May 23, 2012, 11:42 AM

Oracle buys a social marketing platform provider

Vitrue works with such major brands as Lowe’s and McDonald’s.

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Oracle Corp., one of the world’s leading providers of business software and a growing player in e-commerce, is strengthening its expertise in social media marketing.

Oracle announced today that it plans to acquire Vitrue, a social media marketing vendor that provides marketers with a central hub where they can create, publish, moderate, manage, measure and report on their campaigns on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

Vitrue hosts its applications and client e-retailers connect to it via the Internet, a delivery model known as software-as-a-service, or SaaS.

The move will enable Oracle to offer marketers a robust social marketing platform, which is increasingly important for retailers that want to reach consumers in many ways, says Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, Oracle Development. “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,” he says.

The acquisition of Vitrue, which has worked with national brands such as McDonald’s, Lowe’s Cos. Inc.—No. 47 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide—American Express and Proctor & Gamble, is the latest effort by Oracle to round out its e-commerce offerings via acquisition. In the last two years it has purchased e-commerce software provider ATG, site search specialist Endeca, contact center technology provider RightNow Technologies and personalization vendor FatWire Software.

Oracle’s moves haven’t occurred in isolation. A number of major technology companies have spent the last few years buying up companies with e-commerce expertise. For instance, IBM earlier this month announced plans to acquire Tealeaf Technology Inc., whose software analyzes consumer behavior on Internet and mobile sites. Adobe Systems Inc. acquired web analytics vendor Omniture in 2009 and search marketing firm Efficient Frontier last year.

The Vitrue transaction is expected to close this summer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bluefly Inc. vice president of technology Matt Raines will speak at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in a session titled “Getting the most out of your technology budget.”

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