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This year marketers saw several targeting options disappear from Facebook after the barrage of privacy concerns enveloping the platform. One of those options was the demographic work category, including targeting employer and job title targeting. This was beneficial to companies targeting in the B2B space, and also allowed companies to exclude their competitors from receiving advertisements.

All is not lost in this demographic category though. Thanks to the Microsoft umbrella, Bing Ads is now the only advertising platform to capitalize on LinkedIn data. Advertisers can use information from LinkedIn profiles for most of Bing’s products, including text ads, shopping ads, and audiences. Specifically, marketers can now utilize company, job function, and industry data from users’ profiles to set targeting. For example, if you were Grip Clean, a company that produces natural industrial hand soap to cut grease, oil, and paint, you could target people who worked at Goodyear, or Mechanic or Painter job titles, or the automotive industry as a whole.

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Following Facebook’s initial lead, Bing will eventually offer exclusion capability, but right now is limited to bid-only. However, the data is possibily more valuable than what Facebook used to offer, because LinkedIn users are more motivated to keep their profiles accurate and up-to-date than Facebook users are with their job information, which makes targeting capabilities much more accurate.

For marketers, this means a lot of data. LinkedIn has over 575 million users. And thanks to the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN), advertisers can also use that data to display ads on exclusive real estate- MSN.com, Microsoft Outlook, and the Microsoft Edge browser. This is a major win for B2B advertisers, as well as Bing itself, who is in an ongoing uphill battle to prove itself against Google.

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From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to think about:

  • If you were a marketing manager at Google, what would be your response?
  • There are clear applications for B2B companies. If you were a marketing manager for a B2C company, how could you use Bing’s new LinkedIn targeting?