For the quarter ended June 30, Vocus reported revenue of $43.6 million and a profit of $2.5 million excluding unusual and non-recurring transactions. When those costs were included in the second-quarter results, Vocus posted a $5.2 million loss, compared with a $760,000 loss in the same three months last year.

Rudman said the company will use its cash flow to fund its expansion through next year.

To fund growth, Vocus will squeeze its profit margin — lowering it from 13 percent in the past to about seven percent, Roderick estimated.

Competitors both big and small are circling the digital marketing market. One of Vocus's larger competitors is Constant Contact, a Waltham, Mass.-based company that had $214 million in revenue last year, $100 million more than Vocus.

Consolidation in the industry already has started. Earlier this year, Salesforce paid $689 million to buy Buddy Media, a prominent social media marketing technology company. And Oracle paid $300 million for Vitrue, another social media marketing technology firm.

Spending on digital marketing is expected to grow from $37 billion this year to $55 billion by 2016, according to eMarketer.

Vocus's long-term goal is to grow as the market for digital marketing expands.

"We expect to become a billion-dollar software company," Rudman said. "There's room for a few of us."

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