Understanding LinkedIn's recent acquisition of Bizo starts with a reminder that the B2B sales cycle as we know it has changed for good. As more buyers today operate within the "hidden sales cycle"—that time and space between direct marketing touches or sales calls where they are in control—B2B marketers are challenged to keep their brand seen and heard.
LinkedIn's decision to acquire Bizo is a clear signal that the social media juggernaut is strongly invested in bolstering its position as a marketing solutions provider. More broadly, it signals a growing trend in the B2B marketing world towards strategic, programmatic digital advertising.
Here are three observations I had about this new partnership.
1. It's a powerful connection between programmatic and the profile
The acquisition brings together the automated campaign and data-management experience of Bizo with the premium publishing and extensive business audience of LinkedIn.
Every business professional I know has a profile on LinkedIn filled with an accurate depiction of our expertise and experience. That has given LinkedIn a strong foothold in the talent acquisition space as we use LinkedIn as our default contact list and professional networking tool.
Now, it seems LinkedIn is using those strengths to connect B2B companies with their target audience—in a highly reliable manner. Bizo's programmatic digital advertising platform already has LinkedIn's inventory built in via API, and its data-management platform (DMP) is oriented towards modern nurture marketing.
Moreover, LinkedIn strengthens Bizo's targeting capabilities by being a type of Rosetta Stone for the professional identity.