December 3, 2014 Mitchell Derrey

Mel Carson (@MelCarson)
is a digital strategist who helps businesses understand and make the most of digital
media and technology. He’s often tapped to be a keynote speaker at many events and
conferences. We had the opportunity to get an update from him first-hand about
his book, “Pioneers of Digital.” Mel shares a few of his insights about
digital strategies, integrated marketing and branding.

What’s the biggest
mistake marketers make when they integrate social into their marketing mix?

It’s a rare thing to see complete integration of social
media in any marketing plan. Businesses are still not getting that the content
they create needs to be social by design. Many are wasting money on massive
research or video projects without thinking about how the content could be
sliced and diced for social dissemination and amplification. Social should no
longer be the last channel to push out messages. It should be included during
any research phase and, subsequently, every step of the campaign.

My favorite analogy for social and digital PR talks about
“bonfires and fireworks”. Bonfires are your ongoing social activity like
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn groups. That’s your everyday contact with the
community. Fireworks are your big events or PR announcements. They are the
flares that shoot your message high and wide drawing potential customers to
your products and services and hopefully getting them hooked into the channels
that act as bonfires when the excitement dies down.

Why is personal
branding important?

The internet has given us the opportunity to take control of
how people find us, literally and figuratively. By having a buttoned up personal
brand we’re giving ourselves a chance to express ourselves positively in an
ongoing manner that can open many a new door within our personal and
professional lives (and keep some firmly shut). Before the worldwide web it was
a lot harder, so why not take advantage of digital? It provides us a way to
have our thoughts, experience and expertise be discoverable, shareable and

Who do you turn to
for inspiration?

Inspiration is all around us, we just have to be disciplined
to keep our eyes and ears open to new experiences and think about how they
might translate into positive outcomes for the work we do.

I read a lot of business books, fiction, industry
newsletters and pick up ideas from Twitter or how friends are talking about
their lives on Facebook. Most ideas come when I’m lying down. I read that that
is totally a thing. You should try it!

What’s the one social
channel you can’t live without?

It would have to be Facebook, both from a personal and
professional point of view. I’m an Englishman living in Seattle and have
friends and family scattered all over the world, so it’s a perfect way to keep
in touch. It’s also been instrumental as a broadcast and feedback mechanism for
my business, Delightful
, ever since I launched the company in 2012.