Wildfire's Social Marketing Suite provides mobile and desktop content management of social network pages; message management and dissemination across multiple social networks; promotion execution across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube; ad management and execution; and real-time analytics in one platform.
Subscriptions start at $2,500 per month.
Brian Pope, SVP of marketing at Popchips, has been using Wildfire's Social Marketing Suite regularly since August 2011.
How do you use it?
We use Wildfire to run all our digital promotions. It's very easy to use. We don't have an IT department. We're a small, scrappy group and we needed the people who develop promotional ideas to be able to execute them and have a professional end-product look that is customized for that certain program.
When you log on, you come into a dashboard where you can create new promotions, adapt current promotions, or view analytics for existing promotions.
If I want to set up a sweepstakes promotion, I go to that section of the dashboard and enter all consumer-facing information through a simple content management system. We can upload a JPEG for the visual we want behind the campaign, choose a color scheme, enter copy, all the legal information, dates, rules, and more.
We most often create all our own assets and upload them into Wildfire's template. Occasionally, we want to run something more customized, and our account team at Wildfire works with us on a one off basis to create customized graphical looks without having to rebuild the underlying infrastructure.
Because Wildfire is platform based, its support staff is always working behind the scenes to keep it up and running – that's one of the reasons we chose it. Should there be a problem, a whole account team is just a phone call or an email away. We tend to be a 24/7 kind of company, and they've always been very accessible.
We haven't noticed any kind of change or difference, good or bad, since Google acquired Wildfire. We still have the same account team.
How does it serve your business needs?
We're an emerging company that started from scratch about five years ago. We were entering the very competitive packaged snack food category and we knew we would never have the marketing dollars the big boys have. From early on, we focused on grassroots marketing and connecting with one customer at a time to build relationships and create evangelists.
It's been very word-of-mouth driven – partly traditional through field marketing and sampling at events, and partly through connecting with people digitally and empowering them to help us spread the word. Wildfire allows us to engage in conversations, launch new ones, and to make it easy for those people to engage with us and spread the word.
One way we use it is to start national conversations with our brand ambassadors. We recently brought on Katy Perry as a new investor and she has 46 million Facebook fans. If you come up with the right creative hook, she can post a message and reach more people with that one post than you could reach during a primetime TV show.
We've done a couple of Wildfire-based promotions for Katy. One was we wanted her fans to upload photos of themselves in their best Katy pose. It was designed to get deep engagement with a relatively small group of people. Katy posted information about the promotion and a link through her Facebook feed.
Anyone who clicked on it ended up at our Wildfire-hosted promotion page where they could upload their photo. More than 300 people uploaded photos. The winner flew to LA to star with Katy in a Popchips featurette video that will debut next spring.
We've also used Wildfire for a sweepstakes called Katy Perry's Popstar Getaway that was designed to get broad reach. The winner would fly to LA to meet Katy and do some of the things she enjoys doing in LA. We set it up so escalating prize levels were unlocked for every 15,000 people who entered the contest.
So it started being just a trip, then we unlocked the hotel, restaurant, shopping, and chance to meet her. We wanted a low barrier to entry and a mechanism that encouraged people to tell others about the sweepstakes so we added the progressive prize.
As a brand, we're highly decentralized in our marketing. We like to engage locally, and Wildfire allows us to create a base level program that we can replicate across multiple markets. For example, we just did a program called Game Changers that involved celebrity athletes in 15 markets donating time to a charity in their community.
The program allowed fans from each city to suggest charities and vote on which one they thought the athlete should donate time to. Wildfire allowed us create program template and really easily upload specific information about each individual athlete in each market. It was much more cost effective than designing 15 promotions from scratch.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
What are the main benefits?
It's turnkey and easy to use.
It gives us the ability to run promotions quickly and really cost effectively
because we're able to do more, especially when it comes to activating local market efforts.
What are the main drawbacks?
It's only one part of our suite of tools. We still require other tools, particularly for analytics, CRM, listening to sentiment, and understanding conversations.
The base product requires you to upload certain visual assets into certain boxes. This is just part of working with a templated tool, but Wildfire has also worked with us to build custom solutions.
What would you like to see improved / added?
I think there's an opportunity to make Wildfire more of a learning system – particularly around the ability to aggregate user data. I would like to understand more about the consumers who engage with our promotions – What else are they talking about? Who are the most engaged? Who are the most influential?
I would like to be able to connect those users to other data so we can get smarter about delivering relevant content. The whole point is to create conversations people want to engage in. From a brand standpoint, you need to come up with interesting things to say that your fans want to talk about and make it easy for them to share and communicate back to the brand.
Right now, Wildfire makes it easy to start these conversations. Ideally, it would be nice if Wildfire could help us get smarter about the types of conversations to have and help us get more targeted and focused in creating new conversations.
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