Oracle Buys Vitrue to Add Cloud Social Marketing to App Portfolio

Oracle announced plans to acquire Vitrue, a cloud-based social marketing company that helps customers create, publish, moderate, manage, measure and report on their social marketing campaigns.

Oracle is acquiring Vitrue, a cloud-based social media marketing campaign creator that enables customers to create, manage and measure social media marketing campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Google+.

Oracle said that Vitrue, combined with Oracle's existing sales, service, commerce, social data management and analytics capabilities, will create "the most advanced and comprehensive social relationship platform," according to a news release.

Terms of the acquisition of Atlanta-based Vitrue, which is expected to close sometime this summer, were not disclosed.

The Vitrue acquisition news of May 23 follows by one day the announcement by Oracle enterprise software rival SAP of its $4.3 billion acquisition of Ariba, which is a provider of cloud-based collaborative commerce applications used primarily in business-to-business environments. While Ariba and Vitrue have different business models, both acquisitions represent efforts by the on-premise software giants to deliver software via the cloud. Vitrue is a software as a service (SaaS) provider.

The combination of Oracle and Vitrue is expected to help organizations develop more meaningful customer engagements with consistent brand experiences, improve their return on investment across multiple channels and social media, and enhance customer service through real-time responsiveness to their communication with companies, Oracle stated.

While social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are popular with Internet users, marketing departments have also realized that they can be an effective way to engage with the millions of members of those social networks and perhaps influence their buying decisions. According to comScore, social media sites now reach 82 percent of the world's online population. comScore also estimates that the average amount of time people spend on social media sites grew by 35 percent in 2011 and that there are 3.2 million business pages on Facebook.

Already, Vitrue provides social networking services for businesses and manages 1.3 billion social interactions for 500 different brands, including Dr. Pepper, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Southwest Airlines and Yahoo.

"The world's greatest brands have been built by creating meaningful relationships between organizations and their customers," said Reggie Bradford, founder and chief executive officer of Vitrue, in a prepared statement. He added that as part of Oracle, Vitrue can deliver its social media marketing platform to Oracle's many enterprise customers.

The array of services Vitrue offers for customers' social marketing campaigns include publishing of content to social media sites, managing communities of consumers engaging with the site, and building customizable applications on Facebook to further market to consumers. Other Vitrue services include delivering customized modules for Facebook features, such as Pinterest and Instagram, as well as creating Facebook games and providing deep analytics of the impact of social media engagement using technology from Vitrue and Facebook.

"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," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president for product development at Oracle.