LinkedIn to Discontinue Ad Platform
LinkedIn’s fledgling ad network has turned out to be a very short-lived and costly venture. The company recently announced its plans to abandon the advertising platform known as Lead Accelerator, which was just launched a year ago.
Lead Accelerator seemed to be the product LinkedIn hoped to use to jumpstart its growing B2B focus, generated by its 2014 acquisition of Bizo. However, reaction to the service proved to be disappointing, at least after the first introductory phase had passed.
“While initial demand was solid, the product required more resources than anticipated to scale,” Steve Sordello, LinkedIn CFO admitted in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings statement.
Sordello said the company plans to phase out Lead Accelerator by summer, and incorporate key technology aspects of it into Sponsored Content throughout the rest of the year. It’s an expensive move, one that Sordello estimated would translate to an estimated $50 million of lost potential revenue. Still, he said company leaders felt it was the smartest decision in the long-term.
This signifies a shift toward a direction that LinkedIn views as much more viable and potentially lucrative. “Sponsored Content is our fastest growing and most profitable ad product, so we will increasingly focus our efforts here to scale our B2B capability in the fastest, most sustainable way,” Sordello said.
Obviously, this means that B2B marketers who had incorporated LinkedIn ad campaigns into the plan for 2016 will now need to adjust their strategy. Given LinkedIn’s intentions to put a heavy emphasis on Sponsored Content, that would make sense as the first option marketers would want to consider.
This somewhat surprising news from LinkedIn illustrates the importance of choosing a digital marketing agency such as KEO Marketing that can respond quickly to unexpected circumstances, and immediately react to make necessary adjustments.