One of the favourite habits of marketing, and similar, blogs and news sites is to publish lists of the top marketing influencers to follow. The problem is that they always seem to feature the same people.
This is fine if you want to hear the same consensus view of marketing and advertising, but personally, I like a bit of contrarianism. Not every new trend is worth jumping on, and the basics of what works in marketing never changes.
This is a list of the people I’ve encountered (mainly through Twitter) who look left when everyone else is looking right. I would recommend following them all.
Mark Ritson (@MarkRitson)
I’ve been a fan of Mark Ritson ever since happening upon one of his columns in Marketing magazine many years ago. He continues to tackle subjects around marketing and branding with a refreshing dose of bluntness and realism.
And if you see him present live you realise swearing just sounds better when done in a northern accent with an Australian twang.
Bob Hoffman (@AdContrarian)
The archetypal grumpy old man of advertising. I’ve bought all his books and stop whatever I’m doing to read his blog posts.
Calls out nonsense in the marketing industry, and does it in a consistently entertaining way. Bob’s been in advertising a long time and has created advertising for McDonald’s, Toyota, PepsiCo, Bank of America, and Nestlé and many, many more.
“There’s no bigger sucker than a gullible marketer convinced he’s missing a trend.”
Dave Trott (@DaveTrott)
Dave writes the way I want to write, but I’m not him so I do it like this. His ability to put together an engaging story that makes a concise, interesting point is brilliant.
And he’s worth listening to as he’s been putting together great advertising campaigns for a long time.
Byron Sharp (@ProfByron)
Author of the awesome How Brands Grow. Tweets a heady mix of marketing, science, and sceptical thinking.
“deny nothing, but doubt everything”
I should get this on a t-shirt.
Tom Goodwin (@TomFGoodwin)
Great at Twitter – short, simple thoughts and observations on technology and marketing. Works at Havas, but also seems to write just about everywhere.
Drayton Bird (@DraytonBird)
Shouldn’t need much of an introduction, especially if you’ve done any direct marketing. Approaches everything with the completely correct level of world-weariness you’d expect.
“DO NOT ENTER if easily shocked or politically correct”
Malcolm Auld (@MalcolmAuld)
A long-term friend and collaborator of Drayton Bird. Honest analysis of the current marketing industry.
“…marketing has always been, and always will be all about, acquiring and keeping customers profitably.”
Ryan Wallman (@Dr_Draper)
The reason I made this list. Entertaining, creative, and usually right. Knows what good marketing looks like, and isn’t afraid to call out bad marketing.
Excellent copywriting ideas and advice.
Ian Leslie (@MrIainLeslie)
Has written a great book on the importance of curiosity called, helpfully, Curious. Comments on current affairs, culture, and advertising.
Richard Huntington (@AdLiterate)
Clear and well-structured thoughts on marketing. Deliberately provocative.
“Don’t succumb to fashionable thinking and theories that lack any evidence of effect.”
Richard Shotton (@RShotton)
Lots of interesting thoughts and discoveries around social psychology and behavioural economics. Always seems to be reading something fascinating.
Parry Malm (@ParryMalm)
Declaration: I used to work with Parry
One of those people who can cut directly to the point with the minimum of fuss. Parry is CEO of Phrasee, and continues to share his forthright opinions while mentioning ice hockey on a regular basis. Yes, he’s Canadian.
“Live tweeting banalities from a conference is the best way to get unfollowed by me.”
Elliot Ross (@iamelliot)
An email designer and now runner of multiple businesses. There doesn’t seem to be much Elliot doesn’t know about designing great emails, but his opinions on broader marketing issues are well worth listening to.
Free personal brand value is on its way to all the listees.
There are some problems with this list:
- It is probably missing lots of people I don’t know about
- It isn’t very diverse (e.g. there are no women on it!)
So, tell me who I missed.