After this article I probably would never be working for Microsoft, (I know that dudes and dudettes at marketing intelligence see this post) but you know, frustration is way too great. By the way, I’m quite a fanboy, since my Duron PC which I overclocked so much it looked more like bulimic models in a downtown Milan than a tower PC. I just wanted to express my frustration, which I hope is shared by others. Microsoft, please stop fucking up good tools and service providers. Even there is very slim chance I go Mac (I can’t justify paying for the PC I can’t take apart) stop abandoning and slowly killing really cool tools. Skype, dead (nearly) no updates and how such poor VoIP can take so much bandwidth. But when I saw that you acquired LinkedIn ($26.2 Billion), something I cherish very greatly, Microsoft, we have a problem.
Real reasons LinkedIn was sold
LinkedIn is not making money, as they grow and experiment with growing user base, monetization is still poor. It seems that whoever is in a marketing with blue blood, for some reason it always seems to be half baked. As experimentations with inbound strategy: yes e-books were given, yes details were collected, but e-books were rushed, the design was iffy and value ratio for filling salesforce pipeline (yes, I can track what software you use too) seemed to be on a losing side for me as a user. If I wanted to read less than one thousand words of useful information, I can google an article.
Then, recent (and not the first) campaign to bring advertisers to start spending on LinkedIn with native ads. Tokens took too long to arrive, It takes 24 hours for an ad to be approved and CTR and CPM were not great if to express it politely. I would really like to share the figures, but as I was trying to log into my advertising suite all I saw was this.
I believe that slogan “create the ad in minutes” was overly optimistic. Even when it worked, closest to a published ad I got was 1440 minutes, but at least interface was intuitive enough. Either they got really bad staff cuts after the acquisition, or LinkedIn ranks you based on the benefit you can bring to the company on data linked to your account. Either way, too long. And two sponsored posts I tried got rejected. Not cool LinkedIn, not cool.
Now I am kinda new to the business, but shouldn’t being acquired by a software company help to fix technical issues? Oh.. does anyone advertise on bing? Then I was trying to submit my URL to Bing webmaster it tried so hard for me to create the account, that I start feeling sad for it and left. Do you know what is the most searched term on edge (explorer) “download chrome”? I really would not want to be in that boardroom each time “C” word is mentioned.
Real reasons Microsoft bought LinkedIn I think was to stop people sending stupid connection invitations to the very busy staff and stop recruiters headhunting their staff. I really doubt that it will receive required effort to maintain LinkedIn as the fully fledged advertising platform, not if you have to disapprove each iffy ad manually because you are afraid of your “next in command”. Can you also see “corporate” connection?
All could be different?
First of all get out, meet new people, I have not seen you anywhere out recently. In a meantime, FB is selling their AI bots for corporates (built on conversations we gave ourselves) on Web Summit. Also be more creative with your hiring, I know it’s very PC to be 50/50 company. By the way, LinkedIn is probably a single truly equal organization for men and women. Maybe sausage party Microsoft just needs some talent? Jokes aside, by trying to hire for sex just to prove the point you might forget about true reason why someone is good or great for a company. I was born in a soviet country, and one good thing about all three years before liberation was the knowledge that everyone is equal and proves themselves by skill and because you need to fill the seats.
If you can’t hire well enough literally having everyone on your database, how would someone give you money to help with hiring. And no surprise recruiters are your main retail clientele because one sex that is populating the industry is being sold by same sex in your company. Not very creative. I want you to succeed, I got immense benefits from using the platform and being preaching since the day I joined, but some good ideas rolled out by you have too short of the shelf life and disappear into oblivion. RIP company pages, publishing (at one point 2k per article), advertising. If anyone in your teams is stubborn enough to fight for good products for your platform they should fight harder. Sometimes to do good you need one of two pricks in a boardroom.