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249: What Radicalization Means to a Brand Marketer with Yonder CEO Jonathon Morgan

Jonathon Morgan, founder and CEO of Yonder

On this 249th episode of “Marketing Today,” host Alan Hart speaks with Jonathon Morgan, the founder and CEO of Yonder, an AI company that helps Fortune 500 communication teams identify and counteract online disinformation about issues that matter to their organization. 

In this episode, Morgan talks about the power of groups with extreme ideals and how thought radicalization can mean something different for marketers. 

Our conversation starts with understanding Yonder’s mission and how the company originated. Early in his career, Morgan conducted internet research, advising the State Department on how they could counter the impact of online radicalization worldwide. 

Morgan explains that the modern concept of the internet is based on a fundamental premise — “there is wisdom in the crowd.”  He soon found out, however, that “if you value crowds, you inadvertently value mobs,” and that someone who manipulates social platforms can have an immeasurable amount of power in swaying the crowd’s thinking. 

From there, Morgan provides insights on the pros and cons of social media censoring and how easily misinformation and extremist ideals can leak into mainstream media. Finally, he talks about how the idea of radicalization isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to brand marketing.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The vulnerability of the internet and our social ecosystem
  • What contributes to the origins of radical groups and how misinformation can spread
  • The difference between good and bad radicalization
  • The importance of authentically communicating your company’s values
  • How to build a coalition for your brand and leverage communication better

Key Highlights:

  • [02:16] Yonder’s mission and how they got started
  • [05:46] How a person can have an incredible influence on the way the public thinks
  • [07:44] Motivations behind a mob; looking at the riots on the Capitol
  • [11:17] The pros and cons of censoring on social platforms
  • [15:21] How radical ideals spread into mainstream media
  • [18:40] When radicalization isn’t always a bad thing
  • [24:00] Jonathon’s advice to brand marketers about building a network
  • [32:53] How taking a stand is complicated but essential
  • [35:02] An experience that defines Jonathon made him who he is today
  • [36:27] Jonathon’s advice to his younger self
  • [37:38] An impactful purchase Jonathon has recently made
  • [41:15] The brands, companies, and causes Jonathon follows
  • [42:38] What Jonathon thinks is the biggest opportunity for marketers today

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