Mel is Founder of Delightful Communications, a Seattle-based Social Media, Digital PR and Personal Branding consultancy. This is his personal blog, a collection of news and anecdotes which Mel hopes will inform as well as bring a smile to people's faces.
Super-chuffed to have been asked by Jake Hird at Econsultancy to contribute an interview to their blog. I’ve known him for a while now and am always impressed with his industry knowledge, and the way he spreads such great and useful insight on Twitter etc…
I had no idea what to expect having never been to an event like it, but took my Kodak Zi8 and a microphone in the hope of catching someone to talk to.
Gianlucca Vialli played with our Bing team
Well as it turned out, we had a huge Bing bus right in the middle of Dukes Meadows Golf Course and a host of celebs became easy pickings for “a few words for the sponsors.”
Dougray Scott with a motley crew from Microsoft
In the video I talk to Hugh Grant, James Nesbitt, Tim Henman, Damian Lewis, Tim Lovejoy, Phil Glenister, Mark Nicholas, Rob Brydon and Gianluca Vialli.
Hugh are you?
Nearly all of them were very accommodating and gave us and the fabulous guys at Cherry UK some great material to edit. I say nearly all, because one gave me a bit of a runaround which, if you see me out and about I’d be happy to share, but not here!
Jimmy Nesbitt know how to party!
I needed a hook. Something about Bing to ask them and get a variety of responses.
So I came up with:
“What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?”
Geddit? Bing’s our “Decision Engine”……..anyway we got some great answers, so watch on!
Tim shared he’s not played tennis for 16 months!
James Walsh from Starsailor – he and his tour manager were delightful!
Already talk of us doing it all again next year……….so I’m off to the driving range!
As more and more main stream press start talking about privacy and the issues around it, I’m finding it easier for non-industry friends and family to accept behavioural targeting as a valid way to reach them and keep the services they love and care about FREE!!
Tell people Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! are about to start charging for search, video and email and there’d be a riot…….
5 years ago – I got up early – 4am – dragged myself to Waterloo, and caught the train with the fabulous, and now newly married, Nitin Hegde, to Paris where I witnessed the first ever ad go live from adCenter on MSN.fr. I then spent the next 2 days working with my colleague Clea Blockey, to upload Expedia’s French PPC campaign, ad group by ad group, as we didn’t have a bulk upload tool back then.
After 7…………..yes 7 interviews, I had joined Microsoft from 24/7 Real Media as the 1st account manager for adCenter based in London. For the next 9 months I’d work with my boss – Julie Warburton – on hiring and training the acclaimed customer service team we have today.
Very proud of Mark Richardson, Chris Wallington, Ravleen Beeston, Colm Bracken and Lee Blyth for the work they’ve done over the years with that crackpot team.
Dixon Jones – Not in Vegas For a Change
4 years ago – I’d just got the community manager role for adCenter in EMEA. Essentially, I was going to work with my fabulous Redmond-based social media partner – Carolyn Miller – writing PPC blog posts and managing the adCenter forum.
One of the requirements was to seek out authorities in the industry and try and help them understand our business a bit better, figure out where the pain-points were, and feedback any insight to our product teams so they use it to make our products and services better.
I remember calling up Andy Atkins-Kruger and telling him about the new job and he said, “Oh well you much come to Iceland!”
Getting Serious with Viking Kristjan
Now, I knew Iceland was not a top priority for adCenter at the time and there was no way way I’d get permission to go, but Andy said some chap called Kristjan would pay for my trip if I promised to do a cracking presentation. The rest, as far as I’m concerned, goes down as a little bit of career history.
Spending time with Dixon Jones, Anne Kennedy, Shari Thurow, Chris Sherman, Andy, Brian Clifton, MikkeldeMibSvendsen, Sara Andersson and, of course, Kristjan, showed me just how amazing the search industry was, how smart everyone on was in it, and just how much work I had to do!
Dave Naylor – Drinking Chianti in San Jose
3 years ago – I was asked by Media Week to start writing a digital blog for them. I’d also started blogging from events and doing a lot of travel, talking about adCenter and search at conferences here and in the US. It was that year I got my British Airways Gold Card because I was piling on the points with trips to San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Toronto and Las Vegas.
Rand Fishkin and Dog about 100 ft from that Volcano!
2 years ago – I set up a Twitter account and Facebook page for me, adCenter and Microsoft Advertising. I had a built a case for us going “off piste” and using 3rd parties – which were sometimes competitor tools – in order to spread our news and insight a bit further.
Thankfully my boss – Jenny Leahy – was opened minded and now we have nearly 20K fans and followers across those accounts that “listen-in” anytime we have something to say.
It was last year that I ran into a couple of my top 5 career highlights – interviewing Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and of course Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.
Can’t show you the last one, but it was showed internally and he didn’t disappoint!
Biz Stone in Cannes
In 5 years I’ve seen us go from MSN Search, to Windows Live Search, to Live Search and now to Bing – much better brand don’t you think?!
The part of the business I work for has gone from MSN to Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions to Microsoft Advertising.
Windows 7 was launched, Windows Phone 7 is just around the corner and Kinect for Xbox 360 means people like me with no thumb dexterity can now compete in the living room. I spent 2 hours with Blaise, the man behind Deep Zoom and Photosynth and worked with the TED guys on TED@Cannes getting exclusive back stage access to the speakers.
Thinking about it, I reckon I’ve been responsible for well over 1000 blog posts across various sites.
But, most importantly………………….. I got married to the wonderful Ashley!!
I’m immensely proud of my time here as Microsoft. I think the 2 minute wrap up video from this year’s Cannes Lions says it all about how well we are positioned in digital advertising, and long may it continue.
When people ask what I do for Microsoft, I tend to say that I do a lot of talking, either online or in person.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t have been able to do my job with out the hundreds of people that have sat and listened to what I’ve had to say.
There are swathes of people who have turned up at conferences I’ve organised, been interviewed by me or contributed guest blog posts, that have retweeted our stuff or helped promote what Microsoft Advertising is about and how we can help marketers reach huge audiences and get a great ROI.
To all those folks…………a huge thank you for helping me do my job!
I’ve singled out a few people below – I may have missed a few though as, Oil of Olay aside, I am getting old!