• April 18, 2012

Marketo Acquires Crowd Factory

Marketo today announced its acquisition of Crowd Factory, a social campaign management platform, for an undisclosed amount.

This acquisition, Marketo's first, will yield a combined solution thast will enable marketers to amplify and measure social-enabled campaigns to deliver more customers and gain an immediate competitive edge.

"Social marketing campaigns and marketing automation have been like the proverbial two ships passing in the night, with most social marketing tools sitting in silos disconnected from mainstream marketing processes. Today we have changed that game," said Phil Fernandez, president and CEO of Marketo, in a statement. "By combining Crowd Factory with Marketo, marketing professionals can finally use integrated social campaigns to boost the reach and impact of every marketing initiative they undertake, at every step in the customer lifecycle. Since releasing our first products four years ago, Marketo's innovation has repeatedly reset the standard for marketing solutions, and we're thrilled to do it again with this revolutionary development in social marketing automation."

Crowd Factory is a complete social campaign management platform that helps marketers accelerate social and word-of-mouth marketing, grow their marketing databases with unique social profiles, and attract new customers. The platform allows marketers to add social applications and messages to every channel—Facebook Pages, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, landing pages, Web sites, banner ads, and email. These applications encourage social sharing, supercharging the results of every multichannel marketing campaign. Then, Crowd Factory automatically tracks the reach and impact of this social sharing, providing direct feedback on the return on investment (ROI) of social marketing. Companies of all sizes, including Molson Coors, Sony Music, Jive Software, Quickoffice, and British Telecom, use Crowd Factory's social marketing software to drive real business results every day.

Now, marketers have one solution that unifies Marketo's broad platform for marketing automation, sales effectiveness, and analytical reporting with Crowd Factory's platform for rapidly creating and deploying social campaigns like customer referrals or sweepstakes.

"Crowd Factory pioneered the idea of Social ROI by empowering marketers to push viral campaigns throughout the social Web, and then track that valuable social activity back to individual influencers and conversions," said Sanjay Dholakia, CEO of Crowd Factory, in the statement. "This fits perfectly into the vision of marketing automation that Marketo has led: that all marketing activity matters and can be measured against the bottom line. We are excited to join the Marketo team and help companies of any size in any market segment generate more campaigns, more leads and, ultimately, more customers."

"I like this combination a lot," said Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, a customer strategy consulting firm. "A 21st-century multichannel marketing strategy has to incorporate social channels as well as traditional or it's going to fail. To succeed at that, there needs to be a technological underpinning that can handle all channels in conjunction with the increasingly demanding requirements from customers. The combination of Marketo and Crowd Factory is as close to the complete package for this as you'll see for a long while."

"The prospect of combining Crowd Factory's social capabilities and platform with Marketo's marketing automation platform, especially lead scoring,is a really exciting and innovative development," said Christine Poirier, manager of digital and relationship marketing at Molson Coors. "Our reach with email campaigns is limited to the consumers in our database. However, with Crowd Factory we are able to easily give our consumers a way to share our brands and our content with their friends, in an authentic way. This helps us amplify our reach, while also giving our consumers a fun way to engage with our brands and with their social networks."

"As a customer of both companies, this is terrific news. It's all about reducing friction in the marketing funnel and scaling our ability to effectively reach, educate, and nurture our target customers," said David Karel, vice president of marketing at Bizo. "Our revenue growth is accelerating, and Marketo has played a big role as we've ramped our marketing effort from 'zero to 100 mph' these past couple of years; in fact, our marketing programs contributed almost as much business in Q1 as they did all of last year. We just signed up with Crowd Factory to continue our growth by giving a social lift to all of our content and campaigns. Integrating this power with Marketo will help us drive better results at each stage of the sales and marketing funnel."

Marketo will continue to support and invest in all current products and customers of both companies. And with combined innovation from both companies, Marketo expects to introduce a new unified product family soon.

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