“Who should we follow on Twitter?” That was the question posed to me by a member of the marketing team at management consultants Oliver Wyman, who I presented to recently. I dropped a few names on the spot, but feeling a bit like rabbit-in-the-headlights, said I would give it a proper think and come back to them later. A top 10 list of people to follow seemed like a good (and easy) idea at the time.
In order to preserve my self-appointed status as ‘the oracle of all things B2B marketing’ (you can stop laughing now), I felt I needed to give this proper consideration. I started putting a list together, and I quickly realised that this wasn’t as simple as I initially thought. The first names I thought of were the obvious ones – and tended to be those with the most followers. But pretty quickly, this didn’t feel right. Size isn’t everything, surely? And also some of the people I follow with the biggest followings aren’t specifically focused on marketing, let alone B2B.
So, I needed some rules to make this list meaningful – here they are:
They’ve got to have specified and demonstrated an interest in B2B marketing through their Twitter activities.
Either ‘marketing’ or ‘B2B’ by themselves doesn’t cut it, and there are some notable exemptions of people very well respected tweeting on things like B2B sales. By definition, their tweets contain information and opinions that are helpful to other B2B marketers. Following them will broaden your B2B mind.
They’ve got to be based in Europe.
Why? Because I wanted this to be relevant to a B2B marketer based on this side of the pond, in touch with the general B2B marketing Zeitgeist in Europe. B2B in the USA has a slightly different iteration, but more importantly, the Twitter culture is different. Given the US sales culture, people are simply more engaged with Twitter and there are more examples of individuals with huge followings. The size of your following doesn’t necessarily align with relevance on the ground, and sometimes overshadows it. So, it’s much simpler to focus just on the UK (or English speaking Europe, perhaps). While the sharper among you will note that four of my ten originate from the US (ableit currently based here), I rather think that proves my point.
They must be a genuine person
, rather than a Twitter account run for a company, which means there are no Adobes, Earnests or Ogilvys in this list.
The individuals concerned must have made a positive commitment to Twitter
, and be actively engaged on the platform – they must be actually doing stuff! In other words, if you asked me to list the 10 B2B marketers who I most admire in B2B, it wouldn’t necessarily be the same list (although there is some cross over!)
So, without further ado here’s the list, with some explanations:
1. Jason Miller, global content marketing leader, LinkedIn
– B2B marketing’s self-proclaimed rock star, and without doubt one of the best things about LinkedIn.
2. John Watton, senior marketing director, Adobe
– effortlessly manages to tread the thin line between corporate and personal promotion, and a very shrewd manager of his own personal brand.
3. Doug Kessler, creative director and co-founder of Velocity
– the creative sage of Richmond-upon-Thames. Both profound and (increasingly) profane.
4. Gareth Case, marketing director, CSC
– is single-handedly redefining the way in which leading B2B marketers manage self promotion! His bombasticity is backed up by some great public speaking, and a meteoric career rise.
5. Brian MacReadie, head of brand and campaign marketing at BLP
– probably the most creative client-side marketer I’ve ever met and a damn good bloke to boot. His ‘One minute brief’ contributions are a daily highlight.
6. Gemma Davies, marketing director, Apttus
– her enthusiasm knows no bounds! Prolific, inspired and insightful.
7. Joe Edwards, director of global campaign development, Sage
– poacher turned gamekeeper, Joe has done his time agency-side and is now bringing his creative and campaign expertise to bear client-side.
8. Heidi Taylor, consultant
– former head of marketing for PwC, and the only consultant on this list, Heidi’s rapidly building her reputation as a key commentator… and she has ALL the questions!
9. Maureen Blandford, CMO at SIG
– a very shrewd and savvy lady, passionate about B2B, currently operating out of the Netherlands.
10. Russ Powell, marketing manager, Atos
– with youth comes great enthusiasm; both for marketing and tweeting. If that were not enough, Russ is already a consummate speaker and part-time stand up comic.
So, who have I missed? There’s bound to be someone, and I’d appreciate your thoughts… potentially for a future Top 20. You can add them to this post as a comment… or tweet me on