John Bensalhia talks to Delightful Communications founder Mel Carson about the key marketing trends of 2019 and his company’s guiding principles
Social media and personal branding strategist Mel Carson is about to mark an important career milestone.
Next year, Mel will be celebrating 20 years in digital marketing, and having founded modern marketing, branding and digital PR firm, Delightful Communications, his career continues to go from strength to strength.
“I used to be an eternally resting actor until I stumbled on a role at LookSmart that used to be the search engine for MSN and Alta Vista way back when,” explains Mel. “After five years there and at a digital agency, I got asked to join Microsoft to help launch adCenter which became Bing Ads and now Microsoft Advertising.”
Mel has always loved working in technology and has relished the challenges that a fast moving environment brings. “
There’s something about being at the cutting-edge of helping companies connect with consumers that has always thrilled me. You’ll not find me working in a bank. Too boring!”
“For the past few years I have been helping leaders of companies really take advantage of the opportunity digital and social media has to help them and their message be more discoverable, shareable, and memorable. I’ll be telling some stories of how successful people are creating successful companies through their own personal brands and by encouraging employee advocacy.”
People Not Pixels
One of the aspects that Delightful Communications promotes is “People Not Just Pixels”, and in a world where technology is more prevalent, the emphasis on people is as important as ever.
“All the research points to the fact that people trust people way more than they do brand,” explains Mel. “That’s why we encourage companies to involve people in all their marketing. At Delightful, we have a principle that’s People Not Just Pixels. It resonates really well with clients and our employees and have seen some good success by embodying it in all our work.”
But as Mel explains, social media is a vital tool in promoting a business.
“The benefits are boundless. Social media creates a two-way flow of information and feedback for consumers to engage with companies and businesses to learn how they can improve and build better products and service.”
Mel adds that social listening also helps inform how brand should be positioning themselves against the competition.
“There are so many great tools out there that do that kind of thing, it’s a total must for companies to be using them and social media as part of an integrated marketing plan.”
With the concepts of AI and machine learning growing in stature, this has created greater awareness.
“One of the most notable marketing technology trends this year is definitely seeing people actually knowing what they are talking about now with regards to AI and machine learning,” says Mel. “Those monikers have been buzzwords for those not realising AI has been around for and being used for years. The idea though is now starting to mature and we’re seeing more opportunity to personalise and predict connections with consumers. Exciting times!”
And the exciting times look set to continue for the marketing technology arena, as Mel concludes.
“The sector will just keep growing as technology becomes smarter. It needs to be smarter to deal with all the complexity consumers are now faced with across different devices and platforms.”
“When I started in this industry in 2000 there was little mobile internet and no social media. Laptops weighed a ton and search engines served up ten blue links. Now the person on the street has a myriad of different entry and consideration points to access buying information and, as that complexity grows, technology will have to grow and adapt too in order to keep up!”