There seems to be something big cooking over at Google Labs these days. Well aware that the future of online display advertising revolves around social, the search giant not-so-quietly scooped up social media marketing platform Wildfire early last week.
We’ve heard a great deal of chatter about this semi-covert deal – Wildfire is after all known primarily as a Facebook marketing tool, so Google did get their hands on a wealth of FB data. But let’s focus on the end game. While Facebook is visibly struggling with the post-IPO blues (most notably issues with mobile ad revenue), Google seems to be busy buying companies to build the basis for something bigger: a comprehensive system to manage all things online marketing.
The ultimate online marketing hub?
Online marketing is currently a medley of semi-disparate parts, and as marketers we realize now more than ever that Facebook is but one answer to our advertising needs. Between running Facebook campaigns through Facebook, Promoted Tweets through Twitter and PPC campaigns through Google, the toolset and timeframe become rather endless. Maybe you have a tool that brings a few of the parts together (your Wildfire, your Buddy Media) – but marketers still have to run from platform to platform to keep the wheels moving.
With this recent acquisition, though, it looks like Google wants to simplify the entire process by creating one hub where marketers do it all, from search ads to social display ads to analytics. Yeah, yeah – there’s that earlier set of acquisitions (Salesforce+Buddy Media+Radian6 and Oracle+Virtue+Involver), but Google is a contender because, well first and foremost, they’re Google, and secondly and equally obvious they have the secret sauce of the web: search.
Do you think Google is working towards an online marketing hub, or was this just an attempt to get at Facebook from the inside?