Delightful Communications News: September Recap

September was full of fantastic industry events and Delightful has been busy learning about, and sharing the latest digital marketing trends and technologies.

Delightful News September

During Dreamforce 2015 in San Francisco, we got the chance to learn about the future of marketing technologies and the current state of the industry from some great speakers like Satya Nadella from Microsoft and Marc Benioff from Saleforce. With our client, we attended Share15 and Mel was invited to share his wisdom on influencer marketing in a session with the digital marketers. The last stops on the crazy autumn conference train were SMX East and #JanesofDigital in NYC, where we had a great time helping our clients and connecting with our friends from the industry.

Besides sharing his insights in-person, Mel was also asked to comment on the future of spokespeople and Donald Trump’s personal brand in a couple of online articles:

Is Trump Gambling His Empire with Risky Prez Bid? On Who. What Why

20 Insights On The Future Of Spokespeople & Influencers on Momentology

Plus, we were delighted that our bi-weekly newsletter >> The Delightful Times << was cited as a great example of curated newsletter in James Qualtrough’s article How to set up a curated newsletter for creative people in half a day.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading!

Bianca Hu – Delightful’s Digital Marketing Specialist

Top 4 Takeaways from Dreamforce 2015 #DF15

A couple of weeks ago, along with more than 150,000 attendees, we were at Dreamforce in downtown San Francisco to learn from numerous amazing keynote speeches, educational sessions, and networking events.


Salesforce, soon to be the 4th largest software company in the world in 2016 according to its CEO Marc Benioff, presented a mind-blowing event again with guests such as Satya Nadella, Jessica Alba, Susan Wojcicki, etc.

Surrounded by a ton of new technologies and insights over 3 days at Dreamforce, here are some of our biggest takeaways on digital marketing from the event:

The Marketing Cloud is Becoming More Intelligent & Predictive

According to Marc Benioff, the cloud computing market will be worth 270 billion dollars in 2020, so we looked forward to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud session where CEO, Scott McCorkle, kicked off the their keynote with a bunch of big brands on stage telling compelling stories of how personalization and predictive analytics were driving incredible results in engagement and ROI from their target audiences.

4 Marketing Lessons Businesses Can Learn from a House Remodel

We recently remodeled our house in Seattle. It was quite a large job which included replacing the roof, furnace, windows, doors, floors, and adding a new kitchen and bathroom.

In all we needed 8 specialist contractors to do the work and we needed it done quickly. While early summer is not the best time to request bids as it’s a busy time in the lives of contractors, I was amazed by some of these businesses lack of communication and marketing skills.

Channeling my frustration into some lessons learned, here are 4 of my takeaways from an experience that EVENTUALLY has helped us renovate a home we love living in.

4 marketing lessons

Establish a Response Protocol

When emailing in requests for bids I’d like to think I was pretty thorough with the ask. I’d detail what we needed doing and within what timeframe, and wait patiently for an answer. Sometimes there would be none, sometimes it would take days and sometimes someone called or emailed within 24 hours.

Every business should have some kind of response protocol that ensures leads are dealt with in a timely manner. Every effort should be made to answer any questions thoroughly and use the opportunity to ask questions of the prospect to better understand their needs.

When being approached by a prospect, treat them with respect and know every action you take in early stage communication will be building blocks to a perception (positive or negative) they will use to decide whether they want to give you their business.

Don’t Treat All Customers the Same

For some reason many of the contractors we talked to seemed to be treating every customer the same and almost over-servicing them. By that I mean they didn’t seem to understand that some customers might require a lot of handholding and some (like us) didn’t and just wanted to know what, how much and when. We had a kitchen company and a roofing company insist on coming out and spending an hour with us to really understand our needs, “get to know us” etc etc etc. I understand that approach might work for some in establishing trust, but we were in a hurry and needed to streamline the process and get on with the project. Needless to say their approach also came at a premium so we didn’t use them as their customer service layer was adding more fat to their bottom line.

My point here is to have some kind of segmentation of your prospects. Ascertain early on if they need to be high-touch or low-drag. Not every customer will be the same but by personalizing your communication with them just a little bit, you’re more likely to establish trust early on and have a better chance of closing the deal.

Make Managing Expectations a Priority

You might be busy but you have to put your customer first and have empathy with their situation. As these businesses were contractors dealing with customers undergoing the upheaval of home renovations, making sure the managed their clients expectations should have been top of the list, but for many of them they didn’t give us the full picture of what their particular project process entailed and there were many surprises and fire drills to deal with because we had not been made aware of things we needed to consider.

A lack of planning and expectation management at the start of a relationship can lead to delays and frustration so making sure as part of the marketing process the process is outlined and clear to all parties can help mitigate issues arising further down the line.

Follow Up and Be Delightful

Most of the people we ended up hiring we found through cross-referencing reviews and information on sites like Angie’s List and Yelp. Not one. NOT ONE followed up to ask us how they did and asked us to write them a review or give them honest feedback.

How can you know if you have done a good job if you don’t ask? How can you compete in a digital world where 80% of purchase decisions start with a search on Google or Bing if you don’t take care of your web presence?

Word of mouth and social media drive so much consumption these days as people believe marketing less and less and turn to their peers for help and advice online.

Just one company, the guys who replaced our roof, followed up with a card saying thanks and a little gift basket as a token of their appreciation. That nice touch might have cost them 10 dollars but it meant a million to me and will repay itself over the years as I have already recommended them to several friends.

Everything I’ve talked about in this post is simply common sense in my mind. Making sure your marketing and business processes align to the situation your customer is in breaks down barriers of communication and expectation and instills trust from the get-go.

And it is trust you’re seeking to earn as a business. Trust that you can do the work, trust the work will be of sufficient quality and trust that earns dividends as your happy customers become advocates for your brand.

And don’t forget to:

Subscribe to The Delightful Times

Follow @Delightful on Twitter

Like the Delightful Facebook Page

Join us on LinkedIn


@MelCarson – Founder of Delightful

Social by Design: How to Make Your Personal Brand Stand Out. Always.

In the final of 10 installments of our Personal Branding Strategy Series I want to encourage you to be “social by design”.

I first heard the phrase from Carolyn Everson, my former big boss at Microsoft Advertising and now Head of Global Advertising Solutions at Facebook. Adapted from the industry cry for brands to be “digital by design”, Carolyn’s morphing of the expression is the perfect discipline for the busy professional of today.


Here are a few ideas of what it means to be “social by design”:

Getting your social infrastructure right

I talk about it in detail in the post on How to Reengineer Your Digital Presence, but this is about making sure your social profiles – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. – are set up properly so you’re half way to success. Your profiles need to be discoverable, they need to have the right security settings activated and it needs to be easy for someone to interact with you, understand immediately what you are about, and share whatever you are trying to get out there.

Embrace and Expound Your Experience

I have a story.

You have a story.

We ALL have a story.

If our personal brand is all about what kind of experience people have with us online and in-person, that experience has a past and we need to embrace it.

Embrace and Expond Experience

During a personal branding workshop I delivered last week, we talked about our professional past: what was our educational experience? How did we get into our niche? What were our professional passions? What did we find hard? Where did we want to be in 3 years time from a career perspective?

In just 5 minutes talking about themselves (not any easy or comfortable thing for many to do) the participants had started to cultivate a story about their career that had structure – a beginning, a middle and a desired end.

How to Use Pinterest for Personal Branding

When we think about using social media for personal branding, most of us would immediately think of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook right?

Well, what about Pinterest?


At first glance, you may think of Pinterest as an extremely visual-oriented digital bookmarketing tool that doesn’t fit in your personal branding strategy unless you are in areas such as retail, fashion, arts, design, etc. But Pinterest can be a terrifically complementary to your digital presence and personal brand no matter what niche you are in.

Gemma Craven, Executive Director of Strategic Markets at Spredfast explained in a webinar with Adweek recently that Pinterest has reached significant scale and maturity with more than 70 million users and 1 billion boards.

Moreover, according to a study from Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. We recently uploaded all of our personal branding articles and blog posts on Pinterest and it has already became the 3rd biggest social referral source to Delightful’s website!

So, are you ready to know how to use Pinterest for personal branding? Let’s get started.

Treat Pinterest differently

Pinterest is a unique social platform in many ways:

Pinterest Difference

How to Craft a Personal Branding Statement

When we deliver our personal branding workshops and training, one of the exercises is to have people work on a Personal Branding Statement.

Personal Branding Statement

The 3 step process starts with what we call “5 in 5″ where we all sit down with a partner and talk for five minutes about:

  • Their educational experience
  • Their work experience
  • What they love about what they do
  • What they find hard
  • Where they want to be in 3 years time

We use that information and our internal compass to define and establish a Professional Purpose – the reason why we do what we do and (beyond money) why we get out of bed in the morning.

Why & How You Should Start an Influencer Marketing Program – New e-book from Linkdex & Momentology

In the information age, we are all influenced by the inexhaustible flow of digital media, content, and messages.

All of the time.

The Internet makes it more difficult for brands to manage their online reputation and consumer sentiment because they themselves are not the main source of their own message anymore.

Brands are simply not as authoritative as they used to be:

  • Fewer than 10% of shoppers actually visit manufacturer websites when researching a purchase.
  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations while just 33% trust ads.
  • 43% of people say they turn to blogs when they are looking for inspiration.
  • 48% of consumers discovered new brands and products, mostly while browsing content online.

(From Influence Now)

So who are sending out the messages that actually influence your consumers? How can you find them in order to build healthy relationships? Should you start an influencer program or campaign in the first place?

A recent e-book >> Influence Now by Linkdex and Momentology answers all these questions for you.

Influence Now

Mel Carson, Delightful’s Founder, has shared his thoughts in the book on what makes a successful influencer.

How to Analyze Your Competitors as You Build Your Personal Brand

When it comes to digital marketing per se, one of the biggest gaps I see companies unable to fill is the real-time understanding of what their competition is up to. During my fifteen years in digital, I’ll be the first to admit being so down in the weeds executing on the tactical plan that I’ve not had the wherewithal to notice what the competitive set have been working on.


Having learned that lesson, one of the first things we do at Delightful with any of our clients is conduct a competitive analysis to see who’s out there, what they are doing well and where the opportunities are to differentiate and stand out.

Competitive analysis is as important for you and your personal brand as it is for the company you work for. Understanding what other people in your niche are doing, saying and how successful they are is crucial to personal branding success and here are a few things you can do to figure out who they are, their impact and what you can do to wrestle attention away from them and onto you.

How to Demonstrate Social Marketing Value – Lessons from Simply Measured Webinar

Social marketing is increasingly raising companies’ attention as an integrated marketing channel to the business. According to the CMO survey in 2014, Social media spending of marketing budgets is expected to increase 128% to 21.4% in the next five years.


However, many social marketers are still struggling to demonstrate the value of social marketing. Although tons of new social marketing analytics tools are emerging, measuring ROI is still the number one challenge for marketers, according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey by Simply Measured and TrustRadius.

A webinar with Kevin Shively, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured, and Megan Headley, Research Director at TrustRadius, discussed the challenges social markers are facing and provided some insightful tips on what they can do about the challenges.

Here are our top learnings from the webinar on how to make the most out of social marketing and demonstrate its value:

Set Right Goals and Metrics

Why are you using social media? This should be the very first question you ask before setting up the social marketing strategy as it’s crucial for defining the value of any social programs.

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