Did Mitch Joel Miss the Mark On His 10 Twitter Users That Marketers Should Follow?

Recently Mitch Joel wrote about “10 Twitter Users That Every Marketing Professional Should Follow.“  While I think Mitch was spot-on with some of his recommendations such as Josh Bernoff, Avinash Kaushik, and Jeremiah Owyang, I believe his list focused too heavily on pure Social Media influencers.  It was a great list if a Brand Manager only wanted to learn about Social Media.

In my eyes that misses the big opportunity.  The real value of Twitter isn’t just to learn about Social Media…it is also a way to learn about being a better digital marketer.  After all, Twitter and other tools are a way to get in your 10,000 hours of practice in order to be great at what we do.  And marketers have a lot more on their plate than just Social Media when it comes to digital.

Given that, I wanted to give my own take on:

“10 Twitter Users Every Brand Manager Should Follow To Be A Better Marketer.”

Listed in no particular order:

Barry Judge – Best Buy CMO

Barry is a must follow for marketers for two reasons.  First off, he is the Chief Marketing Officer of one of the world’s largest retailers.  If he has time to embrace Twitter, there is no reason you don’t as well.  Second, he shows the power of using the “Wisdom of the Crowds” to grow your business by openly inviting people to attend brainstorming sessions and even critique Best Buy’s not-yet released advertising.

John Battelle – Founder of Federated Media

John is one of the true innovators in the digital space.  He was the original Managing Editor of Wired Magazine, Founder of the Industry Standard and now the CEO of Federated Media.  And in his spare time he wrote the definitive book on Google / Search Marketing and started the Web 2.0 Summit / Expo with O’Reilly Media.  I think those are reasons enough Brand Managers need to be paying attention to him and what he has to say about Conversational Media and Marketing.

Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos

Honestly there is nothing I can say about Tony that hasn’t been written before. Every business person should learn how to take a page from the Zappos book about creating an amazing company based on putting your customer first.  This is a guy who is truly building his company tweet by tweet.

Kara Swisher – Wall Street Journal & AllThingsD.com

As the “digital voice” for the Wall Street Journal, Kara is often the source of breaking news in technology and Silicon Valley.  She is also the co-host of D: All Things Digital Conference, which is often called the premiere digital executive conference.

Pete Blackshaw – Nielsen Online

Pete is a marketer’s marketer.  In ’99 he helped P&G be named Interactive Marketer of the Year and then went on to start Planet Feedback, one of the earliest advocates of using the Internet for listening and engaging with consumers.  He’s a guy who dreams big and his Twitter stream is always filled with thoughts that will make you think.

Scott Monty – Head of Social Media at Ford

Before moving to Ford, Scott was at the “virtual agency” Crayon with Joe Jaffe.  In 2008, he took the challenge to lead up Social Media, just in time to deal with the disaster that has become the auto industry in the past few months.   Scott’s handling of that situation and his internal guidance has helped Ford stay in better shape than his rivals.  He is fighting the good fight to show colleagues that “firewalls are for cars, not social media.”

Peter Kim – Former Forrester Analyst

When Pete was at Forrester, he wrote some of my favorite pieces of research such as Agency 2.0.  Last year, he left Forrester to join a start-up that has the mission of “Working on changing the world of work.”  In addition to his great insights, Pete also pushes us all to not get stuck in the “echo chamber” where bloggers and social media advocates are just talking to themselves.

Ian Schafer – CEO of Deep Focus

There are a lot of interesting people from the agency side but Ian stands out from the crowd and is my personal favorite.  First off, his agency is doing some of the more interesting digital work out there, including some breakthrough stuff for HBO.  But Ian is also willing to push the boundaries of innovation, such as his experiment to auction off sponsorship of his Twitter profile.

Frank Eliason – Comcast Cares

Frank is the Comcast Director of Digital Care.  In plain English, you can call him the man that single handily changed the image of Comcast customer service.  Every Brand Manager should follow his lead in show genuine desire to help consumers and solve their problems.

And the one repeat from Mitch Joel’s list (borrowing his description since it sums up this last person perfectly):

Avinash Kaushik.
Kaushik is the analytics evangelist for Google, author of Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and Blogger over at Occam’s Razor. His tweets add a whole other dimension to the world of web analytics, but more importantly, marketing.

Note – Chas Edwards also pointed out a list from Forbes on the 10 Most Influential Twitter Users.

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  1. says

    Hi Dave – thanks for the mention. In particular, it's interesting to note your recommendations from a practitioner's perspective vs. Mitch's recs from a consultant's perspective.

    • says

      Not sure I follow you Peter. I own a Digital Marketing agency (Twist Image) with over 65 employees and two offices. The brands we work with include Microsoft, Home Depot, Coca Cola and more. All I do is "practice" Digital Marketing. I am not a consultant. I merely chose people I think are interesting. In fact, I follow about 800 others (including you).

      • says

        Hi Mitch – Dave is on the client side; you and I are on the services side. Sorry if you took offense to the term consultant. (Some of my friends at well-respected firms like McKinsey and BCG are OK with that designation.) Note the missing judgment call on my part – it's merely stated as an observation.

        BTW I follow you on Twitter too! :)

        • says

          No worries Peter. I agree there is a big difference between all of those terms: consultant and practitioner and agency and client side… but thanks for the clarification. I just didn't want anything out there that might confuse people as to what I do for a living :)

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