I had just stepped off the stage at Dreamforce 2013 when I was asked by an audience member, “Who are other thought leaders I should follow in the marketing automation industry?” I had a very hard time giving her names because marketing automation is made up of so many differing tactics, all of which have their own thought leaders. Without knowing which areas she wanted to know more about, I couldn’t pinpoint the one person she should follow to help her obtain the knowledge she wanted. This question quickly helped me realize that people currently consider marketing automation to be a singular tactic, when in reality it is a combination of many tactics. And to be proficient at marketing automation, you must be proficient at these underlying tactics.
To help better answer this question in the future, and make it easier for people to find the thought leaders they are seeking, I have broken down marketing automation into its underlying elements: Content Creation, User Experience, Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and Sales/Marketing Alignment. Let’s take a look at some of the thought leaders that you should be following within each category.