Forrester Research Senior Analyst Melissa Parrish says’s acquisition of Buddy Media is no surprise given marketers’ increasing need for a comprehensive social media management platform (SMMP). She predicts more partnerships and acquisitions in this space. Parrish writes in a new blog post:

“First of all, brands are maturing in social media, and they’re realizing they need something like a true social software stack to manage it all, especially as social media spreads across the enterprise and grows beyond the boundaries of just the marketing department. To truly manage their growing social presences, they need ways to get more employees involved while still enforcing their social media policies — and that means a software stack that offers all of the benefits of an SMMP (robust editorial workflow management, moderation tools, easy page and application creation, influencer identification, content archiving, and analytics) as well as deep social intelligence and CRM capabilities. No single SMMP offers deep listening and non-social CRM today, and no listening platform or non-social CRM offering currently delivers what an SMMP can. Acquisitions were inevitable.

“Second, when I talk to marketers about their requirements for these platforms, one of the things that comes up high on everybody’s list is integration with other enterprise systems. The two systems that get mentioned the most? Non-social analytics (usually Adobe/Omniture and Google Analytics) and non-social CRM (usually, sometimes Oracle and SAP.) Well, Adobe already jumped into the game when they bought Efficient Frontier who had previously acquired Context Optional. And of course Oracle made their play just a couple of weeks ago with their acquisition of Vitrue. Many of the SMMPs already integrated with anyway, thanks to client demand, so they were the logical choice for making a high-profile acquisition.”