Marketing influencers: our 2018 Top 30

8 March 2018 by    Claude Malaison
Marketing influencers: our 2018 Top 30

We start March with our Top 30 marketing influencers of 2018. In March 2017, we did the same thing and the blog post was very successful. So, with much enthusiasm, we skimmed through blogs, B2C and B2B marketing sites. These influencers are all over the place. People talk about them and companies are ready to pay the big price to benefit from their audience and their credibility, and get their help in building a strategy.

We already wrote a blog post on the subject to try and define what are these special creatures we call Influencers. One of them, Lee Odden: marketing star, did a great job covering the topic with a blog that is an absolute must-read.

His definition of influence : “In a marketing context, influence is the ability to affect action – not attract 1,000, 100,000 or a million fans, friends and followers. To create action, you need content and relationships.”

Trying to define Influencers is one thing, categorizing them is another. There are hundreds of international and American rankings listed on Google. Each year, several personal blogs and websites list their top 50 or 100 influencers in marketing, social networks or even B2B marketing. Here’s an example from Tamara McLeary’s bio on one of those websites:

She is ranked by Klear in the Top 1% of global Social Media Influencers.  She is listed as one of the Top 50 Social Influencers of 2015, one of the Top 50 Big Data Influencers of 2016 and one of the Top 100 IoT Influencers of 2016by Onalytica.  Tamara is also ranked in the Top 25 AI/Machine Language influencers, a Top 50 Blockchain Influencer, and Top 50 Digital Transformation Influencer. Tamara is an IBM Futurist and was ranked as the third most mentioned person on Twitter by Chief Marketing Officers in 2015 by Leadtail. In addition, in 2016, Tamara was named the #1 Most Influential Woman in Martech by B2B Marketing.

So, it is humbly that we make our own list, but with another approach. On the one hand, we dissected ten of these rankings published in 2017 to see if some influencers are unanimous, which is the case elsewhere. But, these rankings are based on quantity and not quality. We therefore thought of proposing a different approach by establishing an assessment, taking into account 10 measurable indicators:

  • Recognized by all the players in the field of Web marketing
  • Digital identity – structured and extensive presence on search engines
  • Regular presence on a multitude of social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Google +, Quora, etc.)
  • Active blog and other publications
  • Contribution to the Web community (lectures, teaching, social involvement)
  • Media presence as spokesperson for the community
  • Visibility and international presence
  • Experience in areas related to Web
  • Qualified audience in terms of numbers but also in terms of quality (ie: no fake accounts)
  • Unanimity in the other rankings

In this context, here is a list of 30 names, sorted alphabetically and by country. No preferred ranking, no ego warfare, just a lot of links and references.

USA

Name : Jay Baer –  Twitter account: @jaybaer – Website/blog: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/blog/
President of Convince & Convert, speaker and author of the best selling book,  «Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not HypeZ»

Name: Michael Brenner– Twitter account: @brennermichael – Website/blog: https://marketinginsidergroup.com/blog
CEO, Marketing Insider Group, speaker, co-author «The Content Formula»

Name: Heidi Cohen – Twitter account: @heidicohen – Website/blog: http://heidicohen.com/
Entrepreneur, blogger and speaker.

Name: Marsha Collier – Twitter account: @MarshaCollier – Website/blog: http://www.coolebaytools.com/blog#.WMcr8_k1_Dc
Entrepreneur, speaker, author of 48 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 the podcasts #CustServ#techradio

Name: Bryan Eisenberg – Twitter account: @TheGrok – Website/blog: http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/
Entrepreneur, founder and CMO of IdealSpot.com, speaker, co-author of “Call to Action“(2005), “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark“ (2006), “Always Be Testing“(2008) and “Buyer Legends: The Executive Storyteller’s Guide“ (2014).

Name: Seth Godin – Twitter account: @ThisIsSethsBlog – Website/blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Entrepreneur, blogger, speaker and author of 18 books, translated in 35 languages, including «Tribes» and «The Icarus Deception».

Name: Ann Handley – Twitter account: @MarketingProfs and @annhandley – Website/blog: http://www.annhandley.com/  
CCO at  MarketingProfs and co-founder of ClickZ, speaker and author of the best-seller « Everybody Writes»

Name: Carla Johnson – Twitter account: @CarlaJohnson – Website/blog: http://typeacommunications.com/blog/. International speaker and prolific author, Carla has written 7 books, the most recent being: Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

Name: Tamara McCleary – Twitter account : @tamaramccleary – Website/blog: http://tamaramccleary.com/about/ . CEO at Thulium.co. Speaker, panelist and recognized influencer, notably by Forbes.

Name: Pam Moore – Twitter account: @PamMktgNut – Website/blog: http://themarketingnutz.com/blog/
Named the “Marketing Nut,” she is CEO of Marketing Nutz, speaker and author of the podcast «Social Zoom Factor ».

Name: Jason A, Miller – Twitter account: @JasonMillerCA – Website/blog: http://rocknrollcocktail.com/social-media-cocktail/
Jason is a specialist in B2B marketing and the «global content marketing leader» at LinkedIn by day, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll photographer by night. In 2014, he published the #1 best seller on Amazon, «Welcome to the Funnel».

Name: Lee Odden – Twitter account: @leeodden – Website/blog: http://www.toprankblog.com/
CEO of TopRank, 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 JournalForbesThe EcoNameistFortune magazine and Entrepreneur.com

Name: Neil Patel – Twitter account: @neilpatel – Website/blog: http://neilpatel.com/blog/
Neil is an entrepreneur known as the founder of Crazy EggQuick Sprout, and KISSMetrics. He is also a speaker, blogger and regular contributor for publications such as Inc., Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur.com and TechCrunch.

Name:  Chad Pollitt: – Twitter account: @ChadPollitt – Website/blog:http://www.chadpollitt.com/
Partner and VP Audienceau Native Advertising Institute, Professor of Internet Marketing at Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana, he is also speaker and author of several books, such as “The Native Advertising Manifesto,” “The Content Promotion Manifesto“ and “51 Things Your Mother Taught You About Inbound Marketing.” He also writes for Huffington Post, The Guardian and Social Media Today.

Name: Joe Pulizzi – Twitter account: @joepulizzi – Website/blog: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/
Founder of the Content Marketing Institute and of the Content Marketing World Conference, speaker and author of 3 books, including Epic Content Marketing.

Name : Rebekah Radice – Twitter account : @RebekahRadice Website/blog: https://rebekahradice.com/blog/. She is an entrepreneur and author of the book https://rebekahradice.com/social-media-mastery/ . She is an international speaker, creator of ”The Authority Matrix,” and hostess of the podcast “Brand Authority Show” https://rebekahradice.com/brand-authority-show-vide

Name: Neal Schaffer – Twitter account:@NealSchaffer – Website/blog: http://maximizeyoursocial.com/blog/. Entrepreneur, consultant, speaker adn author of among other things, «Maximize Your Social»

Name : Mary Shea – Twitter account: @sheaforr ‏ Website/blog: https://www.forrester.com/Mary-Shea. She is a speaker and principal analyste for Forrester and specialises in B2B marketing. For Forrester, she regularly publishes studies, the most recent being : New Tech: B2B Social Selling Tools, Q1 2018

Name: Mark Schaefer – Twitter account: @markwschaefer – Website/blog    https://www.businessesgrow.com/blog/. Consultant, speaker and author of 5 books, one of which is, “Known

Name: Clara Shih – Twitter account: @clarashih – Website/blog: https://hearsaysystems.com/blog/. Founder and CEO of Hearsay Systems, author and long-time influencer on social media. She also wrote The Facebook Era and The Social Business Imperative.

Name: Mari Smith – Twitter account: @MariSmith – Website/blog: https://www.marismith.com/mari-smith-blog/. Consultant named as the “Queen of Facebook”, Mari Smith is one of the biggest marketing experts on Facebook. She is a speaker and author of «The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web» and co-author of «Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day»

Name: Brian Solis – Twitter account: @briansolis – Website/blog: http://www.briansolis.com/
Brian Solis is a principal analyst at Altimeter Group. He is also a speaker, blogger and author of several books, one being a best seller called “Engage ».

Name: Gary Vaynerchuk – Twitter account: @garyvee – Website/blog: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/blog/
CEO of Vaynermedia. Investor in Twitter, Snapchat, Uber andVenmo. Vlogging daily on YouTube under the name « DailyVee ». Speaker and author of 3 books: «#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness»

Name: Christine Viera – Twitter account: @ChristineViera – Website/blog: http://b2bmarketingacademy.com/
VP of Global Marketing Strategy, Customer Experience and Product Marketing at Level 3 Communication, blogger, co-founder of B2B Marketing Academy and of B2B Mktg Foundation.

CANADA

Name: Michelle Blanc.- Twitter account: @MichelleBlanc Website/blog: http://www.michelleblanc.com/
Associate at Analyweb Inc. Speaker and author of «Les Médias sociaux 101», «Les médias sociaux 201» and co-author of «Pourquoi bloguer dans un contexte d’affaires»

Name: Tara Hunt – Twitter account: @missrogue – Website/blog: http://www.tarahunt.com/
YouTuber, entrepreneur, speaker and author of the best-seller «The Whuffie Factor»

Name: Mitch Joel – Twitter account: @mitchjoel – Website/blog: http://www.twistimage.com/blog/
President of Mirum, blogger, podcaster, speaker and author of «Six Pixels of Separation» and «CTRL ALT Delete»

EUROPE

Name: Stéphanie Bouchet – Twitter account: @rougefrog – Website/blog:http://rougefrog.com/. She is the founder of the legendary RougeFrog in London. Stephanie is a member of the European entrepreneurial community. She acts as a marketing mentor and a speaker for several entrepreneurial organizations. She is also a correspondent in London for online media such as FrenchWeb and the founder of London FrenchConnect, a private club in London for French digital leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses and investors.

Name: Minter Dial – Twitter account: @mdial – Web site/blog: http://minterdial.com/ He founded the Myndset company, and since then, Digitalproof consultancy LTD. He is a professional speaker on 3 main topics: Tomorrow’s brands and new marketing, The World of Internet and, New Technologies, Leadership and the Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business. His newest book is called “Futureproof; Get Your Business Ready For The Next Disruption”.

Name: Yann Gouvernec – Twitter account: @ygourven – Web site/blog: http://visionarymarketing.com/fr/index.html
Innovation & Marketing, Web & social media: Owner and CEO of Visionary Marketing @vismktg,  Program Director of Master Digital Business Strategy @grenoble_em

Note that in this blog, we have dealt with the influencers of Web Marketing in general. There are several others who would have had their place in this ranking but we had to stick to our Top 30. If you know others that deserve to be in this selection, we invite you to make the suggestion in a comment below for next year’s selection.

Yes, only six in Europe and Canada versus 24 in the USA; it is very revealing of the dominance of our southern neighbours in this field. And note that there are 14 women, close to parity. #PressForProgress

About Claude Malaison

Because knowledge is also knowing that when you have arrived, you have to return and that only half of the work is done! After studying journalism and information at Laval University, Claude Malaison started out as a journalist at Progrès-Dimanche and at Le Quotidien de Chicoutimi, for seven years. From 1999 to 2005, he founded and co-organized Intracom, the first international conference about intranets. Then from 2006 to 2012, he was a program director for an international conference called webcom-Montréal, as well as for other conferences such as webcom-Québec and Boule de Cristal.  He was awarded the Cartier Prize at webcom-Montréal in November 2011, which highlighted his exceptional contribution to the promotion of new information and communication technologies… Read more

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