Yesterday Google announced it was shuttering Wildfire, its social media management software (SMMS). Beginning immediately, Wildfire will no longer be signing up new customers, and the company’s offering will be integrated into other Google products. Since that point, Wildfire has been contacting its clients to tell them that their business would no longer be serviced after the end of 2015.

Over the last few years, Wildfire has been used by brands to manage their social media campaigns across platforms. Google had acquired the company for a reported $350 million dollars in 2012, a year that also featured notable acquisitions of other SMMS companies like Buddy Media and Vitrue. With this announcement, Wildfire has effectively joined Syncapse, another SMMS, who shut their doors in the middle of 2013.

Why Social Media Management Systems Are Obsolete

While this news comes as a surprise to many marketers, especially Wildfire clients, what we are experiencing is part of a larger trend occurring in the industry right now – one that we predicted earlier this year that we’re calling the Third Phase of Marketing Technology. (Please note: Percolate has a special offer for any Wildfire client currently looking to migrate.)

Wildfire and other SMMS apps were created in the Second Phase to address a large need for many marketers, helping to manage the explosion of CRM and customer service inquiries that occur on social each day. The goal of these technologies was to help brands build out their monitoring and response solutions, everything from being a new 1-800-number for social to building out customer profiles to crisis management.

As we’ve said before, this functionality is now just the price of admission. The real challenge is not just in managing your social media, it’s developing systems that accelerate content creation.

Entering a New Era of Marketing Technology

With the apparent decline of SMMS, what’s next for marketing technology? The Third Phase of marketing technology has to take into effect the tremendous shifts that the combination of social and mobile have brought about – moving beyond Facebook tab management and reactive customer service. Social provides a much broader opportunity to build a brand and reach audiences effectively with the right content.

For Wildfire clients looking for a replacement solution, moving from one SMMS to another is a shortsighted fix. SMMS platforms amount to a point solution for customer service – one element in the comprehensive list of content challenges marketers face on a daily basis.

As many software companies attack Wildfire’s client list claiming to be an improvement, they’re actually all cut from the same cloth. What a marketer needs now is a system of technology that manages the creation and distribution of all this content with centralized oversight. The marketer moves from someone that once only moved content to audiences, to someone that needs to move content through the whole organization. In this new world the marketer has the ability to touch sales, HR and almost any department that puts social and mobile at the center of their activities.

This is our vision at Percolate and what we are building towards every day.

Marketers deserve better than SMMS. If you’d like to learn how Percolate’s content marketing platform is introducing the next phase of digital marketing, please join our webinar on Wednesday, March 19.


Wednesday, March 19 @ 2pm EST [Google calendar link]