Salesforce Doubles Down on Marketing Cloud With Buddy Deal

Buddy Media co-founder and CEO Michael Lazerow announced in a June 4 blog post that he and his wife Kass have sold their social marketing firm to enterprise cloud computing company Buddy Media's main product is its social enterprise marketing suite, which has helped high-profile clients like L'Oréal, Ford, Virgin Mobile, Mattel and HP build and manage communities on Facebook.

In a statement, Salesforce said that it purchased Buddy Media for $689 million. The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of Salesforce's fiscal 2013. An official announcement of the sale had been expected since May 29.

Beyond the work it has done directly for clients, Buddy Media has been a source of thought leadership on social media engagement tactics. Buddy executives have spoken at PR News' social media conferences, sharing tips on leveraging Facebook's Timeline profile, working with the EdgeRank algorithm, posting frequency and extending the social media reach of a brand. At Internet Week in New York in May, Buddy Media announced enhancements to its social media marketing suite, including a unified social data API.

For Salesforce, the acquisition represents a major step forward as a marketing cloud platform provider. A year ago, Salesforce bought social media listening company Radian6, and with the Buddy Media purchase, it intends to be an all-in-one solution for companies looking to make the transition to cloud management for their social media marketing and PR.

"By bringing together market leaders Radian6 and Buddy Media, we are doubling down on the Salesforce marketing cloud to provide CMOs with the ability to manage the entire social marketing life cycle," said Marcel LeBrun, SVP of Salesforce Radian6, in a statement.

The question remains whether smaller organizations are technologically savvy enough to take their social media management to the cloud and can meet the basic requirements to do so. Salesforce's own marketing team will soon have some answers to that question.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI