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A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.

Think of it as a giant email append, combined with paid search/display and native ads. It does take a bit of interpretation to see what impact Microsoft buying LinkedIn will have on marketers, but not too much.

News came through this morning that Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for a truly staggering sum of money, more than Microsoft has paid for any of its other acquisitions: $26.2 billion. And with that, the first of The Big Three social networks — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — has given in to the pre-social business world. What does this mean for marketers? The news just came through the wire, but here are three instant observations:

B-to-B marketers and LinkedIn are seemingly inseparable. So Wednesday’s news from Mashable, “LinkedIn's New Facebook-like App Arrives on iOS and Android,” was greeted with a bit of excitement.

I approached my employees and asked them how they'd feel if I asked them to revise their profiles and use "brand language" that I provided. For many, they felt the request was invasive, and it indicated that I was too controlling (there's a shocker). But if one of my company's goals is to present a unified brand front in every channel, how much responsibility should an employee take towards supporting that objective?

On Wednesday, LinkedIn made it official: It’s in the advertising business. The business-centric social network still reaps the majority of its revenue from recruitment-related products, but that majority should dwindle as LinkedIn blows open its ad platform. That’s because the company is rolling out a program for marketing firms to build out tools to manage LinkedIn ad campaigns for brands. An ads API sounds pretty wonky, so let’s break down what this news means. Until now, advertisers had to log in to LinkedIn’s self-serve platform to run campaigns on the platform, which gives marketers control over their campaigns but doesn’t

LinkedIn is sometimes forgotten in the huge shadow of Facebook, but it has managed to carve out a distinct niche as a professional network—and even beat Facebook to public stock status last year. It has also crafted a business model that, unlike many websites, even social networks, doesn’t depend chiefly on advertising. In its fourth quarter, its $168 million in revenues included $85 million from hiring solutions, $33 million in premium subscriptions and $50 million in marketing solutions (advertising). Will ads, the slowest-growing part of the business at 77 percent growth from last year, become a bigger part of …

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