Marketing Expertise: Our Top 20 of 2020

Claude Malaison – October 16, 2020

This time around we decided to change our formula and are presenting our Top 20 of 2020 in marketing expertise early this fall.

The context is no longer the same for marketing expertise. This pandemic changed everything, including not publishing our top 20 this spring. It also changed our work methods and thus, the hierarchy.

As far as influence is concerned, it is losing speed and/or credibility, at least on social networks where in a toxic and polarized climate, frustrated influencers take up most of the space

Who in the field of marketing and B2B has been able to get out of the social magma while being confined?

Who has been able to take advantage of next-generation virtual tools such as Zoom, Facebook LIVE, Hopin and others to complement blogs, videos and webinars in quality?

So it is with a certain amount of apprehension that we’ve scoured blogs and marketing sites, B2C and B2B. These experts/influencers take up a lot of space, not only in conversations, but also in the strategies of companies that are trying to take advantage of their audience and credibility.

Annual rankings

But far from us the idea of making a classic ranking as several agencies or experts in marketing might do in the USA. Don’t get me wrong… These are excellent rankings but based on different criteria and especially oriented within their borders or the English-speaking world.

Every year, several other blogs make their list of the top 50 or 100 biggest influencers in marketing, social networks or B2B marketing as the team at Top Rank does with at least three different rankings, the last one being the «50 Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow in 2021 #CMWorld».

Marketing influencers are not the young YouTubers or Instagram maniacs who get fame and easy money. In fact, are we still talking about influencers?

Or should we write about the experts who influence companies with their presence, their writings and now their virtual speeches and presence on the Internet?

Influencer or expert?

Here is a bio excerpt of a real marketing expertise:

«Lee Odden is a B2B marketing strategist, author, international speaker and CEO of TopRank Marketing. His work integrating search, social, content, and influencer marketing for B2B brands has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Forbes as well as and MarketingProfs.

As executive editor of TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog, he’s published over 1.4 million words on digital marketing since 2003 and is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing.

By combining a “best answer marketing strategy” together with “do well by doing good” values, he’s attracted top industry marketing talent and clients including LinkedIn, SAP, 3M, Dell, Oracle, Adobe and Content Marketing Institute.»

And that’s just the beginning of his bio. I leave it to you to read the rest with the link above. Here, we are in another league. No fashion victims, foodies, hotel rats or starlets in need of selfies on Instagram and who happily plug products for cash, a lot of cash…

Here, it’s serious business and this kind of marketing influence and expertise is certainly worth it, but not in the outrageous way of the neos… The pros themselves give lectures, write books, like Mark Schaefer’s  “Marketing Rebellion“. Did you read it by the way?

Marketing Rabellion

They advise companies, teach at universities, get involved in their environment, in short, they are less in the public eye, for the most part.

Measurement criteria

So we do our ranking humbly but with an approach that touches on more authentic values. We forget the number as in Onalytica’s rankings for example.

On one hand, we have examined a dozen of these rankings published in 2019-2020 in order to see if some influencers/experts are unanimous, which is the case for some of them.

But, this kind of grading is based on quantity and not quality.

We therefore persist in offering you a different approach by establishing an evaluation that retains the 10 outstanding measurement criteria that we used in our last rankings with one exception:

  1. Recognized by all players in the Web marketing field
  2. Recognized expertise in fields related to B2B marketing
  3. Digital Identity – Structured and extensive presence in search engines
  4. Regular presence on a multitude of social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Quora, etc.).
  5. Active blog and other publications
  6. Contribution to the Web community (conferences, teaching, social involvement)
  7. Presence in the media as a spokesperson for the community
  8. Visibility and international presence
  9. The qualified audience in terms of number but also in terms of quality (e.g. no false accounts).
  10. Unanimity in other rankings.

Thus, in this perspective, here is a list of 20 names classified in alphabetical order and by country. No ranking, no ego war, just many links and references..


Michelle Blanc.- LinkedIn : WebSite/blog: Senior Partner Analyweb Inc. speaker and author «Les Médias sociaux 101», «Les médias sociaux 201»and co-author «Pourquoi bloguer dans un contexte d’affaires».

Erin Blaskie – LinkedIn : – WebSite/blog: Marketing Director at, she identifies herself as a digital marketing strategist. She gives many conferences in Canada and the USA, including one at TedX and Webcom-Montreal. She is also an instructor for the Digital Marketing Certificate Program at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. She is a regular blogger/podcaster and has contributed to the editorial staff of Forbes, Huffington Post Canada and Medium.

Maggie Fox – LinkedIn : – WebSite/blog: Chief Operating Officer at, and former Senior Vice President, Digital, Global Marketing at SAP.  Marketing magazine has included her as one of the top 100 marketers and she is a renowned international speaker.

Cindy Gordon – LinkedIn : – WebSite/blog: She is the founder and CEO of SalesChoice.  She has also held leadership and partnership positions with world-class B2B companies.

An international speaker, she has 14 books to her credit including: Social Roots: Why Social Innovations are Creating the Influence Economy and a forthcoming 15th book, “The AI SPLIT: The Perfect World, or The Perfect Storm”.

Tara Hunt – LinkedIn :  – WebSite/blog: CEO at truly. she is also a YouTuber, entrepreneur, speaker and author of the best-selling book ” «The Whuffie Factor».

Mitch Joel – LinkedIn :– WebSite/blog: Founder of Six Pixels Group in Montreal, blogger, podcaster, international speaker and author of «Six Pixels of Separation» et «CTRL ALT Delete

Jacques Nantel – LinkedIn: -A Canadian marketing expert, he is Professor Emeritus at HEC Montréal. He was Director of Marketing Education, holder of the Omer DeSerres Chair in Retail and the first holder of the RBC Financial Group Chair in E-Commerce. He is also a lecturer and analyst.

In terms of research, over the past 10 years, he has published more than 50 articles in leading scientific journals such as the International Journal of E-Commerce, the Journal of Retailing, the Journal of Business Research (JBR), and the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality.

He is the co-author of On veut votre bien et on l’aura and he signed the foreword of the collective «Pourquoi bloguer dans un contexte d’affaires»


Minter Dial – LinkedIn : – WebSite/blog: Author and consultant on brands, leadership and digital transformation. He is the author of several books including his most recent: Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence.

Yann Gourvennec – LinkedIn : – WebSite/blog:
Owner and CEO of Visionary Marketing @vismktg Program Director at the Master Digital Business Strategy @grenoble_em. Author of 6 books including: Mastering Digital Marketing like a boss – Beyond Social Media

Timothy Hughes – LinkedIn :  Site WebSite/blog: Tim is the CEO of Digital Leadership Associates and is the world’s #1 expert in the field of social selling. He is also the author of the bestselling book : Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemaker


Marsha Collier – LinkedIn :  – WebSite/blog:
President of The Collier Company Inc, speaker, author of 47 books including “eBay for Dummies”, “Social Media Commerce For Dummies'” and  «The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide: How to Connect with your Customers to Sell More» and founder of podcasts #CustServ#techradio

Pam Didner – LinkedIn : WebSite/blog: She is a B2B digital marketing specialist, speaker and passionate author who loves to align sales and marketing. Her work has also been published in numerous publications including The Guardian, Huffington Post, Content Marketing Institute and others. She has also written the books Global Content Marketing et  Effective Sales Enablement

Carla Johnson – LinkedIn :– Site WebSite/blog: An international speaker and prolific author, Carla has written ten books including : Advice From the Top: The Expert Guide to B2B Marketing and her most recent: RE:Think Innovation

Margaret Molloy – LinkedIn : Site WebSite/blog: She has been the Global CMO at Siegel+Gale since 2013. She was named “B2B Marketer of the Year” in 2017 by The Drum. Margaret has also been recognized as one of Forbes’ Top 10 CMO’s to follow on Twitter and Forbes’ Top 5 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media.

Lee Odden – LinkedIn : – Site WebSite/blog:  B2B marketing expert, CEO of TopRank, international speaker and author of «Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing», he is quoted by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Economist, Fortune magazine and

Tom Pick – LinkedIn : Site WebSite/blog: Senior B2B marketing consultant, blogger and speaker, he is often cited as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential B2B Marketing Thought Leaders”. In addition to his blog, he founded the B2B marketing resource sites and Social Media Informer

Chad Pollitt: – LinkedIn : – Site WebSite/blog: Marketing expert and co-founder of Relevance, Assistant Professor of Internet Marketing at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and Content Marketing at Rutgers University Business School.

He is also an international speaker and author of several books including: “The Native Advertising Manifesto,” “The Content Promotion Manifesto” and “51 Things Your Mother Taught You About Inbound Marketing.” To read to full bio:

Mark Schaefer – LinkedIn: – WebSite/blog: Marketing consultant, international speaker and author of eight books including the most recent «Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins»

Mary Shea – LinkedIn: ‏ WebSite/blog: She is a speaker and senior analyst at Forrester specializing in B2B marketing. For Forrester, she regularly publishes studies including: New Tech: B2B Social Selling Tools, Q1 2018

Gary Vaynerchuk – LinkedIn: –WebSite/blog: CEO of VaynerMedia, Partner at Vayner/RSE, elected 4 times best author by the New York Times. Vlogging every day on YouTube under “DailyVee”. Speaker and author of three books including: «#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness»

To wrap it up

Please note that in this post we have treated marketing experts in general with a B2B bias. There are several others that would have had their place in this ranking but we had to stick to our Top 20. Cruel dilemma…

Yes, you noticed: three from Europe, seven from Canada and ten from the USA. In doing so, we wanted to restore a bit of the balance that usually leans too much in favor of our Southern Neighbors. And it should be noted: there are ten women and ten men.  #womeninbusiness

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