Will Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn be good for marketers?

Will Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn be good for marketers?

Microsoft has just announced that it will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The deal seems to fit with Microsoft’s mission to be a “productivity and platform company for a mobile first and cloud-first world.” LinkedIn has some impressive stats to support this:

  • 433 million members worldwide
  • 105 million unique visits per month
  • 60% of LinkedIn’s members access the social network via a mobile device.
  • 7 million active job listings (a 101% year-on-year growth)

Add to these statistics the fact that LinkedIn has built itself up to be a very strong publishing platform with leading minds in the business world sharing their thought leadership, and the deal looks like a solid one. Although it is a huge figure, what I found interesting was the cost per member. $26.2 billion divided by the 433 million members works out at just over $6 (£4.20) per member.

The ambitious Weiner

The ability to sponsor content from LinkedIn, across the whole Microsoft network would be hugely appealing from a marketing perspective. As would improved ‘social selling’ solutions using the wider combined pool of data and analytics. But if Microsoft is able to develop natural feeling integrations between LinkedIn and their own solutions such as Bing, Outlook and Dynamics CRM, then there could be potential for real innovation. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner seems to feel the same as he said in a statement that, “this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works.”

We will be watching with interest.