Top 10 Thought Leaders in Marketing Automation

Top 10 Thought Leaders in Marketing Automation

At its best, marketing automation isn’t lazy, email-centric, or spammy; it’s holistic. Lead management, landing page optimization, social media outreach, sales integration — these are the critical components of successful, ongoing marketing automation.

But there’s nothing to market if there’s nothing to consume. Marketing automation expert Todd Wheatland breaks it down

“Fundamental to our ability to succeed with marketing automation has been our ability to generate wide and deep, appropriate, audience-targeted content.” 

By this time, there’s no doubt you’ve heard “Content it king!” declared as the almighty commandment from atop the marketing mountain. But not all content is created equal.

The specificity of “wide and deep, appropriate, audience-targeted” is the difference. Creating a variety of purposeful content should be the cornerstone of every automated marketing campaign. However, that’s just the first step. While content that actually helps people is critical — it won’t ensure success. 

To get you on the right track, we’ve put together a Twitter list of the top thought leaders in marketing automation. Many are content marketing experts, but their expertise doesn’t end there. From entrepreneurship, to sales, to research backgrounds, their knowledge will guide you beyond content creation and into every aspect of the automation process.

In no particular order, here’s are some of the most important voices in marketing automation:


Mike Volpe – @mvolpe

Mike Volpe is the CMO of Hubspot, a leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Under Volpes’ leadership, HubSpot’s marketing has won more than 30 awards and been featured in over 20 marketing and business books. Volpe is a cutting-edge B2B inbound marketer who hosts a weekly live marketing video podcast called The Marketing Update. He is one of the 10 most popular CMOs on Twitter, and blogs frequently. 

Must Read Post: Predictive Marketing Thought Leaders Corner: Mike Volpe, HubSpot


Lynette Young – @LynetteRadio

Lynette Young is the Director of Marketing Technologies at Mingl Marketing Group, a marketing consultancy. MMG offers cloud marketing automation software that combines content creation and campaign management into an integrated lead generation program. Young is the author of Google+ for Small Businesses and her second book The Most Important Content Marketing Question EVER is due for release this year.

Must Watch Webinar: Marketing Automation Expert Interview With Lynette Young


Chad White – @chadswhite

Chad White is the author of Email Marketing Rules and Lead Research Analyst of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. White’s research and commentary have appeared in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, among others. 

Must Read Post: What’s In and What’s Out in Email Marketing in 2015


Tara Hunt – @missrogue

Tara Hunt is the Director of Audience Development at Totem, and the author of one of the first books published on how the social web is changing business: The Power of Social Networking: Using the Whuffie Factor to Build Your Business. Hunt has been named one of the most Influential Women in Technology and she often shares her marketing expertise via LinkedIn.

Must Read Post: 5 Tips On Something Something That Will Blow Your Mind 


Todd Wheatland – @ToddWheatland

Todd Wheatland is the author of The Marketer’s Guide To Slideshare, as well as head of strategy at King Content, a global digital content marketing agency. Wheatland’s weekly podcast, The Pivot: Marketing Backstories, is a fireside chat format with some of the world’s greatest names. Wheatland has been listed as a Top 100 Digital Marketing Expert and speaks about marketing, social media, and HR.

Must Read Post: Todd Wheatland Interview


Ann Handley – @AnnHandley

Ann Handley is the author of Everybody Writes and Content Rules. Handley is also the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, which provides the latest marketing training and expertise to the largest community of marketers in the world. She has been cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers. Handley shares her content and marketing expertise on LinkedIn, as well as her blog,

Must Read Post: Content Marketing for Small Teams, Part 1 


Christopher Penn – @cspenn

Christopher Penn is the Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, a national PR firm. Penn is an expert in marketing automation from both sides of the coin: he helps IT work with marketing and vice versa to ensure success. Penn also co-hosts of one of the top marketing podcasts, Marketing Over Coffee, which discusses old and new marketing, tips, tactics, methods, ideas, strategies, and much more. 

Must Read Post: 5 Questions For Chris Penn Plus One


Ardath Albee – @ardath421

Ardath Albee is the CEO & B2B marketing strategist for the consultancy firm Marketing Interactions, Inc. She educates companies about marketing automation and content marketing approaches and is the author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale and Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results. She’s been cited as a Top 25 B2B Marketing Influencer, and has been named One of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management for four years running. 

Must Read Post: Ask the Expert: Ardath Albee Explains the B2B Marketing Continuum


Dharmesh Shah – @dharmesh

Dharmesh Shah is the Founder and CTO at HubSpot. He is the co-author of Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, as well as Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online. Shah is also founder and blogger behind, a top-ranking startup blog with over 350,000 members in its online community. 

Must Read Post: HubSpot’s Dharmesh Shah on the Value of Content Marketing 


Ekaterina Walter – @ekaterina 

Ekaterina Walter is the co-founder and CMO of Branderati, a company that helps brands build their own advocacy networks. Walter is the author of the WSJ bestselling book Think Like Zuck and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling. She’s been named Marketer of the Year, one of The World’s Top 40 Social Marketing Talent, and was listed on The Top 50 People Most Retweeted by Marketers, among others.

Must Read Post: Harness the Power of Your Brand Advocates with Visual Storytelling 


To follow all these experts and to see who else is revolutionizing marketing automation, checkout our Marketing Automation Thought Leaders list on Twitter. What other marketing professionals or experts do you follow online to stay inspired and informed of industry trends? Let us know in the comments!

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