Wildfire is a groundbreaking South African research project that explores the power of networks and the impact of word-of-mouth marketing. Wildfire has come up with fascinating findings about major local brands and has generated a revolutionary new marketing tool: with the use of Research Surveys EQLi model, the UCT Unilever Institute developed the Wildfire index – a composite of individual consumer levels of optimism about their own future and the size of their networks.
These networks provide us with a more scientific way of determining the power of word-of-mouth marketing and the talk value of a brand. This project aims to help marketers make the best use of viral and network marketing and quantitatively measure their performance in these areas.
People have evolved beyond the passive consumerism of the mass media age to the active consumerism of the global information age. No longer defined by the mass media marketing of their parents, young consumers are defined by their experience of complex networks. They have a sophisticated mastery of modern technology and heightened levels of awareness through global media.
Marketers and advertisers need to understand this and think outside the box to get the attention they need for their brands – otherwise they just get lost in the clutter.