Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - Page 13 News List

LinkedIn sees marketing drive as US$1bn business


LinkedIn Corp plans to make a US$1 billion business out of its marketing solutions product by 2017, propelled by its planned acquisition of Bizo Inc, it said in an internal document obtained by reporters.

LinkedIn, which said last month that it would acquire business-marketing startup Bizo for about US$175 million, detailed its expansion plans in an internal document obtained on Friday by Bloomberg News. Bizo makes tools to help marketers pitch their potential customers. The acquisition has not closed.

The professional social-networking service, which is working to ramp up revenue growth, estimates that there is a US$50 billion opportunity to sell tools that help companies market to other firms, the document said. LinkedIn is beefing up offerings that help businesses find customers and build relationships through e-mail, advertising and sharing content. Revenue from marketing solutions in the second quarter was US$106 million, up 44 percent from the prior year.

LinkedIn said in the document that it is building a broad range of tools to help businesses with their marketing, even as competitors are focused on narrower solutions.

The company also plans to discontinue Bizo’s data solutions unit, which identifies and tracks sales prospects, shortly after the transaction closes, the document said.

The document says LinkedIn is interested in Bizo’s products that target business customers by paying to promote content they might be interested in, or by displaying advertising.

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