"Bing Leverages LinkedIn Data"

By: Tommy Chan, SEM Manager, Paid Search

Since Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn back in 2016, many advertisers have wondered how Microsoft-owned Bing will utilize the data. The answer is becoming clearer with Bing’s announcement that it is integrating LinkedIn data to its search platform – allowing clients to profile target users through Bing Ads. With this new targeting option, Bing Ads is looking to expand its reach into more profile-centric targeting.

The integration of LinkedIn data allows Bing advertisers to target users on the company, industry and job function level. You can layer on more than 80,000 different companies, 145 different industries or target more than 26 different job functions on the campaign or ad group level.

Why is it important?

By ad spend, Google is projected to earn 80% of total search spend in 2019, with Bing trailing at 6.6%. With the LinkedIn data integration, we believe advertisers will increase spend within Bing Ads to further test this LinkedIn profile targeting capability. We expect increased usage from verticals looking to hone in on target individuals who self-identify their industry, company or job function. While we do anticipate volume to slowly ramp up, specific verticals such as pharma and finance have the most to gain due to their historically strict usage of audience lists.

Current targeting options through the engines are based on signals available via public data, cookies and data sampling. With the introduction of LinkedIn data, marketers can now utilize self-identifying data. Rather than engines making assumptions based on touchpoints, marketers can target a subset of users who have provided information on their profession/industry. Not that we’re saying data scraping and cookie data is unreliable – in contrast, we feel adding profile targeting can only help advertisers on their journey to finding the consumers they are looking for.

So where can advertisers use this targeting?

Company Targeting:
  • B2B clients can target specific companies to sell SaaS
  • Financial services clients that want to sell business products to small businesses
Industry Targeting:
  • To target users who have shown affinity toward a specific industry
  • For brands to focus on products for a given industry
Job Function Targeting:
  • Pharmaceutical accounts can target healthcare providers for new drug offerings
  • Based on title, directional HHI qualifier allows brands to sell premier products

How will this impact advertisers?

Increased targeting options and data points can help advertisers make smarter decisions. The addition of LinkedIn data can be complementary to the current targeting – allowing users to hone in to segments that traditionally had not been identified through signals. Advertisers should look to layer these segments to test their feasibility and expand their knowledge about their consumer base.

We recommend all brands to layer on and test this new capability - it can only benefit brands as it increases the relevancy to the consumer of ads based on how they self-identify themselves. As advertisers, the more data we can incorporate into our targeting, the less guesswork is needed – which in turn helps brands reach the most relevant consumers that matter to them.