[caption id="attachment_17702" align="aligncenter" width="602"] This is how BlueKai visualizes what it does. This is how BlueKai visualizes what it does.[/caption] Oracle has acquired BlueKai, a firm that specializes in marketing analytics, for an undisclosed sum. In addition to offering a Data Management Platform that can merge and analyze customer and audience data in the cloud, BlueKai’s offerings include a third-party data marketplace with information on millions of potential customers. Oracle will integrate the software into its Oracle’s Marketing and Social “solutions,” such as its Marketing Cloud, as well as its Responsys and Eloqua assets. While Oracle didn’t reveal what it paid for its latest acquisition, anonymous sources speaking to Business Insider pegged the price at roughly $400 million. The Forbes database puts BlueKai’s 2013 revenues at $64 million, and suggests the company managed to raise $40 million in venture funding from a collection of firms including Redpoint Ventures and SplitRock Partners. Oracle has spent the fast few years moving aggressively into the cloud-marketing space. In 2012 it purchased Eloqua, which builds marketing-automation and revenue management software, for roughly $871 million. That same year, it acquired Vitrue, which offered a cloud-based marketing and engagement platform, for $300 million. The company also devotes significant resources to its growing portfolio of cloud products, seeking feature parity with its competitors. Oracle’s various acquisitions in the marketing space—and the expansion of its Marketing Cloud—hint at a company determined to counteract Salesforce’s aggressive cloud-marketing efforts. Over the past two years, Salesforce has embarked on its own acquisition spree, snatching up marketing firms such as Radian6 and Buddy Media. Oracle can’t afford to have Salesforce (or any other major tech firm, for that matter) seize the initiative on cloud marketing, and is evidently willing to spend whatever cash necessary to give it a holistic platform in that area. The big question—as with so many acquisitions of this type—is whether Oracle can integrate BlueKai’s analytics and cloud solutions into its broader portfolio in an effective way.   Image: BlueKai