The 10 Most Fascinating People in B-to-B Marketing
With a tip of the hat to Barbara Walters, I’d like to introduce the 10 most fascinating people who brought new ideas and admirable energy to the B-to-B marketing world last year. This round-up represents only a small sample of the fresh thinking that drives the upward march of B-to-B “modern marketing.” It’s an eclectic list, culled from contacts I happened to make in 2015. These people are making a welcome contribution. We are lucky to have them.
Jim Obermayer, founder of the Sales Lead Management Association. I’ve known Jim for years as a consultant and author specializing in lead management — a generally underappreciated subject that Jim uniquely understood to be a critical success factor in business selling. In 2007, he took the initiative of starting a professional association around the subject, and gathering up more than 9,100 members over the years, receiving 123,000 visits in 2015. Recently, SLMA launched its own list of “most inspiring” marketers, which just goes to prove my point that B-to-B marketing is booming with talent and visionaries. You inspire the rest of us, Jim.
Amanda Kahlow represents the newest generation of B-to-B marketers, as a pioneer in deploying “intent data” to help marketers get visibility into pre-funnel tech buyer behavior online. Her company, 6Sense, has made waves for clients like Cisco and VMWare. I was also mesmerized by Amanda’s stories of her extraordinary childhood with two brothers Aaron and Thad — both tech marketing innovators in their own right.
Ichiro Niwayama is founder and CEO of Symphony Marketing Co., Ltd., Japan’s foremost lead generation marketing company. Symphony runs marketing programs for more than 300 Japanese manufacturers, with email, content development, data, teleservices and marketing automation. I enjoyed a visit to Symphony’s Nihonbashi offices a few months ago, where I noticed that the conference rooms are named after marketing legends like Theodore Levitt, David Aaker and Stan Rapp. That’s inspiring.
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools around the world. She is past chair of the DMA Business-to-Business Council, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain's BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM and holds an MBA from Columbia University.