Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show

On this episode, I will be interviewing Amita Paul at LinkedIn.

Contact us at Podcast@B2Linked.com with ideas for what you’d like AJ to cover.


Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! I am really excited to introduce everyone here to Amita Paul. Amita Paul is a product manager at LinkedIn marketing solutions, who is focused specifically on the campaign manager product, which is especially exciting, I think to all of you, because this is a product that I’m sure you use every single day. So welcome Amita. Super excited to have you here.

Very excited to be here, AJ.

Fantastic. Well, tell us a little bit about LinkedIn marketing solutions, and especially about campaign manager.

Sure. The LinkedIn marketing solution is the ultimate business growth platform and our suite of tools help businesses reach, engage, and convert their professional audiences at scale. As you know, LMS is crucial for b2b marketers. More than 90% of b2b marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other platforms. And 97% of marketers use LinkedIn for their content marketing efforts. That’s 97% of b2b marketers. Wow. Yeah. And our new brand and community building tools make it really easy for marketers to connect with LinkedIn’s 645 million members. Campaign Manager is LinkedIn’s self serve platform for creating and managing advertiser ads. I’m responsible for the holistic experience of this platform.

And that is the user experience. It’s the functionality, the tools inside. I mean, this is really like the entire experience that we as advertisers play with every day, you are responsible for this.

Pretty much the holistic experience of campaign manager end to end and those specific functionalities that go into building your campaign creation flow, etc. We have multiple PMs, but my responsibility is to make sure that this experience needs the need of advertisers.

Fantastic. Well, thank you very much for all of your hard work because we’re having a fun time with your platform. Recently, just earlier this year, you rolled out the new objective based advertising that I think we’ve seen as advertisers, two different stages come out. Just barely recently, we’ve seen the new objectives get released, which is super exciting. So based off of this new redesign, tell us all about objective based advertising in general.

Sure, we are very excited about this new rehaul of our campaign manager experience. So objective based advertising is the new framework upon which LinkedIn campaign manager has been rebuilt and reconfigured. We designed this update to bring greater focus, structure, and convenience to planning and running LinkedIn ads campaign that tightly align with your business outcomes. So as you would know, like determining the objective is the first most important step in creating a successful marketing campaigns. An objective is is basically your campaign goal that it reminds the strategies, the tactics, and the key performance indicators for your marketing campaign. Setting an objective provides clarity of purpose and direction for your teams to follow and as well as for executives to like track and support. So with objective based advertising in LMS campaign manager, we have rehauled the campaign creation design to lead with objectives.

That’s great. So how does objective based advertising work in campaign manager? What’s the what’s the synergy? What’s the connection there?

Sure. So in campaign manager, an objective is the action that you would want your audience to take on your ads, right? For example, it could be like filling out a leadgen form or viewing a video or clicking through your website. It leads to basically three benefits that we see with objetive advertising one is provides an easier campaign creation flow. By identifying your advertising objectives, we streamline your campaign creation. We only show you ad formats and features that support your objectives. So for example, if your objective is brand awareness, and if you want to reach like more audience, we may not prompt you to add a conversion tracking. But on the other hand, if your objective is to get website conversion, we will make sure that you have selected conversion tracking in your campaigns. So basically, we streamline how, you know the features and formats are prompted based on the objectives that you’ve selected.

Makes total sense. Makes our job as advertisers a little bit easier.

Absolutely. Fewer options. He heard that we heard it from you. And we responded to that. The second benefit is basically maximizing results. So knowing your objective allows us to optimize your ads towards an optimization goal, to get more of the results that you care about, right? So if you really care about website visits, we’ll optimize and will make sure that most of the clicks that you receive are towards the landing page that you have set up with your creative. Along with this, we also make sure that the chargeability is tuned to your objective. So in case of website, visit website conversion, the chargeable clicks are those that actually align with your objective. So for example, landing page uses.

Makes total sense.

And finally, the third benefit we have is like, allow you to easily easily measure and track results. So in our performance reporting, we have included something called key results. So why you would have a large number of clicks and engagement with your ad formats we do want you to see up in front, what are the key results which map to your objectives again. Which helps you to easily track the outcomes you care about based on your unique objective.

Perfect. Well, I know we’ve had, I don’t know if I would call them revisions. I mean, just more of objective based advertising or OBA, we might say, has been rolling out over time. What has specifically changed with with objective based advertising? You know, both from just before when we didn’t have that, as well as you know, as things continue to roll out?

Well, as you may have heard me speak. So the objective is advertising. Your objective is front and center at every step of the way, right? We optimize your campaigns around your objective. But what I want to make it very clear is that all the features that make LinkedIn a top destination for b2b advertisers are still available. And in many cases, they are upgraded. You’ve just made them easier to find, use, and customize around the specific goals that you may have set. So if I were to like list down like the top four things that we bring in, number one would be easier, smoother navigation with snappier interface. Number two is new forecasting panel. So, I don’t know if you have experienced and you used it. But we make it very easy for you to see if for the selection that you’ve made, what kind of CTR you will expect what kind of reach you would expect in the creation flow itself. So you can experiment a little bit while you’re creating your campaign and feel more confident about it as you set them up. It shows a similar results with an existing benchmarks. We also have a very seamless live ad previews for your ad formats, which displays how your ad will look like in real time as you build it. So as you’re changing the, you know, like the copy or image or the CTA it reflects in the live at preview. And finally, we’ve redesigned the targeting experience as well.

That’s awesome. And I love the previews. I love the forecasting as well. So many things about the new redesign have really helped us out, but specifically the previews. I think, in the past we’ve seen, maybe it’s hard to see exactly what the ads gonna look like. And now I think you’ve done a really good job of letting us see what it’s going to be, which is great. So tell us a little bit about targeting specifically on on OBA. I know, you mentioned that you revamped the targeting experience. Talk to us about that.

Yeah. So as you know, like audiences are like LinkedIn audiences are very important as an advertiser’s love, b2b marketers really find the audience that they cannot find on any other platform. Yes, we did do. Audience said campaign manager is now more straightforward. Step by step process with most of the ambiguity is now removed from the equations. It’s much simpler for you to identify and find your audience. As you build your campaign, you’ll choose the language and select your audience locations. That will dictate your targeting facets. So the categories include basically company demographics, education, job experience, and interests. During the final step, you can also incorporate any of the three powerful features available through matched audiences which enable you to integrate your business data with the campaigns that you’re creating. Depending on your objectives, you may utilize one of the following. So website retargeting. If you want to reengage with the website visitors by serving them relevant ads on LinkedIn. Or you could use contact targeting so you can bring in your own contact and nurture prospects you’ve already in your system by uploading them into the contact lists. Finally account targeting, so you can reach decision makers at accounts they have identified as ideal potential customers through an ABM framework.

That was by far my most favorite. I love the account match.

So what are the objectives supported?

You know, LinkedIn is known as a great resource for you to generate leads, but we also support many top and mid funnel objectives with objective based advertising they’ve introduced brand awareness, as you will see, which will make you know if you are a B to C luxury brand or financial services firm trying to grow in unaided brand awareness among an influential audience. Or if you’re a mid size tech company wanting to increase consideration or intent of your product through storytelling videos, we have objectives, catering to those goals of you know where you are in your decision making and in your marketing cycle. So brand awareness, being in the top of funnel video views could be used both for engagement and increasing intent and consideration. And then bottom of funnel being the website conversions, legion, etc.

Wonderful. So tell me kind of about the future of campaign manager. What are you most passionate about? What are you most excited about?

So, one goal I believe that I share with most all the pms that work on you know, LinkedIn marketing solution is how Can we make our advertisers successful? So our efforts are very much directed towards that one goal, if you will, is to make businesses successful on our platform. And from my perspective as pm for campaign manager, it boils down to achieve customer experience at scale. How can I make sure that every journey that our customers have through campaign manager, whether you’re a new advertiser, or whether you have just created your first campaign or whether you’re trying to scale on campaign manager, or whether you are like one of your like a loyal customers of LinkedIn who, who have understood the what success means to be on LinkedIn platform, I want to make sure that every single journey is fully optimized. And the experience is seamless in each of those journeys.

Perfect. And that’s what gets me so excited as, as you know, we talk internally. It’s really fun to hear that you have our best wishes. at heart. That you’re constantly watching for getting us and getting our clients better performance. And knowing that we have a partner like that is pretty spectacular. So thanks for being willing. Tell me a little bit about how you view customer experience at scale. Obviously, you are responsible for this massive platform that 10s of thousands of advertisers use. How do you view customer experience?

So I look at experience as a hierarchy of needs. And I like to explain it in terms of a framework that I very passionately follow. It’s a three E framework. Three E’s being effectiveness, experience and emotions. So at the base level, we’re working continuously to make sure we offer the best ROI to our advertisers. A lot of features, you know, we have our AI driven relevance engine, making sure that you get your ROI at scale. So that is bringing in effectiveness of using the platform, right? Once you have achieved that effectiveness, we believe the next thing that comes in is experience, right? Are you able to attain and achieve that effectiveness that we have optimized? Like is the platform easy for you to use? Is the platform making you feel productive and making you look smart working on it, right? Are you using more time in strategic thinking in you know how to get more audience and engage more audience versus doing a lot of things. So that’s the that’s, that sums up the experience, right? The whole education learning, and we want to be world class in providing that experience to you. The final thing is once you’ve achieved effectiveness and you experience a good ultimately what we all want is for you to feel, you know, happy, to feel delighted, and feel like you’ve accomplished something. You feel confident, you’re not frustrated. So all those emotions are at the top level, right? So that’s that’s how I look at experience at scale and at each level. We Trying and adding features and services that will help you graduate from one level to the other.

And that’s a big deal because I think the vast majority of us listening have all run advertising platforms that made us feel dumb. So I think it’s great that the emotion is one of the things that you’re considering with the experience in general.

I mean, that is why it is the most important thing of any being a product manager as well I can speak especially for a SaaS based platform. I think it’s very important the end of the day, you know, our advertisers are people and you know, if you are using a platform, how you feel using that platform is very important. And and of course, there are, you know, steps that take you to that level. So we are making sure that our foundations are strong, and we are building on top of those foundations. But ultimately, we want you to feel accomplished and confident using this platform.

Love it. So you’re kind of two different experiences here. On one side, you’re a digital marketer, and another side your product manager. So tell us specifically about product management at LinkedIn. And what does it mean to be a project manager? You’ve heard us say pm a few times in here, if you’ve been listening, you know, tell us about product management, how you approach it, you know, all of those things.

Glad you asked, because I don’t know which hat I wear more often. The digital marketeer hat or product management hat because I’ve been in product management for more than a decade, and so in digital marketing space for more than a decade, and they are both, I mean, very close to my heart. I’m very passionate about it. I’ve been in product management in startups prior to LinkedIn, and I have been founder of my own startup, which I have sold. And then LinkedIn is a large company by far that I have ever worked with. My experience working with any product management is like how passionate you are about solving a customer problem. Do you understand your customers, you understand what they want to achieve from your product? And do you like really, really want to solve those problems for them or not? It really boils down to that. Specifically at LinkedIn, I see that we are we have the benefit of having a large number of product managers we can leverage from one another’s expertise. We still work, in LinkedIn, I do not feel like I’m not in a startup environment. It’s still pretty agile, I still feel like we have like the same rhythm as I would or you would expect in a startup. So I really enjoy that. In fact, having the benefit of cross functional teams and having the benefit of a large number of supporting teams actually help us move faster than you would expect. So. So that’s that’s that. The challenges are rather, I would think of them more as an opportunity. And I would like to call anything as a challenge, but rather as opportunity is, is the evolving nature of adex space itself, right? Like how our tech evolves and what’s what’s so important today doesn’t necessarily remain important to tomorrow, and how you actually keep pace without changing things. And you have the foresight of seeing and understanding the trend that’s still just about to be built and like you plan around those trends are some of the things that I really get excited about when I think of product management.

Oh, that’s fantastic. I love the fact that there are so many product managers at LinkedIn, all of you with very broad experience. So if there’s something you haven’t dealt with, you have this whole host of people you can ask questions to and really solve deep problems with and I think we see that in the platforms.

That is so very true about LinkedIn. I mean, I am learning every single day when I’m working here because of this pool of people who have expertise in their own domains and, and bring in so much more to the play that every single time you meet with someone, you do come back with a little more than what you brought to the mix.

That’s awesome. Tell me as you are building a product or as you’re working on a product or or solving a challenge or you know, something that you want to what are your biggest guiding pillars as you’re deciding how to design something for us as users?

Sure, understanding your pain points is most important thing for me, right? Like, do we really understand? Are we solving for those pain points? Is there anything underneath the Ask underneath it is something very important for us, and then simplifies my second mantra. Like how can we simplify it, so that without any guidance, you’re able to basically maneuver and navigate the system easily. So first is understanding customer problems. second pillar is like simplifying it, you know, making it very easy to understand. And third is, is transparency trust. I mean, you come to the platform, you need to have predictable predictable response at every step of that journey. So those are like three principles each, then each vertical, each product has inherent principles. But the at the high level, if you ask me, like on a holistic level, like those are our three principles. Be very honest to customer problems. Make sure it’s very simple. Do not overcomplicate if it doesn’t need to be. And if it is inherently complicated, how can we further simplify it? And ultimately, bring transparency?

Yeah, I love it. Again. You know, when you’re using LinkedIn tools, you don’t feel dumb, like Yeah, another platform. What are your challenges, specifically? What’s anything you can share about? Like, what are the biggest things that you’re trying to mountains you’re trying to climb right now?

Oh my gosh. Of course.

All the benefits that I mentioned about LinkedIn are also the challenges because if you are a PM at LinkedIn, and if you’re a PM, you know the way I am, you are hungry, to see opportunities. There are so many opportunities that you can see and leverage and build upon. So my personal challenge that I’m really trying to overcome is prioritization. How can I better prioritize and, and focus on the things that are most important and only because there are so many things that you could do and I’m passionate about, that’s my personal goal that you know, like, control my passion and find a good rhythm between you know, like the top three or the top five that I would focus at one point in time. That’s my personal thing. I’m, I’m trying to I’m a work in progress.

And that’s a big challenge to overcome. It’s like solving those three things for everything you build. For you in product management, because I have zero experience there, what advice would you have for someone who is creating products? Who wants to go into product management?

First of all foundations, right? Like it comes with experience. So I would not even go there. So you would have some foundations. I mean, in some cases, domain experience is needed. In some cases, it’s not. So once you have those foundations, what I’ve personally learned and found over a period of time, what has always helped me be successful or have decided or have been like the, like, the differentiation between success and failure have been those three things. Number one is basically relationship matters. And this is also a value that LinkedIn cares very much for. I haven’t yet found and myself included a product manager who can go and say that this project or this product was successful because of me. Yeah. Right. I very strongly truly believe that teamwork is what makes for our product successful. Knowing and understanding like, each and every member of that team. Knowing how to leverage each one’s you know, potential is something that you bring into the mix. Yeah, right. So that’s, that’s where so understand your team very well. And if for whatever reason you do identify, you may come across sometimes a team which you feel like is dysfunctional, we also be very open about them that this team may have all the right ingredients, but not in the same place. Yeah. So so that that’s number one at the end of the day, it’s it’s relationships, it’s how you’re able to interact with one another and, and then drive towards that shared goal you go you have. The second one is humor that I personally very strongly believe in. And it so happens that humor is also one of our core values. Nice. Bring in humor, you know, very again, it always changes the tone and the mood. And it I always use that as a personal advantage for for my teams. And the third thing, it’s actually is my signature these days, which is there’s always a way. So if you’re a product manager, you would know that no two days are the same. You would have full set of plans that you come to work with. And the first thing you enter office and you open your inbox, and you feel like it has changed. And and there are fires that we have to, you know, put off and there are things that you need to solve which you have not planned for before, but how you can keep your cool and how you can be focused and ok, you go deep down you ok, what’s the problem? And always come with that optimism that okay, if things have gone wrong, there’s always a way. If you bring that kind of attitude into the team, it helps the team as well and also the product. So three things, relationship matters, humor, and be optimistic.

And I love humor specifically, I wonder, I wonder how this looks to a product manager. If, if you’re not incorporating humor, like do you end up building a boring project or a whole boring product? I love that as a core value.

I know and no one has yet come and told me, but I think behind my back, I might be the queen of poor jokes. I do like to grab them and like change the temperament of the room sometime. So yeah,

love it. It’s the internal LinkedIn equivalent of a dad joke. Well, for you personally, I’m really interested to know why It is you’re most excited about. This can be something with your own products. This can be LinkedIn in general, this can be something in your, in your personal life that you’re you’re learning or you know, striving towards. But what excites you most right now,

I stick to LinkedIn, because I’m very passionate, we just rolled out objective based advertising. So it’s, it’s like, it’s the foundation we have set for future innovation and growth. I can’t be more excited to be a part of this, you know, this future that we are building for LinkedIn marketing solutions. And like I said, there are there’s still a lot of, you know, things to do to optimize the experience and to to fine tune the objective buying experience. And I’m very, very passionate and excited about that. Awesome.

Well, we know it’s a giant undertaking, objective based advertising, it might look simple to to those on the outside, you know, just advertisers in general. But this was a complete restructuring of really the whole way that the ad platform works. So I definitely understand why that’s something you’d be excited about. I mean, I sure appreciate you taking the time to sit down and share with us as advertisers, anything else you want to share with us before we close out?

No, thanks for having me. I am very excited to talk to you and share our you know, our passion and things that we’re building in LinkedIn. And as always appreciate your feedback, your reactions, so please keep them coming. And AJ, through you and through a large number of marketers that you work with. So let us know we always love to hear from our customers what’s working and also more important, what’s not working. This is our mission to help you be successful. And every single feedback helps us help you.

Great and what’s the preferred method? If someone wants to give feedback? Is it clicking the link inside of campaign manager? Is it tweeting? Is it emailing? What’s the best way to provide that feedback?

You could use social as one of your channels. But LinkedIn Help Center is a pretty good place. In product experience, we are bringing in LinkedIn helpers and in product help so you actually within the product and if you experience an experience that doesn’t work for you, we are about to launch in product help module. So you can just go and click on the Home icon and and share your feedback there. And if I can allow you to feel the future things we are building in the product, one of them is contextual feedback. So which is always on feedback, basically. So when you will be in campaign manager, you will be prompted to provide a feedback. So if you’ve used a feature, you know, let’s say bulk actions, which is also coming up and you can provide the feedback on that. We would prompt you to give a feedback so you can do that. So that’s that’s something which we are really making an in product experience so you don’t need other channels to provide real time relevant feedback. So that would I believe any concern so that would be a preferred way to let us know. That’s awesome.

Well, thank you again so much for your time. I know you’re a very, very busy woman. And we appreciate the insight you brought us as well as some insight into some things that are coming up that I think we as advertisers are ultra excited about. So Amita Paul, thank you so much. Thank you.