Marketo adds social platform with Crowd Factory acquisition

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Jon Miller, cofounder and VP of product marketing at Marketo
Jon Miller, cofounder and VP of product marketing at Marketo

Marketo has acquired Crowd Factory, a provider of a social campaign management platform, said Jon Miller, Marketo's VP of marketing. The acquisition, the terms of which Miller declined to disclose, will enable Marketo to deploy social campaigns on top of its hosted marketing automation platform, thereby expanding the reach of each campaign.

“A typical company will have a marketing database,” Miller said. “But if you think about [the people] everybody in our database knows, then ours is just the tip of the iceberg. Crowd Factory is about helping the people you know spread the word for you.”

Crowd Factory's platform enables its enterprise customers, which include HBO and the American Red Cross as well as b-to-b providers like Jive Software, to measure ROI from social campaigns. For instance, companies using Crowd Factory will learn which social media users are top content sharers and who presents the most value.

The acquisition benefits Crowd Factory, Miller said, because it will have access to Marketo's 1800-customer distribution channel. Marketo inherits “the ability to develop a much deeper, more integrated solution,” Miller said, as well as Crowd Factory's talent.

In the immediate future, Crowd Factory will be branded “Crowd Factory, a Marketo Company,” though Miller said the Crowd Factory name will eventually be folded into Marketo's brand. The details around this integration are still being ironed out, as is the future of Crowd Factory's various employees, though Miller said “We're keeping almost the entire team.”

Additionally, Marketo is still determining how Crowd Factory's technology will be sold—whether as a standalone product or whether it will be fully incorporated into Marketo's stack and sold as a suite. “It will be primarily sold along with Marketo,” Miller said, adding that the company will continue to fully support Crowd Factory's existing customers.

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