KARL MOORE – This is Karl Moore of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Talking Management for The Globe and Mail. Today, I am delighted to speak to Mitch Joel, who is the president of Twist Image, one of the top digital marketing firms in the world.
We are talking with some of our MBA students about building your brand. What advice do you have for building a brand, and is that really important today?
MITCH JOEL – Well I am a marketing guy so, of course, I think brand is everything – but I really do.
I think we live in a world where ideas are everywhere and ideas can be distributed and shared everywhere. The unique perspective that I think that we bring to it is the individual.
If you and I were to sit down and spend five minutes writing about a definition for digital marketing, I am sure that we would both come to a similar conclusion but the pieces, those unique pieces of content, would be fundamentally different because your perspective is different than my perspective. In a world like that – it's the whole "no two snowflakes are alike" – you have a place where you can build a platform unlike any other.
Oscar Wilde once famously said "Be you because others are already taken." Now we live in this world where, through social channels and connected technologies, you really can express that in texts, images, audio and video, instantly and for free to the world, so it is less about advertising who I am, advertising my product or my startup, it's more about marketing, connecting, product, price, promotion, place, how I feel about it, what the intricacies are of it, and why I feel that way versus someone else.
KARL MOORE – How does an individual, a student, discover what their brand is?
MITCH JOEL – Yes it's not easy. I often tell the story of when I was doing an event out in Los Angeles with a major manufacturer of products, and one of the people in the audience had asked one of the senior-most marketers: "What is the one piece of advice that you got that changed your life forever?"
She said that she had gone through university, graduated, took her first job and wasn't really thrilled, sat down with her father and her father said to her, "Just remember that every single day, you are writing your résumé." Great piece of advice for a parent to give to a daughter, and great piece of advice for a parent to give a son.
In a world of digital, where you can not only write your résumé every day but you can share it, you can express it to the world, my hope is that younger people, students, or anybody can use that as a catalyst to build their résumé.