Joel Backaler is passionate about identifying and interpreting how emerging global business and marketing trends will impact the lives of executives, investors and general audiences. By helping these individuals better understand the changing world around them, Backaler hopes to prepare them to seize new global opportunities and avoid getting caught off guard as potential risks emerge from other parts of the world.
An exploratory trip to China in July 2001 that coincided with Beijing's successful 2008 summer Olympics bid, sparked a passion for global business that has stayed with Joel throughout his career. After studying Economics and East Asian Studies at Connecticut College, he received a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to travel and conduct research in Taiwan. He went on to spend several years living, studying and working in Asia - including Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore.
When Joel returned to the US in 2011, he joined Frontier Strategy Group's management team in Washington, DC to build its global marketing function from the ground up. As a global marketing strategist, he started to look at cross-border trends from Asia which culminated in the release of his first book with Palgrave Macmillan titled China Goes West which examines the rise of Chinese brands on the international stage and won an Axiom business book award.
In September 2018, Backaler released his second global marketing book, also published with Palgrave Macmillan called Digital Influence. Digital Influence explores how businesses and other organizations can incorporate influencer marketing into their global strategy by tapping into the voices of local key opinion leader and trendsetters to bring their products and services to market in an authentic, locally relevant manner.
His thought leadership has been featured in Forbes, BBC, and The Financial Times. He has worked with many of the world’s top global brands, including: The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, Philips, Cisco, HP, and Danone. He has also advised companies from emerging markets on their globalization efforts.
Joel currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Qian and son Henry.