Marketo, a marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor, announced it has acquired Crowd Factory, a provider of social marketing campaign technology. With the ever-increasing amount of social activity happening at the top of the demand creation waterfall, expanded functionality to attract and identify individuals through social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is a prime requirement for organizations.

Crowd Factory provides the ability to run social marketing tactics such as contests, referrals and polls through the popular social channels, as well as adding social sharing features into web pages, online ads and emails. However, such tactics are much more prevalent in the B2C world and their effectiveness from a B2B perspective is a question mark for many SiriusDecisions’ customers. What’s more certain is that any increased functionality on the MAP side that can assist in adding social data to contact records within a marketing database is a positive enhancement.

Marketo intends to continue to support the Crowd Factory product and customers, but all offerings will eventually be under the Marketo brand through an integrated solution. While the expanded functionality should benefit customers of both companies, a full analysis isn’t possible until the combined solution has been implemented and used by at least a handful of Marketo users.