Spotlight: Melanie's thoughts on brand and marketing

Melanie is often described as creatively analytical and she brings that to her role as Head of Marketing, Brand and Design. With her experience spanning banking and payments to home appliances, Melanie is happiest when she can have a positive impact on the customer and the team and wakes up everyday with a passion for great storytelling and a desire to win.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Let me start with a bit about what I do. I am the Head of Marketing, Brand and Design at CellPoint Digital and have been here for a little bit over a year. I have the honor of leading the small but mighty marketing team that is working to both define Payment Orchestration and position CellPoint as the leader and inventor of the category. In my past, I have worked in almost every area of marketing from demand generation to branding to customer research and competitive intelligence. My passion is B2B marketing and I have had the opportunity to work across the entire payments ecosystem from credit reporting to issuing to merchant acquiring and now Payment Orchestration.

Now, for a little about who I am. My passion is leading people to be more than they ever thought they could be by meeting them where they are and helping them to see what is possible. I think I do this with everyone from my children to my coworkers and friends. I love to laugh and live music is my favorite thing, especially blues guitar– although my musical taste is wide. If I am not listening to music and sometimes while I am, you’ll find me reading and have an extensive library of everything from history books to fantasy fiction. I like to think I am kind and caring and cheerful and generous to all.

I live in the Atlanta Metropolitan area with my husband and two crazy dogs.

How has your experience as the Head of Marketing, Brand and Design of Cellpoint Digital shaped your perspective on the fintech industry? Can you share with us some of the standout moments in your journey, both the challenges and opportunities?

It has been an interesting and enriching journey to go from having a career at some of the top brands and largest companies in the world to working for a small start-up in the Fintech Industry. I have learned a ton in the year+ I have been here and feel like I am able to leverage all of the various marketing skills I have learned over the years to have a real and meaningful impact on the company. I have also been able to build the exact team that I need to execute on what we are here to do and I know that together we can accomplish great things.

Fintech is one of the true disruptive forces in the world today. Money and money movement is so important and as we continue to globalize there need to be fewer barriers to moving money between countries and between people and businesses.

This empowers economic mobility and serves as an equalizer for societies around the world. Banks (and I have worked for several) have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. It takes companies like CellPoint Digital to shake things up and to be an advocate for customers and changing the industry paradigms.

As a leader in marketing and growth strategies, what sets your approach apart from others in the fintech start-up world? Can you give us a behind-the-scenes look at the methods you've used to drive brand recognition and growth?

We are a brand that very few people know with a product that people don’t yet realize they need. I have every belief that in 10 years time, Payment Orchestration will be how almost all merchants process payments. I think of it like Apple and the iPod. You didn’t know you needed 1,000 songs (or more) on one device, on demand, until you had it and then you didn’t know how you’d live without it. We will look back at 2023 and think that was the year it all changed.

In any tech field, a marketing leader must have a vision—a bigger view of what is possible and keep in mind the macro-trends impacting customers, customer sentiment and the competitive and market landscape. I think one of the things that sets me apart from others in this field is that I come from a marketing insights background and I use the trends and insights to develop a strategy that will have a huge impact.

I also believe very strongly that sales and marketing are on the same team – trying to achieve the same goals. We are not in competition with each other, we are here to serve the same ends – profitable revenue. So, I approach marketing from that perspective and believe that the relationship we have with sales is THE most critical and it can’t be a matter of ego if we want to achieve the results we’ve committed to.

Juggling the demands of a fast-paced start-up with long-term planning can be a challenge. Can you walk us through your strategy for balancing both as the Head of Marketing, Brand and Design of Cellpoint Digital?

It starts with the vision and truly understanding your highest purpose as a company. I don’t think of CellPoint Digital as just a payments company, I think of us as an economic engine. We help businesses save money and generate more revenue, which in turn allows them to hire more people, pay higher wages or offer new products which then fuels economic opportunity. While we are planning month-to-month in some cases, we are also thinking about the future we will create and what we need to do to get there. I keep that higher purpose in mind.

What words of wisdom would you offer to those who are looking to follow in your footsteps? How can they overcome any obstacles and reach their goals?

When I was leaving the relative “safety” of a big company for a smaller, start-up business, I was nervous. Taking the chance on a company that was doing something innovative and different without the financial backing of a publicly traded company was a risk, but I would say now, that it was 100% worth the risk. So, my first words of wisdom are to take the chance. Size doesn’t mean stability. Not only are you taking a chance on the company, but you are taking a chance on yourself. In a smaller company, there is nowhere to hide and many times you are rolling up your sleeves and doing the work that you are also directing, but it can be really fun and empowering to see your work come to life.

I am an eternal optimist (too optimistic, perhaps?), but I truly believe that for every problem there is a solution and that fear serves no one. So when I feel nervous or afraid, I write down those feelings on a blank sheet of paper to get them out of my head and then rip the paper up and throw it away. It’s just a little trick to help me stop swirling on my feelings. I would tell people to put a name on the obstacles, whatever they may be, and allow yourself to feel the feelings associated with them and then logically go through them and determine if they are real blockers or perceived blockers.

It is also important to me to keep my personal purpose in mind in every interaction I have, which is meeting people where they are and helping them achieve more than they knew they could. It keeps me grounded on what is most important to me and reminds me that sometimes taking a chance is the only choice I have. If you haven’t defined your personal purpose, I would highly recommend going through the process.