In its second acquisition in less than a month, social media marketer Federated Media has acquired gourmand-focused blog aggregator FoodBuzz. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The acquisition will further broaden FM’s reach beyond the tech audience it started with five years ago. Bringing in FoodBuzz also brings with a category that FM COO Deanna Brown knows well, given her previous stint as president of the interactive division of Scripps Networks (NYSE: SNI), which included overseeing the online side of the cable company’s Food Network channel.
FM has been working on building up its strength among verticals that appeal to wider audience, especially women, for the past year. It’s been particularly aggressive lately, now that the ad market has turned around and brand spending has returned to online significantly, as the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau numbers show.
It’s true that FM doesn’t have to necessarily go out and buy other blog networks to get its audience. And even though FoodBuzz, which has raised under $2 million in funding since last year, probably didn’t set FM back too much, why couldn’t it just partner?
The reason is because to sell FM’s “conversational marketing” to advertisers, you need an experienced sales team. As an FM rep explained, both companies each have active sales teams in the food space, but FM’s sales staff also sells in other categories. It would be a headache and a mess to try to coodinate two separate sales teams to sell the same inventory. That’s especially true since there are myriad agencies handling a mix of food and non-food brands.
As for the merging the two companies together, FoodBuzz’s executives will essentially keep their roles at FM.