Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has claimed that more than 10% of advertising spend on social networking giant Facebook is managed through its Buddy Media social media marketing system.
In Facebook’s latest financial quarter, its advertising revenue was $992 million. This suggests that around $400 million of ad spend is managed through Buddy Media per year.
The cloud-based CRM provider acquired Buddy Media in June of this year for $689 million. Its technology allows companies to plan, implement and measure social media marketing campaigns using ads, specially created content and ‘fan’ pages on Facebook.
In February 2012, Buddy Media had acquired Brighter Option, a London-based start-up that sells ‘social advertising management’ technology. Speaking on an conference call with investment analysts, Marc Benioff described Brighter Option as "a major visionary in terms of how ads will be acquired and placed in social media".
Benioff said that he is "really focused" on growing Salesforce.com’s ‘Marketing Cloud’ division, which comprises Buddy Media and social media monitoring firm Radian6, to become a $1 billion-a-year business.
"We believe that [chief marketing officers] are going to want their own cockpit to fly their own fighter jets," he said. "But what no one has delivered yet is really that cockpit for the CMO and for all those marketers integrated with the sales and service solutions so that companies can have a total 360-degree view of their customer from advertising to close. And we’re going to offer that solution at Salesforce.com."
He described the advent of social media as "the biggest transformation that the marketing industry has seen since the birth of television nearly 60 years ago".
Benioff made the remarks as he discussed Salesforce.com’s latest quarterly financial report. The company maintained its 30%-plus revenue growth rate in the three months ending 31 July, with sales reaching $732 million.
Its net loss more than doubled year-on-year, however, from $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $9.9 million this year. For the year so far, Salesforce.com has made a net loss of $29.3 million, up 691% from the $3.7 million loss it made in the first half of last year.
Salesforce.com’s revenue projection for the next quarter beat analysts’ expectation but its profit forecast fell short, causing its share price to fall following the announcement.