10 Best Marketers in the World (2024)

Marketing is an ever-evolving field driven by innovative minds who dare to challenge the status quo. From mastering SEO to pioneering social media marketing, these individuals have had a permanent and transformative impact on the world of marketing. Their stories offer valuable insights for both seasoned professionals and those just starting their marketing journey.

What is a marketer and what do they do?

A marketer strategizes and implements plans to promote products, services, or brands to specific audiences. They delve into market trends, analyze consumer behavior, and craft compelling campaigns across diverse channels. Their objective is to spark conversations, foster relationships, and enhance brand visibility, ultimately driving sales and business growth.

What makes a marketer “world-class”?

A world-class marketer combines a deep understanding of their audience with innovative strategies that consistently deliver measurable results. They excel in adapting to evolving trends, leveraging data-driven insights, and effectively communicating their brand’s unique value, ultimately driving sustainable growth and influence in their industry.

Criteria for selection

In marketing, greatness isn’t just achieved—it’s crafted. The following criteria distill the essence of what propels a marketer from good to world-class.

  • Innovative mindset
  • Proven strategic success
  • Global influence
  • Data savvy
  • Inspiring leadership

Best marketers in the world

Dive into the minds that continue to shape the future of marketing; these top 10 marketers are not just setting trends, they’re completely rewriting the playbook.

1. Deep Patel — the industry disruptor 

Deep Patel, whose entrepreneurial triumphs have propelled him to the pinnacle of marketing at just 25, is a best-selling author and a highly sought-after marketing guru. After selling his men’s personal care brand, Blu Atlas, for an eight-figure sum within 18 months of its inception, Patel has shattered industry norms and earned the title “The Industry Disrupter.” 

Patel’s entrepreneurial talents were evident from an early age, netting $2,000 on eBay at age 12 and authoring a best-seller by 17, which led to strategic roles in marketing across startups and Fortune 500 firms, all before reaching the age of 20. 

Patel founded Penguin CBD in 2019 to provide safe, additive-free CBD products, countering the industry’s norm. His commitment to CBD purity led to significant success. By mid-2021, he secured a seven-figure deal with Verma Farms, selling a majority stake in his thriving company.

In 2022, Patel launched Blu Atlas to revolutionize men’s grooming with chemical-free products. Driven by personal experience with harsh chemicals in personal care items, he overcame industry skepticism to fill a market void with all-natural alternatives. Patel’s hands-on approach, from expert recruitment to formulation science, underscored his commitment to innovation and quality.

Blu Atlas experienced rapid growth, achieving six-figure revenues in its first month—a rarity for startups. The brand’s products quickly became a social media sensation, earned features in top publications, and outperformed giants like P&G and Unilever by winning multiple industry awards.

Following this remarkable success, venture capitalists took notice. Patel, recognizing the necessity for greater financial support and stronger industry connections to fulfill his vision for Blu Atlas, sold the company to Foundry Brands in 2023. The deal, rumored to be in the tens of millions, strategically positioned Blu Atlas to broaden its market presence and pursue further innovation.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

2. Seth Godin — the marketing philosopher 

Seth Godin, with a career spanning over four decades, has consistently challenged conventional wisdom and refined our understanding of marketing. His innovative mindset is evident in his groundbreaking concept of “Permission Marketing” which revolutionized how organizations engage with their target audiences. This innovative approach has transformed the marketing landscape and continues to influence marketers worldwide.

Godin’s strategic success is undeniable. He has founded several successful companies, including Yoyodyne, which was acquired by Yahoo!, and Squidoo, which became one of the 500 most visited sites in the world. His books, including “This is Marketing”, have been bestsellers worldwide, demonstrating his ability to effectively communicate his marketing strategies and philosophies.

His writings have not only captivated audiences worldwide but have also resonated with leaders across the board. From entrepreneurs and CEOs to managers and aspiring leaders, his ideas have made a significant impact, transcending industry boundaries. Furthermore, his blog, which has been a daily fixture for over a decade, has amassed a huge following, earning it a spot as one of the world’s most popular.

Godin is not just a marketing guru, but also an inspiring leader. He founded the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people. His leadership philosophy centers around fostering meaningful connections, embracing innovation, and challenging traditional notions of leadership. He believes in leading with generosity, solving interesting problems, and striving for excellence.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

3. Ann Handley — the content genius

Renowned for her exceptional prowess in content marketing, Ann Handley has earned the title of “The Content Genius” through a career defined by her ability to craft compelling narratives and engage audiences. Her strategic approach to content creation, demonstrated as Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, underscores her innovative mindset and proven success in shaping effective content strategies.

Handley began her career in the 1980s, working as a writer and editor for various publications, including the Boston Globe. In the mid-90s, she co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first websites of its kind to provide industry-specific digital marketing news and insights. Already understanding the importance of high-quality content in online publishing, Handley gave herself the title of Chief Content Officer, a designation that wouldn’t become widespread until years later.

In the year 2000, a new chapter began in Handley’s career. After parting ways with ClickZ, she co-founded MarketingProfs. This company, specializing in marketing training and education, has since become a beacon for marketers worldwide. MarketingProfs is a treasure trove of resources, offering a variety of education programs, both online and in-person. It also hosts the B2B Marketing Forum, recognized as a leading global marketing event. 

Handley’s impact is further amplified by her best-selling books such as “Everybody Writes.” This influential work not only provides a wealth of knowledge but also motivates marketers around the globe to refine their content quality and strategy. Her writing serves as both a definitive guide and an inspiration for creating effective, engaging content.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

4. Neil Patel — the SEO king

Neil Patel, often dubbed the “SEO King,” has earned this title by transforming the digital marketing landscape with his innovative strategies and deep understanding of search engine optimization. Patel’s ability to develop cutting-edge SEO tactics and simplify complex concepts into actionable advice has made him a go-to resource for marketers globally.

Born in London to immigrant parents, Patel’s passion for computers and technology was ignited at a young age. As a teenager, he ventured into the world of online marketing by starting small businesses in web hosting and refurbished hardware. These early experiences provided him with valuable insights into the digital landscape that he would soon come to dominate.

In 2006, Patel co-founded Crazy Egg, introducing heat mapping to help businesses understand user behavior on their websites. His work with KISSmetrics further showcased his ability to leverage data for strategic success, providing companies with actionable insights to drive their marketing efforts. These ventures highlight his proven strategic success, as both platforms have become essential tools in the digital marketer’s toolkit.

Globally, Patel’s influence is undeniable. Through his blog, podcasts, and YouTube channel, he reaches millions of marketers worldwide, sharing his expertise and keeping them updated on the latest trends and best practices. His tools, like Ubersuggest, offer valuable resources for businesses of all sizes, helping them improve their SEO strategies and achieve better results.

Beyond his influential digital presence, what truly sets Patel apart is his commitment to mentorship. He has a knack for breaking down complex SEO concepts into understandable terms, making them accessible to everyone, from beginners to seasoned professionals. This dedication to education has empowered countless marketers to take control of their online presence and succeed in their careers.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

5. Gary Vaynerchuk — the social media mogul

Gary Vaynerchuk is a true entrepreneurial force, achieving success across various industries from a young age. Beginning with a lemonade stand, it wasn’t long before he took his family’s liquor store online and transformed it into a thriving e-commerce business. With a knack for spotting opportunities, he has built an impressive career as a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and influential social media mogul.

In the late 90s, Vaynerchuk harnessed the power of the internet to transform his father’s liquor store, turning it into Wine Library, a trailblazer in the e-commerce space for alcohol. Under Vaynerchuk’s leadership, the annual sales skyrocketed from $4 million to a staggering $60 million.

Data-savvy and ahead of trends, Vaynerchuk invested early in companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Uber, showcasing his eye for game-changing platforms. His collaboration with K-Swiss to release signature sneakers highlights his knack for merging personal branding with product marketing. Vaynerchuk’s relentless pursuit of excellence and visionary strategies place him among the top ten marketers in the world.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

6. Rand Fishkin — the data wizard

Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz and SparkToro, has significantly impacted the marketing industry. His innovative take on SEO and digital marketing, promoting transparency and ethical practices, has guided businesses through the evolving digital world. His unique ability to harness data for insightful marketing strategies and his deep understanding of customer behaviors have earned him the fitting title of the “Data Wizard”.

Fishkin is not just a marketer; he’s a game-changer with unwavering determination. His journey began with Moz, a startup that quickly became a leading SEO tool suite. But he didn’t stop there. In 2018, he co-founded SparkToro, a software company that helps businesses understand their audience better, further solidifying his position as a true innovator in the field of marketing.

Fishkin’s strategies are far from conventional. He’s known for his forward-thinking approach, always staying one step ahead of the curve. He’s not afraid to question the status quo and push for ethical marketing practices. 

But what truly sets Fishkin apart is his ability to leverage data. He’s a wizard when it comes to turning raw numbers into actionable insights. This skill has not only driven the success of his ventures but also helped countless businesses improve their online presence.

Fishkin’s influence transcends his businesses. As a sought-after speaker and author, he shares invaluable knowledge with marketers worldwide. His book, ‘Lost and Founder,’ provides transparent insights into startup life. This openness has earned him the respect of his peers and firmly established him as a role model for aspiring marketers.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

7. Mari Smith — the Facebook queen

Mari Smith, renowned around the world as “The Facebook Queen,” is a titan in the realm of social media marketing, having earned her title through her deep understanding and influential work in Facebook marketing. Smith has a unique talent for demystifying complex social media strategies, making them digestible and actionable for businesses, big and small.

Challenging traditional practices and pushing the boundaries in social media marketing, Smith’s ethical and effective strategies have set new industry standards. Her innovative approach, combined with her deep understanding of Facebook’s complexities, has guided businesses through the digital landscape. This has led to numerous successful campaigns, reinforcing her reputation as a leading global marketer.

But Smith’s strategic prowess doesn’t stop there. She is a sought-after speaker and author, with her insights empowering businesses to bolster their online presence. Her collaboration with Facebook to facilitate and teach at the “Boost Your Business” series of live training events across the United States is yet another testament to her strategic success.

Smith’s influence extends beyond the U.S., reaching professionals worldwide who use her strategies to enhance their social media presence. She’s praised for her clear teaching style and ability to simplify complex social media concepts. Featured in major publications, her work has cemented her status as a leading thought leader in the marketing industry.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

8. Brian Dean – the SEO strategist

Brian Dean, the ultimate SEO strategist, has a knack for cracking the code of search engine optimization (SEO). He’s not just good at it; he’s one of the best in the business. His innovative strategies and techniques have revolutionized the way we understand and approach SEO. 

Dean’s journey into the world of digital marketing began when he founded his blog, Backlinko, as a platform to share insights and tips on SEO. Before this venture, he immersed himself in learning the intricacies of online marketing, leveraging his early experiences to refine his skills.

From the outset, Dean’s commitment to transparency and data-driven methodologies set him apart. He gained recognition for his ability to demystify complex SEO tactics, making them accessible to beginners and experts alike. 

Through Backlinko, Dean introduced concepts like the Skyscraper Technique, which emphasizes creating outstanding content that naturally attracts backlinks and boosts search engine rankings. This approach not only garnered widespread acclaim but also solidified his reputation as a thought leader in SEO strategy.

Dean’s influence extends beyond his blog. He has collaborated with leading brands and organizations, advising them on SEO best practices and digital marketing strategies. His speaking engagements at industry conferences and workshops further underscore his expertise and ability to stay ahead of evolving SEO trends.

In addition to his strategic insights, Dean is a prolific educator. His online courses and tutorials empower thousands of marketers worldwide to enhance their SEO skills and achieve tangible results. By combining practical guidance with innovative thinking, Dean continues to shape the digital marketing landscape, earning him a well-deserved place among the top marketers globally.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

9. Tim Ferriss — the lifestyle innovator

When it comes to reimagining what’s possible in both work and life, Tim Ferriss stands as an unparalleled figure. Known primarily for his groundbreaking book “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Ferriss has fundamentally shifted the way people think about productivity, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle design, making him a perfect fit for our list of the ten best marketers.

Ferriss’s innovative approach is evident in his concept of lifestyle design, where he challenges traditional work models and encourages efficiency and outsourcing to achieve a better work-life balance. This radical idea has inspired countless individuals to rethink their work habits and pursue their passions without being chained to a desk.

Beyond his bestselling books, Ferriss has demonstrated strategic acumen through his ventures in angel investing. He was an early investor in startups like Uber, Shopify, and Duolingo, showing a keen eye for potential market disruptors. His strategic choices have not only yielded significant financial returns but also cemented his status as a savvy investor. 

Ferriss’s impact extends globally; “The 4-Hour Workweek” has been translated into over 40 languages, inspiring millions worldwide. His podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show,” consistently ranks among the top business podcasts globally, drawing listeners from diverse corners of the world.

Ferriss’s leadership stands out for his ability to motivate and guide entrepreneurs and professionals alike. Through his books, podcasts, and speaking engagements, he empowers others by openly sharing both his successes and failures, offering practical insights and a motivational roadmap for personal and professional growth.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

10. Larry Kim — the marketing technologist

Larry Kim, a pioneer in digital marketing, has seamlessly blended technical know-how with innovative strategies, earning him the title of “The Marketing Technologist.” His brainchild, WordStream, was one of the first companies to provide customers with comprehensive PPC (pay-per-click) marketing software, which was a game-changer in the industry. The innovation empowered businesses to broaden their online visibility and reach while optimizing their resources to grow in size, relevance, and value.

In addition to WordStream, Kim also founded MobileMonkey, a platform for creating chatbots. This venture further highlighted his knack for leveraging technology to enhance marketing efforts. Through AI-driven interactions, MobileMonkey facilitates instant, personalized responses, vastly improving customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. 

Kim’s proven strategic success is highlighted by his ability to grow WordStream from a small startup into a major player in the PPC industry, ultimately leading to its acquisition by Gannett for $150 million. His emphasis on data-driven marketing has empowered countless marketers to optimize their ad campaigns, improve conversion rates, and achieve greater ROI.

Kim’s career is adorned with numerous industry awards, including accolades from the U.S. Senate & House of Representatives for boosting Boston’s economy through job creation. His extensive writing, webinars, and public speeches simplify complex marketing concepts into actionable advice. Kim’s engaging style has endeared him to the marketing community, inspiring both veterans and novices to incorporate technology and innovation in their work.

Social Media: LinkedIn & X

The bottom line

And there you have it—these trailblazers have mastered the art of marketing. They’re not just playing the game; they’re changing it, setting new benchmarks, and reshaping the marketing landscape. Their expertise is world-class, and their influence is global. But what truly sets them apart is their generosity. Through books, webinars, and talks, they share their marketing wisdom, empowering each one of us to step up our game.

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