With 300 new big brand customers and 2.5X revenue, 2011 was a landmark year for social media marketing software developer Buddy Media. As CEO Michael Lazerow told us that Buddy Media was on track to hit $20 million in revenue in 2010, it could have pulled in $50 million during 2011. The company grew from 100 to 225 employees, and opened new offices in London, SF, and Singapore. Meanwhile, competitor Vitrue doubled its revenue during 2011. In short, brands are getting serious about social marketing, and Buddy Media and Vitrue are the tools they trust.
The huge revenue growth came thanks to Buddy Media breaking out its software platform into 4 a la carte products. Agencies and brands were then able to customize a package for their needs and ended up spending more. During 2011 it attracted premier clients such as Citibank, IBM, and the NFL with its reputation for helping brands promote through Facebook. To house its swelling work force, Buddy Media is moving its headquarters to a new 65,000 square foot office in New York City.
Other milestones for Buddy Media this year include:
- A $54 Million Series D round that brings it a total of just under $90 million in funding
- The acquisition of ecommerce developer Spinback to tie promotions with shopping
- It became a developer partner for LinkedIn and Google+.
- A partnership with comScore to measure brand performance
- The added ability to deliver social content on brand websites in addition to social networks
- Its platform now supports clients in over 91 countries.
Update: Fellow social marketing platform Vitrue coincidentally released 2011 stats today, including:
- Revenue was more than 100% over 2010, and from 2008-2010 the company’s revenue grew 322%
- Vitrue’s client roster grew by more than 400% over 2010, increasing the total number of clients worldwide to more than 500.
- Vitrue grew from 66 employees in 2010 to 180 in 2011, and opened five new offices — Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, San Francisco and London
The one piece of the marketing equation Buddy Media is missing an social advertising platform, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it launch, acquire, or do a deep partnership with one this year.
Buddy Media and other top-tier social marketing platforms stand to capitalize as brands increasingly shift marketing resources to social. While free tools are proliferating, huge multinational brands need the reliability and customer service these platforms provide.
Competitors are vying with Buddy Media for the biggest spending brands. Vitrue is aggressively innovating through acquisitions and partnerships, while Context Optional offers an end-to-end social marketing service as it became part of the Efficient Frontier ad platform before being acquired by Adobe. To stay ahead, Buddy Media will need to continue improving its engaging apps, publishing capabilities, and analytics, and offer a better integrated ad buying solution.
Buddy Media’s success could line it up for an IPO, or make it an attractive acquisition target for one of the world’s top traditional media publishers looking for big social play.