The newest episode of “Red Sky Fuel for Thought” is part of our Behind the Brand series, which pulls back the curtain on an iconic brand to focus on the people shaping its communications and marketing strategy. We launched this series in April 2023, with Gráinne O’Brien, senior director of corporate affairs for Kellogg Europe.
This month, host Linda Descano, CFA®, EVP, Red Havas welcomes Dino Delic back to the pod (he previously chatted with us in December 2020 about our Word of the Year). Dino has been with Meltwater since 2009, having grown with the company through four promotions and roles in Melbourne, New York, Chicago and now Los Angeles.
Now with 27,000 global customers in 50 offices across six continents, and 2,300 employees, Meltwater empowers companies with a suite of solutions that spans media, social, consumer and sales intelligence.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- Why influencer marketing, ESG and misinformation were the hot topics at this year’s Meltwater Summit
- What differentiates companies that succeed in the short term from those that succeed in the longterm
Linda kicks off her conversation with Dino by asking him to describe his role at Meltwater, to which he replies, “My job is to help our team help our clients connect the dots as much as possible with all the external data that we collect. What we’re really helping companies do is collect information outside of their four walls, make sense of it and make more informed decisions so they can better understand where they’re spending money wisely and not spending money.”
Dino says he landed in the external intelligence field many years ago, by accident. “I studied marketing, but I got my first sales job at the age of 18; I was just hooked on interacting with people. It turns out, if you like problem solving, sales is a pretty good profession. But I didn’t stick around in a sales career for over two decades now because I love sales. It was just through pure luck that I landed on a company that has such an interesting data set.”
The company also has an immense following, having recently attracted more than 800 attendees and more than 50 speakers, including Bethenny Frankel and Trevor Noah, to the Meltwater Summit in New York. At the Summit, Meltwater introduced two new AI Assistants, leveraging the latest technology in generative AI (learn more through the link in our show notes). The first is a PR Assistant which helps PR professionals draft press releases and personalize pitches to journalists in record time. The second is the AI Writing Assistant, powered by the ChatGPT API, which drafts highly engaging social content, saving teams time and increasing social engagement at scale.
Dino says, “There’s a lot of interest in AI, especially because of how excited people are that automation can save time, but I’m kind of sick of the conversation going into fear mongering about AI. Especially in professions in strategy, customer service, sales, brand marketing, PR and comms, the biggest gripe for everybody is that they’re so busy, that they don’t have time to do their job because they have to do a lot of manual work. There are so many things that people just pull their hair out about. That’s what I’m excited about — is that AI can eliminate all those menial tasks. That shouldn’t be replacing jobs. That I think is just hype and hyperbole.”
Linda and Dino also talk about what defines a successful company today and how data can be used to ensure not only longevity but collaboration between departments.
“The companies that do better, versus the ones struggling with business, are the ones that have a nice, central unifying mission and set of values, and everybody contributes to those goals,” says Dino. “The companies that do well, but only for a short period of time, are the ones that have a really strong marketing discipline or function, but it doesn’t last because they don’t work all well together.”
He points to use cases highlighted at the Summit, whereby PR and sales teams are working together, using Meltwater’s media monitoring tools to track competitors or key accounts and ultimately inform customer service and sales.
“The holy grail for PR is to be able to say, ‘We ran a campaign and generated this much business,’” says Dino. “That’s next to impossible because that’s not how people make purchasing decisions. But a good PR campaign changes user behavior. What keeps me employed and excited is realizing that, especially in PR and comms, people don’t often connect the dots between what they’re doing and what their company is doing. They’re just looking to measure their own performance. With the benefit of data, and the tools that we have, you can really inform strategy, but you can also inform other departments.”
The most popular track at this year’s Meltwater Summit was the influence track, says Dino, explaining they couldn’t put enough chairs in the room. “What was interesting is when I looked around at all the name tags, and all the disciplines that were in that room, it wasn’t just marketing or PR,” he says. “Influencer marketing is becoming such an interesting space, because it’s at the confluence of a really good earned campaign, backed by an influencer campaign, and then also a paid strategy. It’s customer acquisition, it’s building trust, it’s creating awareness.”
The Summit’s second most-talked about topic: ESG and how consumers crave authenticity and desire tangible actions from brands. This is particularly relevant in influencer marketing, where consumers seek a genuine connection with influencers and desire behind-the-scenes content.
Dino emphasizes that it’s not enough for brands to make promises, such as electrifying their fleet or implementing sustainable practices. Consumers want to know how these promises will be fulfilled and desire influencers who genuinely share their passion for the brand. They want to see influencers who can take them behind the scenes and provide an authentic look at the brand’s actions and values.
Linda closes by asking Dino a few rapid-fire questions, including what his superpower is, what’s the best career advice he’s ever received and if he lives by any particular motto or mantra.