The digital marketing industry is like no other, and one of the great joys of publishing a top marketing blog is the opportunity to shine a light on top talent. People who are doing great work, inspiring others to do great work and making a difference in marketing.
Working in this industry over the past 20 years has provided numerous opportunities for me to connect with, learn from and be inspired by incredibly talented marketers. Many of them women.
And so, for the ninth year in a row, TopRank Marketing is publishing it’s annual influential women in digital marketing list.
In the past, we’ve had previous honorees nominate others, picked those that were most influential using software, and even asked C-Level male marketing executives to nominate their female peers. This year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m going back to the origins of the very first list back in 2010, showcasing women in digital marketing that I know and have been inspired by.
Here is this year’s list of 25 (out of many more) women in digital marketing who have inspired me in 2018 to be a better marketer and in some cases, a better person.
Mina Seetharaman – EVP, Global Managing Director, Content and Marketing Solutions at The Economist
Getting to know Mina as fellow advisory council members for Digital Marketing Institute, I’ve learned that she is a fountain of knowledge on many topics including all things digital marketing. I marvel at Mina’s willingness to entertain meeting with me to share marketing and health tips alike. As a leader in her company and industry, she is a passionate public speaker, advocate and lifelong learner that inspires me to continuously improve.
Ann Handley – Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
While I’ve known Ann for many years, she’s continued to be a great friend and supporter (and co-presenter). But what’s inspired me is how she continues to optimize herself and her speaking skills as a professional keynote speaker. Watching her present at numerous events in more than one country has helped me elevate my speaking game as well. Plus she’s smart and funny as hell! You should subscribe to her newsletter for weekly inspiration.
Tyrona (Ty) Heath – Global Lead, Market Development at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
I am fortunate to serve with Ty on an industry advisory council, where I’ve seen her in action as a passionate advocate, marketing thought leader and communicator. Having a chance to share ideas and brainstorm with Ty had my brain popping like popcorn, which I suppose is another way of saying I was both energized and inspired. 🙂
Kirsten Allegri Williams – CMO at SAP SuccessFactors (and Opera Singer)
At a busy conference like SAP’s SAPPHIRE event it is easy to be distracted. That’s why I was impressed by how present Kirsten was on our first meeting. Of course, she’s incredibly smart as well. Since then we’ve had a few opportunities to communicate, but what has inspired me most about her is the content she shares on her social channels. It is consistently positive, uplifting and optimistic – all things that inspire me to do the same.
Alison Herzog – Marketing Director, Global Social Business and Digital Strategy at Dell
Conversations with Alison are inspiring to me because she is incredibly smart, thoughtful and generous. My team had the opportunity to work with her when she was at FamilySearch. Since then, we’ve had many opportunities to connect and the response is always the same: what a delightful, wonderful, person!
Amisha Gandhi – VP Influencer Marketing at SAP Ariba
As the pioneer behind SAPs influencer marketing program, Amisha has been a spark that has ignited many of the most referenced case studies in the B2B influencer marketing space. She is very passionate about her work and life, and is always working to improve. Her ability to empathize with other people has made her a very effective negotiator and wrangler of resources to get work done and done well. It has been a pleasure for me and my team to work with her both at SAP and now at SAP Ariba.
Dorie Clark – Author, Keynote Speaker, Adjunct Professor Duke University, Investor
My first exposure to Dorie was her writing for Harvard Business Review, as well as through mutual connections on the social web and her active public speaking. When I finally had a chance to connect in person at a professional speakers’ group that we’re both a part of, I found her to be genuine, thoughtful, smart and generous with her advice. All qualities that I am inspired to exhibit more of myself.
Konstanze Alex, PhD – Director B2B Influencer Relations at Dell
Konnie is a true professional who has high standards, cares deeply about relationships and is very loyal to those on her team. Luckily, some of my team members are also part of Konnie’s team, working to support some of Dell’s work with tech industry influencers. Konnie’s dedication is an inspiration for us all.
Margaret Molloy – Global Chief Marketing Officer, CMO, Siegel+Gale
Margaret is elegant, sophisticated and yet still approachable. When I saw her do a keynote interview recently, the first words I shared with the conference organizer was “now that was pure class”. She is one of the most thoughtful and impressive communicators I’ve seen on a marketing stage and that has inspired me to level up my communications game.
Carla Johnson – Keynote Speaker, Author and Programmer Director, Digital Marketing at HARBOUR.SPACE
Carla is one of those rare people in marketing that can “walk the talk” with marketing strategy and equally “talk the talk” as a professional marketing keynote speaker. That ability to do both is very inspiring to me. She is as smart as she is friendly, and also a true professional. It has been a real pleasure to know her and see her grow over the years.
Beverly Jackson – VP Social Portfolio Strategy at MGM Resorts International
Several years ago I had an opportunity to fill-in on a keynote for Beverly and was then able to see her do her magic on stage. It was clear that all I filled in was her left shoe compared to the energy, charisma and confidence she brought to the marketing stage. But what is most inspiring is her incredible work ethic. I’m not sure she sleeps or if there is anyone that works harder than BevJack.
Ursula Ringham – Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP
Working with Ursula on influencer marketing projects and being connected on social network sites makes it easy to see she is as enthusiastic about her work as she is about being in the outdoors. She is incredibly driven and motivated to create impact and that is inspiring to me. For even more good stuff about Ursula, read the interview.
Rani Mani – Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe
The only woman on this list I have not met personally (yet) is Rani. I interviewed her recently and when doing my background research found her amazing and inspirational personal story. From her journey with cerebral palsy to her work with Mother Theresa to inspiring her team at Adobe, she believes “there is nothing you can’t do”. Rani is someone we can all learn from.
Kate O’Neill – Professional Speaker, Founder at KO Insights
I first met Kate back in my SEO days. Recently, we’ve reconnected and I see that she’s a renaissance woman on fire. She is a strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies, helping to navigate digital transformation in a human-centric way. She’s also an author and active keynote speaker. Her latest book, Tech Humanist is about how to make technology better for business and for humans. More than anything is Kate’s positive energy. In her presence you cannot help but be inspired to tackle your day with optimism.
Olga Andrienko – Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush
My recent re-entry into the search marketing conference world has exposed me again to some of the most talented marketers in the world. I am a longtime fan of SEO software SEMrush and have see Olga’s inspiring work with content, media, and influencers, winning numerous industry awards and maximizing exposure at events. She is kind, super smart and her marketing leadership has really put SEMrush on the martech software map and that should inspire every marketer.
Amanda Todorovich – Senior Director, Content & Creative Services at Cleveland Clinic
At the top end of our content marketing maturity model, we talk about “Monetization”, content marketing that is so good, it becomes it’s own revenue generator besides leads and sales. What Amanda has created at Cleveland Clinic represents that level of content marketing excellence exactly. Of course, besides being an award winning marketer, she’s also generous with advice, empathetic to others and genuinely a good person.
Sarah Wells – Olympian at Athletics Canada
As you may have guessed, Sarah is not a marketer. Not exactly. She’s an Olympic athlete who runs the 400 meter hurdles for Canada. Sarah is also an evangelist for her Believe Initiative, which is a program that challenges young people to make choices over sacrifices, relentlessly pursue their goals and learn from past obstacles. Sarah overcame incredible obstacles herself as an Olympic athlete and she has developed impressive marketing chops as she promotes the initiative, and impacts and inspires thousands of kids every year.
Rashmy Chatterjee – Global Sales Leader, IBM Security
Where do I start with Rashmy? I recently learned she was the first woman in the Indian Navy, speaks at least 5 languages and has worked in leadership positions as an engineer, a marketer and now in sales. I first saw Rashmy present during Advertising Week when she was CMO of IBM North America. Most recently, I saw her during a keynote interview at MarketingProfs B2B Forum and was reminded of her depth of knowledge combined with wisdom, character and laser focus on results. She says: “All marketing is sales. At the end of the day, marketing must show results in the sales ledger or nothing else matters.”
Ardath Albee – CEO at Marketing Interactions
Ardath is the queen of B2B marketing in my book. I have learned so much from her over the years. Not only does she continue to stay on the front lines of B2B marketing consulting, but she also shares those insights generously through her consulting, speaking, blogging and her books. When I attend B2B conferences, Ardath is a speaker who I always find a way to see present, no matter how many other top speakers are in the same time slot.
Stephanie Stahl – General Manager at Content Marketing Institute, UBM
Taking over the content marketing conference machine that Joe Pulizzi created is no easy task. But Stephanie has done it with class! Most people will never speak at, let alone run an industry conference. There is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and in front. Stephanie has managed to do both with Content Marketing World and I am very happy to continue our relationship with CMI going into 2019!
Katie Martell – Speaker and Emcee, Marketing Consultant at On-Demand Marketing
Sure, Katie has roasted me in her introduction before giving a keynote, but that’s Katie. She is irreverent, smart and entertaining – a perfect emcee. She’s also an entrepreneur, advocate, connector of people and a super smart marketer. Katie runs Boston Content, the region’s largest community of content professionals and has been hailed as a “marketing expert to follow” by CIO Magazine. Katie brings energy into every room and conversation she’s a part of, and challenges you to be and do better.
Andrea Vahl – Author, Consultant, Strategist, Speaker at Andrea Vahl, Inc.
This book author and marketing consultant is also a talented stand-up comedian! It’s inspiring to me when people can become successful in both their main career and their side hustle. I’ve known Andrea for many years and she is consistently thoughtful, funny, smart and genuine. Even as “Grandma Mary“.
Purna Virji – Sr. Manager, Global Engagement at Microsoft
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Purna speak in multiple countries, mostly at search marketing conferences, but rarely about “traditional” search marketing. Purna has deep knowledge of AI, mobile, voice and customer experience and I learn from her every time. Her pursuit of and sharing of knowledge is inspiring.
Amanda Brinkman – Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe
Based in Minnesota, Amanda has led an incredible multi-year transformation of a 100 year old check printing company into the digital marketing age. Her work creating the Small Business Revolution to tell the stories of America’s small businesses has generated phenomenal results. I am inspired as much by her brand and marketing savvy as I am by her focus on purpose driven marketing.
Luciana Moran – SVP, Digital, Content & Creative at Dun & Bradstreet
While my agency has worked with Lucy on an influencer marketing project in the past, it is my recent experience working with her on a conference panel that gave me cause to be inspired. First, Lucy went above and beyond answering interview questions, promoting the interview article and our panel at the conference. Second, during the panel she stuck to what she knew and didn’t try to be more or less than that – a lesson for many in the marketing spotlight, including me!
Another group of women that inspire me are the amazing marketers at TopRank Marketing! I am fortunate to work with these marketing professionals who not only go to bat for their clients but for each other. In a recent leadership meeting, I finally noticed that I was the only man in the room. They include:
- Susan Misukanis – President and co-Founder
- Alexis Hall – VP Client Accounts
- Amie Krone – Operations Director
- Ashley Zeckman – Senior Director of Digital Strategy
- Caitlin Burgess – Senior Manager of Content Marketing
- Tiffani Allen – Senior Account Manager
- Elizabeth Williams – Account Manager
- Jane Bartel – Account Manager
- Claire O’Neil – Account Manager
- Debbie Friez – Influencer Marketing Strategist
- Allysia Kveberg – Senior Analytics Strategist
- Anne Leuman – Content Strategist
To see the women in social and digital marketing who have been recognized in our lists from past years, here you go:
Who inspires you to be a better marketer? Feel free to share in the comments.