Less than 24 hours after SAP announced its plans to acquire the cloud-based commerce network Ariba, Oracle announced today that it will buy Vitrue, a cloud-based social marketing platform, for an undisclosed amount.
Vitrue enables marketers to create, publish, manage, and measure their social marketing campaigns and activities on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.
"The proliferation of social media and an increased demand by consumers to engage with brands across multiple social channels is driving chief marketing officers to look for an integrated social marketing platform," according to Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, in a statement. "Vitrue's leading social marketing and engagement platform coupled with Oracle's leading sales, service, and commerce products offers a complete social experience solution to our customers."
Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang suggests that Oracle's decision to buy Vitrue is also a response to Marketo's announcement in April that it acquired the social campaign management firm Crowd Factory. "Marketing automation is an underserved area—few companies do it well—but marketers are looking for automation," Wang says. "By buying Vitrue, Oracle is attempting to leapfrog that gap."
As for which company might make the next splash in the acquisition war, Wang notes that although Salesforce.com has focused on building its customer service offerings, it is more than likely to pursue the marketing automation space. "Salesforce.com seems to be happy partnering with Marketo for now, but it's a question of when, not if Salesforce will look further into marketing," he says. "Large companies like Salesforce.com, Oracle, IBM, and SAP are still playing catch-up."