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  • © 2018

Digital Influence

Unleash the Power of Influencer Marketing to Accelerate Your Global Business

Palgrave Macmillan


  • Offers practical guidance on how to incorporate influencers into international marketing strategy

  • Contains interviews with top influencers and marketing executives from across the globe

  • Features in-depth case studies of successful and less successful influencer campaigns

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About this book

This book brings order to the chaotic and rapidly evolving world of influencer marketing by providing readers with much needed context, frameworks, and best practices. Written for busy marketing professionals working in both domestic and international markets, it addresses these topics in a highly actionable and engaging manner.

Digital Influence covers everything from how to identify the right influencers and determine “level of influence” to collaborating with influencers and measuring ROI. It turns out, it’s not all about paying online celebrities outrageous sums to post sponsored content. Backaler also provides much-needed context for why influencer marketing is flourishing today, and perspective into what a more technologically-enabled, globally-connected future will look like.

Ultimately, people want to learn from trusted peers, not faceless companies. Better than any corporate marketing function, influencers understand how to make best use of social media platforms and tailor content for their respective cultures to engage consumers in their home markets. Business leaders should arm themselves with Backaler's book to ensure they're not left behind.


“This is a much-needed book, as many strictly academic or textbooks still have a weakness around all things digital and the so-called new media. … Digital Influence is a highly actionable book with well-researched studies and content. An in-depth guidance towards achieving meaningful results and focused on the understanding of influencers is a core goal that is achieved. This book is an easy read but with insightful content.” (Bradley Wilson, Information, Communication & Society, Vol. 22 (10), 2019)

“The rich insights in this book will interest more than the digital marketing crowd. Using case studies, frameworks, and industry figures, the author presents a wealth of details in a relevant and effective manner. … Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.” (S. M. Mohammed, Choice, Vol. 56 (9), May, 2019)
“The ultimate professional’s guide for understanding the business of influence. Joel Backaler offers an extremely actionable, fast-paced, and enjoyable read.” (Aliza Licht, fashion marketing executive and author of Leave Your Mark)

“To compete for consumers today, brands must create disruptive and shareable experiences for the audiences that matter to them. In Digital Influence, Backaler delivers an insightful guide on how you can align with the right influencers to execute meaningful, differentiated experiences that resonate.” (David Roman, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo)

“Influencers are relevant for businesses in their home country as well as in the international markets where they operate. Backaler's book highlights the global implications of this trend, and what brands need to be aware of.” (Bruna Scognamiglio, Vice-President Global Influencer Marketing, Gucci Beauty)

“The how-to book on influencer marketing the world has been waiting for!” (Mark Schaefer, author of Return On Influence and KNOWN)

“Digital Influence is highly actionable and well-researched – grounded in the first-hand experiences of brand executives, agencies and influencers from around the globe. Backaler's book is a must-read to understand how we got here, and more importantly where we're headed.” (Nick Friese, Chief Executive Officer, Digiday)

“Advocates/B2B influencers increase the number and reach of voices talking about you. Beyond quantity, advocate content and interactions are more valuable because buyers see them as authentic validation, not paid promotion. This is an incredibly important topic for executives to understand.” (Laura Ramos, Vice President and Principal Analyst, B2B Marketing, Forrester Research)

“Influencers can help brands gain trust and authenticity with increasingly skeptical and hard-to-reach customers. Joel Backaler provides in-depth guidance in Digital Influence on how to achieve real results with influencer marketing globally. He gives specific how-to tactical advice with rich examples and detailed case histories, all based on his strong grasp of global marketing strategy.” (Charles Skuba, Professor of International Marketing, Georgetown University)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glendale, USA

    Joel Backaler

About the author

Joel Backaler is Managing Director of Global Marketing for Frontier Strategy Group, an international business advisory serving more than 5,000 global executives. He is the author of China Goes West (Palgrave Macmillan), an award-winning international business book that examines the global rise of Chinese brands. In addition to companies from emerging markets, Backaler has worked with many of the world’s top brands, including Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Philips, HP and Danone.

He is a frequent contributor to media outlets such as The Financial Times, The New York Times, Bloomberg and the Harvard Business Review. He is also a sought after public speaker, with previous engagements at Northwestern University, the London School of Economics, the Hamburg Summit, the Emerging Markets Summit, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Backaler is a graduate of Connecticut College, a former Fulbright Scholar and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Qian and son Henry.

Bibliographic Information

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