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Digital Marketing 2016: Top 50 Influencers


We reached out to some of the top influencers identified in our list below to ask them for their views on Digital marketing. We spoke to Jeff Bullas (#1), Sam Hurley (#2), Larry Kim (#7), Rand Fishkin (#8), Evan Dunn (#14), Michael Brenner (#15) and Michael J. Schiemer (#25). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on Digital Marketing!

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Jeff Bullas Jeff Bullas – CEO at Pty Ltd

“There is an elephant in the room for many digital marketers. They love the vanity metrics of traffic, social media sharing and follower growth. They are hooked on the engagement and feedback that cool content provides to the brand. But they often don’t work on the last few hard yards. It isn’t seen as sexy and it can be boring. It’s converting that traffic and engagement into leads and sales. It’s is time for many social media and content marketers to grow up”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Sam Hurley Sam Hurley, Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ

“This saturated, fast-paced digital world in which we live can seem overwhelming for business owners and marketers alike. Aside from the sheer amount of information and data we force ourselves to consume each and every day, there’s one precious unit of measurement which we most commonly neglect. Time. To become a successful business owner, brand, solopreneur, marketer… you have to become a master of time. Digital marketing is evolving at incredible rates, which only feeds our fixation with shiny new objects such as virtual reality and the newest social media platforms. My advice for this year onward? Focus your time and energy into 3 key revenue generators which suit your business model (and you!). Become exceptional at nurturing these generators and don’t veer off course. Take heed of the new digital trends and adapt, but don’t divert. For these 3 revenue generators, funnel effort into 3 primary traffic channels (paid, owned and earned) that will gain qualified exposure for your business — exposure that converts into sales. That’s all! Test what works and stick with it. Don’t waste your time being a jack of all trades. Finally; build relationships, be yourself and push your name through social media. I cannot express enough how important this is. Personal branding is absolutely critical for trust, credibility and inbound leads. Spend time on yourself and everything else will follow. Seriously, I’m living proof of this methodology. I’ve never had to advertise to attract my own clients. My website isn’t even live yet! If this seems crazy to you, it’s time to alter your approach to business. Concepts of marketing will always remain unchanged. It’s only the tools, buzzwords and technologies that form and shift around us…don’t be dazzled by them. Digital marketing is fun. Profit as a result (and your continued sanity) is better.”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Larry Kim Larry Kim – Founder of WordStream

“We’ve reached peak social – a point at which the signal to noise ratio of social updates is unsustainable – companies, Individuals and automated tools are cranking out so many social updates that post engagement rate is getting crushed. At the same time, the social platforms are obviously looking to monetize their platforms with an increasing number of ads, which further diminishes organic visibility. As more content and ads floods social networks, the slice of engagement for the average brand must shrink because there’s only a finite amount of content consumption and engagement to be had. Social platforms are responding by creating and refining curated user timelines, and only the top brands with the most engaging content will survive.”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Rand Fishkin Rand Fishkin – Founder of Moz

“Adblocking was part of a huge conversation in 2015, and my guess is that the reaction to this growing technology is going to mimic how entrenched players have reacted to technology leaps in the past — by trying to legislate it away. I anticipate that in either the US or the EU, some form of government action will arise (in the US, most likely due to lobbying AKA our legalized system of bribery) to “protect the interests of publishers and journalists who serve the public good.”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Evan Dunn Evan Dunn – Digital Marketing Practice Lead at Transform

“The digital media landscape is complex. With new channels, media and technology popping up every month, it’s only getting more complex. The most critical component of success in today’s marketing universe is a cohesive strategy – a theoretical framework that makes sense of every marketing activity executed by your brand, and provides an architecture for measurement and optimization of every activity. After all, if you’re not sure whether an activity is driving ROI, is it really worth doing? Today’s marketing, whether online or off, must be a scientific art (or an artistic science, either one). It can no longer be gut-driven, dominated by creative, and powered by trendy jargon. Measurement, analytics, statistics, quantification, optimization – these are the stuff of proven strategies. Don’t be distracted by flashy ad-tech, although it is sometimes useful. If your digital marketing objective is growing numbers (customers, sales), then your means of accomplishing it must be by analyzing the numbers. Quantitative Marketing is the future of all forms of marketing, including digital.”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Michael Brenner Michael Brenner CEO of Marketing Insider Group

“10 years ago, you would have found it difficult to find anything labeled “Digital Marketing” on the job boards or even listed in the descriptions for openings companies were trying to fill. Now, Digital Marketing is the hottest job title in all of marketing. Digital marketing skills are in such high demand because we understand how to market to today’s always-connected, multi-device consumer. The top digital marketers today combine right and left-brain talents. We are one part content marketers, editors and writers, who understand how to create the kind of content that people actually want to read and share. On the other hand, we are also one part data nerds, who understand how to analyze all the information available to us as we continuously create and promote content across email, search, social and even offline platforms. Today’s digital marketer knows how to reach, engage, and convert new customers for our businesses. We defy the old notion that marketing can’t be measured. Because we’re doing it every day.”

Onalytica - Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Michael J. Schiemer Michael J. Schiemer – Founder at Schiemer Consulting

“In today’s ultra-competitive digital marketing landscape, differentiating your company from the competition is paramount. There are too many generic or mediocre digital marketers and digital marketing agencies out there that won’t stand the test of time. Other more established marketers will rest on their laurels, fail to adapt, and become obsolete in a short period of time. I think all digital marketers and agencies should ask themselves three questions: How are you going above and beyond for your clients? What value do you bring to the table that they can’t get anywhere else? What prevents your services from being outsourced or replaced by a few inexpensive software programs? If you can’t answer those questions quickly and confidently, then you  need to step up your efforts or find a new industry.” 


We were interested in seeing which topics were most popular among the top digital marketing influencers, so we analysed their tweets and blogs from 1st January – 19th April 2016 and counted mentions of various topics associated with Digital Marketing which we then used to create a topic share of voice chart:

Onalytica Digital Marketing Top 100 Influencers and Brands - Topic Share of Voice Among the Top 100 Digital Marketing Influencers and Brands

It’s interesting to note that the most popular topic among the digital marketing influencers is Social Media with a 27% share of voice. Content Marketing was the 2nd most popular debate driver, followed by Branding. Facebook, SEO and Twitter all received an 8% share of voice, followed by Strategy, Advertising and Analytics. Email Marketing, PPC, LinkedIn and Planning which all received a 3% share of voice followed by Growth Hacking with 2%.


We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top 100 most influential individuals in the Digital Marketing landscape in 2016.

RankTwitter HandleNameCompanyInfluencer Score
1@jeffbullasJeff BullasJeffbullas.com44.13
2@Sam___HurleySam HurleyOPTIM-EYEZ38.2
3@MarketingProfsAnn HandleyMarketingProfs31.99
4@AshleyFriedleinAshley FriedleinEconsultancy28.46
5@Rocco_Zebra_AdvRocco BaldassarreZebra Advertisement27.97
6@iMariaJohnsenMaria JohnsenGolden Way Media26.57
7@larrykimLarry KimWordstream21.45
8@randfishRand FishkinMoz21.07
9@PamMktgNutPam MooreMarketing Nutz18.67
10@leeoddenLee OddenTop Rank Marketing16.82
11@acfrankAndrew FrankGartner for Marketing15.73
12@dknowlton1Daniel KnowltonKPS DigitalMarketing13.62
13@DioFavatasDio FavatasTruth Initiative13.08
14@evanpdunnEvan DunnTransform12.53
15@BrennerMichaelMichael BrennerMarketing Insider Group12.43
16@adamwoodsausAdam WoodsReed Exhibitions12.37
17@WBB_13Brent BouldinBank of America11.47
18@jaybaerJay BaerConvince & Convert10.41
19@davidbnzDavid BellUniversity of Pennsylvania10.32
20@DaveChaffeyDr Dave ChaffeySmart Insights10.24
21@chuckaikensChuck AikensVolume Nine10.18
22@JenPolk1Jennifer PolkGartner9.92
23@AlexTachalovaAlexandra Tachalovaalextachalova.com9.76
24@ajalumnifyAJ AgrawalAlumnify9.6
25@MikeSchiemerMichael J. SchiemerColbea9.23
26@jeremywaiteJeremy ☁️Colbea Enterprises9.18
27@azeckmanAshley ZeckmanTop Rank Marketing8.4
28@MariSmithMari Smithmarismith.com8.18
29@MelonieDodaroMelonie DodaroTop Dog Social Media8.11
30@augierayAugie RayGartner for Marketers8
31@krbenedictKevin R BenedictCognizant7.93
32@SimonYatesSimon YatesGartner for Marketers7.82
33@NealSchafferNeal SchafferMaximize Your Social7.58
34@Matt_UmbroMatthew UmbroPPCChat7.35
35@markwschaeferMark SchaeferSchaefer Marketing Solutions7.21
36@FeldmanCreativeBarry FeldmanFeldman Creative7.1
37@BrianHughes116Brian HughesIntegrity Marketing6.76
38@ItsDUHniseJenise HenriksonSearch Engine Journal6.64
39@DanScalcoDan Scalcodigitalux6.62
40@neilpatelNeil PatelCrazy Egg6.59
41@martykihnMartin KihnGartner6.47
42@MarketingLetterDr. Angela HausmanHausman and Associates6.41
43@lacostejonathanJonathan LacosteJebbit6.37
44@crestodinaAndy CrestodinaOrbit Media6.29
45@markfidelmanMark FidelmanEvolve!6.2
46@marktraphagenMark TraphagenStone Temple Consulting6.06
47@jacobvarJacob Varghesejacobv.com6.01
48@marcusbowlerhatMarcus MillerBowler Hat5.89
49@CynthiaLIVECynthia JohnsonAmerican Addiction Centers,5.87
50@BrettRelanderBrett RelanderLaunch & Hustle5.65