LinkedIn released an account-based marketing campaign tool today for customers of its Sponsored Updates and Sponsored InMail. 

LinkedIn is combining the new feature — called LinkedIn Account Targeting — with its profile targeting to help marketers talk to the right personas within the accounts that matter most to them, company representatives said.

"Sponsored Updates and Sponsored InMail campaigns allow marketers to send highly relevant content and messages to professionals that matter most to their business," Lindsey Edwards, senior product manager for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, told CMSWire. 

"Our new feature allows marketers to get even more out of their content marketing strategy by creating audience groups on our platform that they can then target with highly specific and relevant messages."

Bouncing Back

LinkedIn's coming off some not-so-great news for its Marketing Solutions, one of three product lines for the Mountain View, Calif.-based professional social network: Talent Solutions and Premium Subs, which includes Sales Solutions, are the others.

LinkedIn early last month announced it had to dump the B2B ad targeting platform it acquired from Bizo for $175 million in 2014. LinkedIn admitted it failed to accurately forecast the resources required to scale the platform. 

However, it’s not all bad news for LinkedIn’s marketing tech.

Marketing Solutions accounted for $581 million in 2015, an increase of 28 percent from the year before. LinkedIn has visions of that number nearly doubling to $1 billion by 2017.

And today, it’s up and running with account targeting.

The new account-based marketing tool will serve customers that target a list of priority accounts they’d like to engage on LinkedIn using LinkedIn's advertising products. LinkedIn's then cross-references the list against the more than 8 million LinkedIn company pages to create an account target segment based on this match.  

"Prior to this launch, customers were able to target up to 100 companies, but had to do so through a very manual process," Edwards said. "As a result of this launch, customers are now able to expand their targeting to up to 30,000 accounts. Once we’ve identified the companies we have in common, we create a new targeting segment specific to our customers’ area of interest, which they can then target with Sponsored Updates and/or Sponsored InMail."

screenshot of linkedin marketing

Edwards added that additional member-provided profile information can be combined with the account list to ensure marketers are getting their content and message in front of the most appropriate people to receive that information. 

"A typical user would be a company that is looking to target specific accounts and individuals through account-based marketing," she said. 

ABM Investment

lindsey edwards

Investors are believers in account-based marketing (ABM). Demandbase last year found a $30 million believer in its B2B ABM platform. Sageview Capital led the growth equity financing round, which brought Demandbase's total funding to more than $90 million.

In its State of Account-based Marketing Study in 2015, SiriusDecisions reported 92 percent of B2B organizations saw ABM as extremely or very important to their marketing initiatives. And 60 percent planned to invest in it in the next year. 

"We define account-based marketing as a strategic way for marketers to engage with their key accounts," Edwards said. 

"It brings sales and marketing teams together to target companies which sales has identified as priority accounts. Marketers then use account-based marketing to drive new business, upsell existing customers and re-engage old accounts. Depending on the account lifecycle, they are able to tailor specific messaging to their target audience at the right time."