Oracle is working to build a social marketing initiative by showing marketers how to integrate social data into corporate business processes. The company will share its long-term vision Wednesday at its first Social Summit in an attempt to entice marketing and social community managers.
Enterprise software companies like Oracle, SAP, IBM, Salesforce and Microsoft have been slowly building up an expertise in social marketing to integrate the data into traditional enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management tools into social marketing tools.
Meg Bear, VP of cloud social platform at Oracle, sees the integration with ERP systems as a differentiator for the company. Oracle Social Relationship Management launched last month. It integrates social data into traditional enterprise applications like Oracle Fusion Marketing, Oracle Fusion Sales Catalog, Oracle ATG Web Commerce and Oracle ERP.
"There's room for any process-driven application to run more efficiently, especially if they're socially enabled," said Rob Koplowitz, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research. "It takes the human part of the process not generally captured today to provide better access to content, information and collective actions."
Koplowitz said several acquisitions support Oracle's long-term vision: to layer social on top of other enterprise apps, like its ERP platform.
Innovation through acquisition can quickly boost a company's profile and market share in a specific space. Oracle made several acquisitions related to social marketing and cloud computing to strengthen its offerings. The most recent was Instantis, announced Nov. 8, which provides cloud-based project portfolio management services.
Others related to social include Involver, a social media development platform acquired in July; Collective Intellect, a cloud-based social indigence solutions acquired in June; and Vitrue, a social marketing platform provider acquired in May.
Increasingly, large brands and retailers attempt to integrate profiles from across the Web, such as social and behavioral data with the goal of delivering a more relevant marketing approach, agrees Clark Fredricksen, VP of communications at eMarketer.
Traditional enterprise software companies in the past year have acquired numerous social media companies. Microsoft grabbed Yammer for about $1.2 billion, and MarketingPilot, which provides cloud-based marketing automation. Salesforce scooped up Buddy Media, an enterprise social media marketing platform. SAP also continues to go after the social software products category. The company considers itself a major enterprise social player with help from the platform, SAP Jam, which combines features with SAP StreamWork.
Jeff McRae, analyst at boutique research firm RealDealStocks (and an IBM employee), estimates Facebook makes $3.40 per user in North America. He says LinkedIn makes about $1.35 per user, worldwide.