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On Wednesday night, professional social networking site LinkedIn is going public. Investors will be able to snap up shares in the company for between $42 and $45 as it finally floats on the New York Stock Exchange.
That’s a pretty impressive figure, particularly for an established site that trails some way behind Facebook, the recognised market leader with over 600 million users. However LinkedIn does have a unique proposition that sets it apart from most other social media providers, as it is strictly a network for professionals. This gives it an inherent value; however, whether that equates to $4 billion worth of value remains to be seen.
Following the rigmarole that surrounded the IPO of Demand Media, which ended up being valued at around $1.5 billion, it appears that interest in LinkedIn is reasonably high. In fact so much so that they have raised the cost of the shares, from around $32 or $35 to $45. That’s a pretty big jump, especially for a company that is on the verge of going public.
This clearly indicates that there is still huge demand from investors seeking to own a part of online businesses. It’s hardly surprising either, as the numbers appear to show that LinkedIn is a company with significant potential.
The Wall Street Journal reports that net income rose by 14.1% in the first quarter of this year alone – to around $2.1 million. It also appears to have turned a corner in terms of its financing, having made a solid $15.4 million last year, after recording a loss of $4 million in 2009. This is largely due to the display advertising it features as well as the swelling membership, which now stands at around 100 million.
Whether LinkedIn is inflated at $4 billion or Skype is hugely overpriced with the $8.5 billion Microsoft splashed out remains to be seen. However interest in Internet-based businesses appears to be higher than ever before, with valuations seemingly reflecting this. Perhaps we are on the verge of another great bubble, or maybe they’ll prove to be great investments that continue to add value. Only time will tell.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.