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25 Women Who Rock at Digital Marketing in 2017

Posted on Dec 27th, 2017
Written by Lee Odden
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    25 Women Who Rocked Digital Marketing 2017

    2017 marks the 8th year we’ve published a list featuring “women who rock” in the digital marketing space. I started the list in 2010 with social media specifically and after 5 years handed the reins over to Ashley Zeckman for a few years when the focus has broadened to digital marketing.

    In the past I would ask each years’ honorees to nominate someone for the following year and so on. Following that we started ranking the huge list of women in marketing that we had compiled over the years using Traackr’s influencer marketing software.

    In 2017 I’m making another change: to ask influential men in the marketing industry to nominate women who are leading in the marketing world.  I thought this was a timely and relevant way to help male leaders in our industry shine a light on their female counterparts, peers, superiors or subordinates.

    The response from those who have shared nominations including multiple from Seth Godin has been great. I can’t thank the CEOs, CMOs and Entrepreneurs enough who took time during the holidays to share nominees and their reasons why.

    Interestingly, less than a third of the men I reached out to replied at all. In previous years when I have reached out to women, more than 75% would respond. I don’t know whether the holidays affected responses, but I didn’t get many “out of office” emails, so maybe it was something else. (See UPDATE below)

    Of greater importance is that this is a topic of interest to me and based on the response over the past 7 years, it is definitely of interest to our community. Below you’ll find a combination of familiar names and some that will likely be new. That’s what makes lists like this special – to find new talent, smarts and engagement amongst people you might not otherwise learn about.

    A few notes: this list is not sorted in any particular order and along with the name of the nominee and credentials, I’ve included the name of the person nominating them and why. Enjoy!

    Bernadette Jiwa
    Bernadette Jiwa
    @bernadettejiwa is Author of

    Bernadette was nominated by Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog – Founder at altMBA.
    “Bernadette has written one bestseller after another, highlighting the real work of marketing. It’s not about manipulating clicks, it’s about doing work that matters.”

    Porter Gale
    Porter Gale @portergale is SVP of Partnerships at Globality Inc

    Porter was nominated by Brian Solis @briansolis – Principal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet co.
    “I first met Porter when she was CMO of Virgin America. But we didn’t meet because of her role, we met because she was looking to expand her horizons to help her brand but more importantly, her mind, explore new possibilities on the horizon. To this day, she inspires me with her humility and her drive to learn what’s next and apply it in places that are out of the proverbial “CMO” spotlight. She works with startups and big brands alike, but always with the same hunger and desire to help. To this day, she inspires me.”

    Nancy Duarte
    Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte is Principal at Duarte, Inc.

    Nancy was nominated by Brian Halligan @bhalligan – CEO at HubSpot.
    “Nancy has made true science out of how to convince people through the presentation format. I first found her by Googling who did the slides for Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth a decade ago and frequently refer back to her work when building any important presentation.”

    Aria Finger
    Aria Finger @AriaIrene is CEO at

    Aria was nominated by Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog – Founder at altMBA.
    “Aria runs the largest teen charity in the world exclusively via digital marketing. And they probably send more texts every day than any other organization I can think of. And she’s an extraordinary human, too.”

    Carla Johnson
    Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson is Chief Experience Officer at Type A Communications

    Carla was nominated by Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael – CEO at Marketing Insider Group.
    “Carla in one of the brightest minds in B2B and always brings a strategic and creative approach to solving her clients’ top challenges. When she’s on the stage delivering her awesome keynotes, Carla delights audiences with surprising insights and candor. An amazing storyteller, Carla has co-authored or authored 7 books, the most recent is the must-read “Experiences, the 7th Era of Marketing” co-authored by Robert Rose. Carla is also an amazing, fun, friendly and super-smart person so if you ever get the chance to meet her, just walk right up and say hello.”

    Virginia Miracle
    Virginia Miracle @VirginiaMiracle is Chief Customer Officer at Spredfast

    Virginia was nominated by John Bell @jbell99 – VP Enterprise Digital Marketing at Travelers.
    “Virginia brings a business rigor to marketing and a lifelong commitment to nurturing talent. She can quickly see through to marketing-that-matters, marketing that produces a result. At the same time, she is a magnet for smart people whom she has an innate ability to help develop. She is an empowering leader not a controlling one and that has helped so many top marketers – men and women become smarter, better, and terrific to work with.”

    Ann Handley
    Ann Handley @marketingprofs is Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.

    Ann was nominated by Lee Odden @leeodden – CEO at TopRank Marketing.
    “Ann brings humor, intelligence and the power to see right through marketing mediocrity to her ongoing content marketing party. Her advice, whether from the stage, one of her best selling books or our one on one discussions is always useful, clever and from the heart.”

    Brooks Bell
    Brooks Bell @brooksbell is CEO at Brooks Bell

    Brooks was nominated by Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog – Founder at altMBA.
    “The doyenne of landing pages. Her firm now has more than fifty people who are helping the biggest companies in the world optimize their landing pages. Built from scratch, by hand.”

    Liz Smith
    Liz Smith @adestraliz is Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Adestra

    Liz was nominated by Matt McGowan @matt_mcgowan – President at Adestra.
    “Liz brings professionalism, humor, and extremely relevant and thorough guidance to the marketing organization within Adestra. Her understanding of consumer behavior coupled with the nuances that exist within the connected martech landscapes across Europe, North America, and APAC has helped drive success in each of these regions. She is well respected by all that work with her, moreover, she is a strong communicator, and nothing but a pleasure to work with. I am honored to be able to call her a friend and colleague.”

    Maryna Hradovich
    Maryna Hradovich @realMarynah is Vice President – Strategic Growth and Development at SEMrush

    Maryna was nominated by Larry Kim @larrykim – CEO at Mobile Monkey.
    “Maryna and SEMRush are building truly fantastic SEO products and doing a good job at marketing them, too. These products are helping millions of SEOs every day, including myself.”

    Nicole Walters
    Nicole Walters @NapturalNicole is Founder at Monetize Thyself

    Nicole was nominated by Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog – Founder at altMBA.
    “Nicole is funny, fast and smart. She’s exfoliated, honest and connected to an ever-increasing tribe of soloists, digital marketers and people intent on making a ruckus. Did I mention that she’s smart and funny?”

    Molly Pittman
    Molly Pittman is Vice President Marketing at DigitalMarketer

    Molly was nominated by Mike Stelzner @Mike_Stelzner – CEO at Social Media Examiner.
    “She is one of the leading experts in Facebook Messenger and bots. What I love about her is how she quickly understands and distills complex topics into actionable techniques that marketers can follow.”

    Heidi Bullock
    Heidi Bullock @HeidiBullock is CMO at Engagio

    Heidi was nominated by Jon Miller @jonmiller – CEO at Engagio.
    “Heidi has a unique skill set that makes her one of the most diverse marketers in B2B marketing. She perfectly blends creativity and innovation with a data-driven approach and an awesome, positive attitude. Her expertise in Account Based Marketing as well as traditional demand gen tactics are critical to our success; it’s the reason I knew I wanted her to lead my marketing organization.”

    Alicianne Rand
    Alicianne Rand @aliciannerand is Executive Director, Global Content Marketing at Estée Lauder Companies

    Alicianne was nominated by Shafqat Islam @shafqatislam – CEO at NewsCred.
    “Alicianne may be the best content marketing practitioner in the industry. She’s been in the trenches and done it, both at a high growth startup and a large enterprise. At NewsCred, 40% of our revenue was directly generated by her marketing team. At ELC, she ties content directly to online sales, not easy to do at a large company. Best of all, she is fearless, brilliant and an entrepreneur.”

    Sonia Simone
    Sonia Simone @soniasimone is Chief Content Officer at Copyblogger

    Sonia was nominated by Brian Clark @brianclark – Founder and CEO at Rainmaker Digital.
    “Sonia is not only one of the strongest female writers in the content marketing space, she’s one of the best writers period. Her unique mix of expertise, sass, and empathy clearly demonstrate how a distinctive voice can lead to content that resonates with the right people.”

    Tina Eisenberg
    Tina Eisenberg @swissmiss is Founder at Creative Mornings

    Tina was nominated by Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog – Founder at altMBA.
    “Tina makes online marketing breathe by taking it offline. Creative Mornings connects hundreds of thousands of people into a network that makes a difference happen, and she does it with flair and selflessness.”

    Kerry Gorgone
    Kerry Gorgone @KerryGorgone is Director of Product Strategy, Training at MarketingProfs

    Kerry was nominated by Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan – CEO at Owner Media Group.
    “Kerry delivers a lot of important underpinning work about legal and other structural issues. Plus her Marketing Profs podcast is informative and actually well researched.”

    Monica Norton
    Monica Norton @monicalnorton is Senior Director of Content Marketing at ZenDesk

    Monica was nominated by Pawan Deshpande @TweetsFromPawan – CEO at Curata.
    “Monica was a finalist for CMI’s Content Marketer of the Year. Monica created Relate, a brand media entity for Zendesk that barely mentions their product that is across a variety of content formats — articles, podcasts, print magazine, and in-person event. Relate’s website has in over 40,000 monthly visitors, an email database of 10,000, and hosts in-person events that attract 2,000 attendees. with 68% of the audience not being in their database previously.”

    Britney Mulle
    Britney Muller @BritneyMuller is Senior SEO Scientist at Moz

    Britney was nominated by Michael King @iPullRank – Managing Director at iPullRank.
    “Britney has incredible technical marketing skills, is a great speaker and someone I continue to learn from.”

    Aimee Faulk
    Aimee Falk is Customer Experience and Content Leader at 3M Safety & Graphics Business Group

    Aimee was nominated by Carlos Abler @Carlos_Abler – Leader – Content Marketing and Strategy, Global eTransformation at 3M.
    “Aimee embodies the rarest combination of vision, perseverance, excellence, adaptability, and generosity. Over the years I have watched her not only tirelessly innovate in the application of modern marketing strategies and techniques that add real value for the customer while driving quantifiable business results, but I have seen her generously work to lift up the practice of others. She has set an example of the future of marketing practice at 3M, and has the rhinoceros hide skin required to endure walk through the blazing headwinds of culture change to see her strategies through, and pave the way for future talent. I have seen her not only win internal awards, but mentor others to also be award winners. The world would be a much better place, with more Aimee Falks in it. It has been an honor to work by her side and count her as a friend.”

    Michelle Robbins
    Michelle Robbins @MichelleRobbins is SVP Content & Marketing Technology at Third Door Media

    Michelle was nominated by Dennis Goedegebuure @TheNextCorner – VP Growth & SEO at Fanatics.
    “Michelle brings years of experience in the search industry, shares this knowledge through multiple channels and inspires through constant learning new aspects of Marketing. Most importantly, she is the most wonderful person on the planet!”

    Sophie Howard
    Sophie Howard is CEO at Aspiring Entrepreneurs

    Sophie was nominated by Jeff Bullas @jeffbullas – CEO at Jeff Bullas.
    “Sophie is founder of several Amazon businesses. In 2017 she sold one of them for 7 figures after starting it just 14 months earlier. Now she teaches other aspiring entrepreneurs how to do it all without storing goods or even going near a post office. Today Sophie also runs a community to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs how to sell physical products online at “Product University”. She does all this while raising 2 young children in one of the beautiful corners of the world in Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. ”

    Lucy Moran
    Lucy Moran
    @lucymoran is Vice President Content and Demand Generation at Dun & Bradstreet

    Lucy was nominated by Rishi Dave – @RishiPDave – CMO at Dun & Bradstreet.
    “Lucy commands expertise in driving digital demand and she uses that knowledge to strategically grow the business. She demonstrates a keen ability to scale by taking on more and improving outcomes of all the things she takes on by finding synergies amongst the functions she leads.”

    Margaret Molloy
    Margaret Molloy @MargaretMolloy Global CMO at Siegel+Gale

    Margaret was nominated by Sean Callahan @sean_f_callahan – Senior Manager, Content Marketing at LinkedIn.
    “In her role at Siegel+Gale, Molloy has a platform to influence marketers in the U.S., in her native Ireland, and across the globe. One of her key messages, which is a useful one in today’s constantly transforming world, is that marketers must simplify their brand messages and customer experiences. For her insights and her results, The Drum recently recognized her as B2B Marketer of the Year. You’ll get absolutely no argument from me.”

    Aleyda Solis
    Aleyda Solis @aleyda is International SEO & Founder at Orainti

    Aleyda was nominated by Dennis Goedegebuure @TheNextCorner – VP Growth & SEO at Fanatics.
    “Aleyda flies the world to share knowledge, work with global clients and post the most awesome travel pictures of her adventures. Sometimes I refer to her as the hardest working woman in search, although there are so many other women who would fit that title.”

    If you would like to see the previous lists of women who rock social and digital marketing  that we’ve been publishing since 2010, here’s a list:

    2010 – 25 Women That Rock Social Media

    2011 – 25 Women Who Rock Social Media

    2012 – 25 Women Who Rock Social Media

    2013 – 25 Women That Rocked Social Media

    2014 – 25 Women Who Rock Social Media

    2015 – 50 Influential Women in Digital Marketing

    2016 – 50 Influential Women in Digital Marketing: North Stars & Rising Stars

    This year’s list is really just a sample, so for the men reading this post that would like to shine a light on a top digital marketing leader that also happens to be a woman, please share their name, title, company and why in the comments.

    UPDATE 12/31/17 
    Thank you to all who have shared this post to shine a light on top digital marketing talent and the thoughtful peers who nominated them. This post has earned over 5,100 shares in 4 days during the holidays.

    It’s worth noting that the difference between previous outreach to women vs. to men in this year’s list is that previous outreach was to women who had already appeared on the list and were familiar with it. Outreach to men this year was basically cold and during the holidays. That may not explain the overall lower response rate amongst men, but it is a significant difference, especially if you have any actual experience with influencer outreach.