagram back in 2012 and most notably bought WhatsApp two years ago for a sizable $19 billion. This new deal between Microsoft and LinkedIn not only surpasses those three examples, but there is also that big gulf between this purchase and the tech giant’s second biggest acquisition to date — its $8.5 billion purchase of Skype in 2011.
Scott Denne, a research analyst at 451 Research, says “by acquiring LinkedIn, Microsoft believes it can leverage the world’s most used business network to basically drive usage of its already widely used apps for business professionals.” But since Windows isn’t the monopoly it once was, Denne says that “Microsoft can’t rely on that to secure the future of its office products,” so it makes sense that Microsoft is moving to integrate LinkedIn with those enterprise applications, and use that information to power business-to-business sales and marketing.
Nina’s article details the importance of Microsoft integrating with the professional platform Linkedin and how it will use this connection to increase its product exposure and availability.
It also gives you an idea of how big this deal actually is
The video below from the Official Microsoft YouTube Channel captures Satya Nardella’s excitement and ambition behind the purchase and what it means to Microsoft.
So How Does The Relate To You and Your Business?
This will have nothing but a benefit for you and your business. If you are a current Microsoft Office Suite user, and a have a Linkedin account then potentially you could see some interesting integrations between the two.
What we need more of in this modern day war-zone we call business, is the ability to streamline processes. As busy, business professionals, it’s important to have systems in place to increase our productivity and minimize the amount of “manual” work required.
How This Changes Advertising
This will have a significant impact on how Bing ads will perform. The positive thing about Bing is that the cost to generate a lead is significantly lower than Google. The only real problem is that there wasn’t enough traffic volume being produced, which is the main reason why companies dismiss it.
But with this deal, it will allow Microsoft to dominate in an industry that is growing exponentially every year, which is the B2B (Business to Business).
Linkedin is the top platform for B2B interaction. If we combine Linkedin’s targeting options and Bing Ads management we have the potential for a very strong marketing strategy.
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