The 17 Most Influential Marketers of 2017
Influencer marketing was big for brands in 2017, and will most likely continue to grow in 2018. But how about the brands with marketing influencers? They exist, and they’re impacting marketing every day. Some influenced marketers so much in 2017, we made a list.
Target Marketing found that these marketers and thought leaders were influencing fellow marketers profoundly. Brand leaders are watching everything they do — and watching closely.
Marketers are seeing if what these leaders do should be emulated or — at the very least — considered when they make their own marketing plans.
At Target Marketing, we wanted to emphasize a certain type of influencer from 2017: Do they have a wider influence across marketing than just on their own brand? Do they influence consumers, as well as other brands? Is their brand growing? Are they having mostly positive impacts? Do they have positive reputations? Are they setting the course for others in the future of marketing?
Using that criteria, here’s our list of the top 17 marketing influencers from 2017.
Social Stats: YouTube video, 27,520 views; Facebook, 9,365 likes and 9,371 followers
Awards/Achievements: ANA Chairman, among many others
Notable Event in 2017: When I attended Advertising Week in New York in September 2016 and watched Pritchard speak on a panel that included Sheryl Sandberg — who was trying to explain Facebook’s video metrics snafu — I had no idea the man seated to her left would make marketing history in a few short months. A YouTube video posted on Jan. 30 by the IAB unmistakably shows Pritchard taking the entire marketing industry to task — including Facebook — and calling for ad viewability standards, third-party oversight, transparent agency and media contracts, and more. He did all of this at the Association of National Advertiser’s Masters of Marketing conference, as the organization’s new chairman. “When the world’s largest advertiser talks, the entire marketing community listens,” the ANA said. And they did. A couple of weeks later, for instance, Facebook allowed third-party oversight from the Media Rating Council.
Social Stats: Google search, 11.3 million results for “Jeff Bezos”; Twitter, 372,000 followers
Awards/Achievements: Richest Man in the World in July, when Amazon stock surged, according to Forbes
Notable Event in 2017: The billionaire is constantly in the news, but his impact on marketing is also a daily occurrence. For instance, take a look at how Best Buy’s Hubert Joly [No. 14] references Amazon in one of Joly’s ideas. From drones to third-party seller discounts, Bezos is influencing every marketing channel and every marketing tactic. Growing the business from a garage in Seattle to perhaps unlocking customer garage doors for delivery with Amazon Key, Bezos and his company are not only making marketers think differently — but consumers, too, are weighing privacy vs. convenience and more.
Social Stats: Google+, 3.7 million followers; Twitter, 1.39 million followers; YouTube, 681,682 views on his May keynote at Google I/O
Awards/Achievements: Appointed to the Alphabet board of directors in July — a move Forbes terms “a vote of confidence”
Notable Event in 2017: Listed in April by MarketWatch as the highest-paid CEO of a publicly traded company at $200 million, Pichai is at the helm of a highly influential company that can make or break the fortunes of marketers. Hence, when he characterizes AI as a priority, brand leaders listen. So if he’s talking about AI, environmental sustainability, tragedies in the news, or the right way to build a cheeseburger (yes, really — on Oct. 29), marketers are listening.