Google has never shied away from its strength in advertising sales has just scooped up a young startup, Wildfire, to fold its suite of marketing services into its huge business.
Wildfire, a four-year-old company with roughly 350 employees, has already attracted more than 16,000 clients such as Spotify, Virgin, Unilever, Sony, Target and Amazon.com with its ad services and assistance with non-paid marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Google acquired this social media marketing firm for an undisclosed sum, but many familiar with the transaction are placing the purchase in the $250 million range. This is a great return for the young 500 Startups graduate that attracted around $14 million in venture capital since its founding.
“With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services,”Jason Miller, a Google product management director said on the company’s blog post on Tuesday. “We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.
This deal comes at a time when Saleforce and Oracle have snapped up smaller companies in an effort to better manage and understand social media marketing and influence. Start-ups like Wildfire help corporations engage their consumers and track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns using various listening techniques and engagement tools.
This new addition to the Google family may even be able to bolster the company's social network G+, as Google shifts it services and put extra emphasis on the video chatting ability of Google Hangouts.
“We believe that over time the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing,” Wildfire’s founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard said in the joint blog post. “For now, we remain focused on helping brands run and measure their social engagement and ad campaigns across the entire web and across all social service.”
Google will integrate the Wildfire tools into its growing display advertising catalog that already includes DoubleClick and Google’s AdX exchange. This newly reinvigorated advertising suite for Google puts the company at an advantage as more companies try to incorporate more of a social sense in their marketing campaigns.
Just last week, Facebook reported that its Sponsored Storieswas generating $1 million a day and that the social network is putting a stronger focus on its social ad trends to bring people more relevant advertisements than ever before.
When you look at the purchases of Wildfire competitors you can see that Google got a deal that it can really put to great use. Salesforce.com snatched Buddy Media for $689 million in early June and Oracle bought Vitrue in May for $300 million.