6 Things Mitch Joel is Thinking About Right Now

2014-2015 Issue 1

Mitch Joel is kind of a big deal. The digital marketing expert and frequent adviser to Fortune 500 companies is also a much sought-after public speaker, and this fall he paid a visit to the McGill campus. Joel was a guest in instructor Brendan Walsh’s Internal Stakeholder Communications class, part of the Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management at the School.

Part of Joel’s job is spotting trends as they’re happening. He’s not so much interested in big changes as he is in the “little things. They’re perpetuating over time, and we just become adjusted to them.” Here are a few things he has his eye on right now.


1. Borrowing, not Buying
Remember when people owned stacks of CDs and DVDs? Why did that change? Because now we can watch movies on Netflix and stream music on Spotify. And while we’re at it, let’s borrow a Bixi bike, rent a car2go, and reduce our mobile storage because we can upload everything to the cloud. “It’s an era of impermanence, and an era of efficiency,” says Joel.

2. Anonymity on the Internet
Seems kind of ironic that Facebook just launched an anonymous app, doesn’t it? But Rooms is just the latest social app that allows users to remain anonymous; YikYak and Whisper are other examples of this trend Joel has his eye on.

3. Oreo cookies
Oreo is good at Facebook. They must be to get over 38,000,0000 likes. But why would a brand put effort into a social media site they don’t own, rather than focusing on a website they have full control over? Because a website is a standalone island; instead, the brand went to where the people are.

4. Insta-business
Scenario: you want to launch your own business with an online retail site. To make it happen, you need to think about building a website, hiring customer service, processing payments, and driving people to your site. Sounds like a lot of work. But what if you used Instagram as your website, WhatsApp for customer service, and Square to handle payments? That sort of scenario is becoming increasingly common, so much so, that an Insta Business Expo was held earlier this year.

5. Computers vs Mobile and Tablets
Not too long ago, the computer was king. It’s where you spent the majority of your time online, and phones were secondary. But that’s shifted in recent years. Mobiles and tablets are now our primary means of navigating the web.

6. Bethany Mota
Don’t know who Bethany Mota is? Neither did Mitch Joel, until he found out that his young niece is her biggest fan. Then he discovered that the 18-year-old from Los Banos, California has over 7 million YouTube subscribers, with video views often exceeding that number. Not only is that an astounding feat, she did it all from her bedroom. For Joel, Mota is living proof that “you can build a brand and an audience directly without the help of mainstream media.” But don’t worry if you haven’t heard of her; her perky personality is aimed squarely at 13-to-17-year-old girls.

Other topics Joel touched on include SnapChat, Beats by Dre, the tiny house moment, and more. For more info, follow him on twitter, visit his blog, and when the next trend hits, remember where you heard it first.

Click for more information on the Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management.

Mitch Joel is President of Mirum Montreal. For more, visit his blog, Six Pixels of Separation.

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