More than 181,000 people claim be thought leaders. But do they all really qualify? Here are 103 marketers who have the goods to back up the claim.
What is a “thought Leader,” really? With everyone calling themselves one, how are we to know?
According to B.L. Ochman, there are more than 181,000 people claiming to be experts, ninjas, gurus, and so forth. I find this over self-promotion appalling, and not helpful to anyone.
So I got together with a few of my colleagues and decided to cut through the lies and make a list of the thought leaders that actual thought leaders listen to.
What it took to make the list
To be considered for the list, the person had to meet three key criteria. First, they must be active on Twitter, but not abusively publishing. They must also stick to the topic at hand, rather than mixing in things like #foodporn or their children’s play dates.
Second, they need to be scholarly. There are many people with massive Twitter followings who aren’t real thought leaders. I worked with a group of thought leaders to hand select the real thinkers who publish articles and books. They’re the people you should listen to, and not just because they said to.
Finally, to be included on this list, a person must be an original thinker. They cannot simply be a retweeting machine, but rather someone who can add context to articles and bring fresh ideas out. This will help you keep a very direct feed of brilliant ideas, best practices, and genuine thought leadership.
How to use the list
The list can be used in a few different ways. It’s been made into a SlideShare with context on each person, which will give you some insights as to what they talk about, and why you should listen.
In addition to the Slideshare, each category is a Twitter list. This allows you to simply click on the category, and have access to all of their content in a new feed. There’s also a master list which you can subscribe to. With a single click, you can get a single feed of all 103.
Content marketing is a massive term, so we’ve decided to break this section down in the most progressive minds in content.
The 11 people we’ve chosen will give you a wide range of ideas and best practices covering traditional ideas of content, as well as brand new ones.
- Jay Baer
- Tom Fishburn
- Ann Handley
- Chris Lagigne
- Joe Pulizzi
— Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) June 29, 2016
- Robert Rose
- Steve Rubel
- Tim Schmoyer
- Todd Wheatland
Here’s the link to add all of these people to your Twitter feed:
The way we use email today is vastly different than the way we used it only a few short years ago. The advancements in tactics, technologies, and tools require constant learning. Here is a list of the top minds in the three core disciplines of email.
Social media is a big field, which combines the following categories: Organic social media, paid social media, social selling, and community management.
- Jeff Bullas
- Jason Falls
- Peg Fitzpatrick
- Tessa Horehled
- Bill Johnston
- Carrie Melissa Jones
- Jason Keath
- Jill Konrath
- Richard Millington
- Kyle Porter
- Amy Porterfield
- Jill Rowley
- Mark Schaefer
- Neal Schaffer
- Koka Sexton
- Michael Stelzner
- Gary Vaynerchuk
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) July 1, 2016
Mar tech and modern digital marketing strategy
The new world of marketing requires a significant level of technological acumen. The following people understand both the tactics and the tools needed to build amazing and dynamic experiences. These are the people blurring the lines between marketing and technology.
There has been a massive resurgence in B2B marketing over the last 10 years. It’s changed the way we think about marketing in general, and the way businesses relate to their customers. Here is a list of the brightest minds in B2B:
User design + visual inspiration = user experience
Design is an unquestioned aspect of all marketing. It is not without its need for inspiration and thought leadership.
The following list is here to give you fresh ideas on what design can be from visual stimulation to user experience.
- Design Milk
— Design Milk (@designmilk) July 1, 2016
- Nick Fink
- Laura Klein
- Donald Norman
- Luke Wroblewski
- Aaron Walter
To all of these people to your Twitter feed: https://www.twitter.com/msweezey/lists/design-changes-lives1
The new idea of brand
The idea of what a brand is, and what it takes to make one is vastly different today than it was even five years ago.
To help guide you into the idea of modern branding and ideas shaping the modern brand, here are 10 true experts in the field.
- Andrew Davis
- Cindy Gallop
- Martin Lindstrom
- Andrew McAfee
- Martin Roll
- Robert Scoble
- David Meerman Scott
- Brian Solis
- Scott Stratten
- Jeremy Waite
Inbound marketing is a term coined by HubSpot to refer to the processes of lead generation via inbound traffic.
It’s a process of creating content, optimizing for search engines, and capitalizing on conversion rates.
The inbound field has grown rapidly since its inception and as such, we have experts in all three fields of discipline.
- Michael Aagard
- Loren Baker
- Matt Cutts
- Rand Fishkin
Best way to sell something – don't sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) February 4, 2015
- Oli Gardner
- Joseph Jaffee
- Joe Kerschbaum
- Larry Kim
- Ian Lopuch
- Ian Lurie
- Brian Massey
- Matt McGee
- Paul Roetzer
- Angie Schottmuller
- Marcus Sheridin
- Aleyda Solis
- Danny Sullivan
- Matt Umbro
Modern consumer psychology
Modern consumers are nothing like their former selves. The new human is shaped by their world and the world we live in now is hyper connected, always on, and more dynamic than ever.
These minds focus on understanding the future consumer and translating this into marketing action.
- Jennifer Aaker
- Danah Boyd
At PDF last week, I gave a new talk: "Be Careful What You Code For." Written version + video are here: https://t.co/2kr6Fj34XJ
— danah boyd (@zephoria) June 15, 2016
- Nicholas Carr
- Aaron Keller
- Don Peppers
- Joe Pine II
- Doc Searls
- Tom Webster
Measuring the digital world
Marketing measurement is not a light subject. The following minds are here to show you better ways to look at metrics, and open your eyes to models, values, and other types of reporting to help you move past basic ROI.
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