Buddy Media Attracts World’s Top Brands With Facebook-Management Platform
In February, the Facebook page for the popular snack brand Pretzel Crisps had drawn only 6,800 fans. So Jason Harty, director of field and interactive marketing for the brand, launched a campaign on Facebook offering a dollar-off coupon to anyone who became a fan. In two weeks, the fan base grew to 13,700 for Pretzel Crisps, which is made by Skillman, NJ-based Snack Factory. A few weeks later, in the middle of the night, Harty decided to sweeten the offer. With a few clicks, he revised the coupon to buy one bag, get one free—a $4 value. In 36 hours, Pretzel Crisps had 29,000 Facebook fans.
The software platform that allowed Harty to act on his midnight marketing whim is made by Buddy Media, a fast-growing, New York City company that was founded in 2007. The company has since amassed an impressive client list, which not only includes Snack Factory, but also Mattel, Aflac, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Discovery, and many more. On August 15, Buddy Media raised $54 million in a Series D funding round, bringing its total venture haul to $90 million.
Some members of the financial press estimated that the Series D round valued Buddy Media at a half-billion dollars. In an interview a week later at Buddy Media’s headquarters, the company’s co-founder and CEO Michael Lazerow declined to confirm the valuation estimate, except to say, “We didn’t say it was wrong.” Instead, he chose to focus on how the company will use the cash going forward. “We have to go global,” says Lazerow, a former journalist who founded the company with his wife, Kass, the company’s chief operating officer. “Only 25 percent of people on Facebook and Twitter are in the U.S. So we have brands telling us, ‘We need help.’ It’s a huge opportunity.”
The platform that Buddy Media is taking global is, in its simplest terms, a social-media content-management system. While it’s true that marketers can use Facebook’s own tools to publish basic fan pages and the like, Lazerow believed companies would need … Next Page »