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13 influential marketing technology leaders

30-second summary:

  • Following a survey and some editorial research, we have highlighted 10 people we think are either respected industry guardians, or are making some noteworthy contributions to the marketing technology space.
  • Scott Brinker, Tamara McCleary, Ann Lewnes, Des Cahill, Stephanie Buscemi, Tony Ralph and David Encizo, amongst those named in the list.
  • Katrina Lake, Werner Vogels, Max Wessel, Jay Richman, Melanie Deziel and Erin Rowles also honored in the list.

With February widely regarded as awards season in the realm of pop culture, we thought we’d get on the act as well and recognize some of the leading personalities in the marketing technology sector.

We asked you, our valued readers, to send us your picks and combined that with hours of relentless editorial research, to narrow down our list to 13 deserving people.

So without further ado here are our list of 13 (in no particular order) who we think are either respected industry guardians, or are making some noteworthy contributions to the marketing technology space:

Scott Brinker (HubSpot)

Let’s tackle the most obvious pick right off the bat. Scott Brinker remains the undisputed godfather of the martech world. Nearly every person in our survey had him as one of their top five leaders in marketing technology sector.

Scott is the editor of the popular Chief Marketing Technologist blog, where he covers topics at the intersection of marketing and technology, and is the program chair of the MarTech conference series. He is of course the brains behind the annual Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, the widely accepted road map of the global martech vendors.

Most recently, for over two years now, Scott has been serving as VP of Platform Ecosystems at HubSpot, the developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales.

Tamara McCleary (Thulium)

marketing technology leaders

Tamara McCleary is the CEO of Thulium, a marketing and digital consulting agency specializing in social media brand amplification, influencer marketing, and thought leadership.

As an internationally recognized expert in new technologies, branding, storytelling, and social influence, Tamara is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading female technology influencer and was named the Most Influential Woman in martech by B2B Marketing.

Tamara is also a unique adviser and consultant to a variety of leading global technology companies such as Verizon, IBM, Mercer, SAP, Dell EMC, Huawei, Ericsson, and Amazon Web Services.

Her reputation for creating powerful digital brand recognition is unparalleled.

Ann Lewnes (Adobe)

Ann Lewnes is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Adobe and is responsible for their marketing and communications efforts worldwide.

Under her leadership, Adobe’s marketing organization has pioneered the shift to digital — deploying a comprehensive set of digital marketing solutions, establishing an insight-driven culture, and setting a template for marketing’s strategic impact on business.

Ann has been inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame, named one of the most innovative and influential CMOs by Business Insider and Forbes, and recognized on AdWeek 50, a celebration of indispensable marketing and media executives.

Like Brinker, she was one of the most named person in our survey.

Des Cahill (Oracle CX)

Des Cahill is head Customer Experience (CX) evangelist at Oracle. His job is to understand and translate the breadth of Oracle’s product range into meaningful discussions with the company’s customers to ensure they get the right solutions to solve their specific problems.

An expert in B2B software and marketing, Cahill has spent most of his career in Silicon Valley, helping companies develop, refine and tell their stories.

He brings extensive executive-level experience in marketing, sales and operations from some of America’s best-known technology companies — Apple Computer, Netscape/AOL and HP — and from some successful startups — Autonomy,, Habeas and Ensighten.

Stephanie Buscemi (Salesforce)

marketing technology leaders

Stephanie Buscemi is Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President at Salesforce. She leads a global team of marketers focused on advancing Salesforce’s mission to bring companies and customers together through their acclaimed customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

With a focus on purpose, creativity and transformational technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Stephanie-led marketing team develops insight-driven, personalized customer experiences designed to drive growth for one of the world’s most valuable brand.

She has been recognized by Adweek on its top Chief Marketing Technology Officers (CTMO) list, which honors CMOs leading the charge on digital transformation and redefining the traditional approach to marketing.

Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix)

marketing technology leaders

Katrina Lake is the Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix.

Launched 2011, Stitch Fix is an ecommerce platform that mixes algorithms, data and personal styling expertise to send customers boxes of handpicked items that cater to individual fit, style and price preferences.

The company’s heavy emphasis on data to curate its offering appears to be paying off — according to Lake, 70 percent of their 2.7 million customers return for a second “fix” within 90 days.

Her company — founded while she was at Harvard Business School — is revolutionizing shopping for busy women, men, and families and generates over $1 billion in annual revenues.

Werner Vogels (Amazon)

marketing technology leaders

Dr. Werner Vogels is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Amazon where he is responsible for driving the company’s technology vision, which is to continuously enhance the innovation on behalf of Amazon’s customers at a global scale.

He is regarded as one of the architects behind Amazon’s approach to cloud computing — the Amazon Web Services (AWS). And described the deep technical nature of Amazon’s infrastructure work in a paper about Amazon’s Dynamo, the storage engine for the Amazon Shopping Cart.

He is generally regarded as one of the world’s top experts on ultra-scalable systems and he uses his weblog to educate the community about issues such as eventual consistency.

Vogels has won a plethora of awards during his time at Amazon, the most recent being ranked as the #1 Chief Technology Officer by ExecRank in 2014.

Max Wessel (SAP)

Max Wessel holds dual responsibility at SAP. As Chief Innovation Officer, Max orchestrates the company’s innovation efforts across all board areas.

He also heads the New Ventures and Technologies organization, which pioneers emerging technologies and growing revolutionary software businesses with the goal to deliver an era of organic growth at SAP.

Max is also the Managing Director of SAP Silicon Valley where he is responsible for the more than 4,000 employees in the Bay Area and Newport Beach.

In addition to SAP, Max lectures at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, writes for the Harvard Business Review, and is a venture partner with Nextgen Venture Partners.

Jay Richman (Spotify)

Jay Richman is the Vice President of Advertising and Marketing Technology at Spotify. In this role, Jay leads a Research & Development team of product managers, engineers, designers, data scientists and researchers who build the infrastructure for paid and earned media on the company’s platform.

He specifically oversees customer experience of audio, video and display advertising; email, push notifications and in-app messaging. Jay also works closely with advertising partners to innovate a suite of self-serve tools that provide greater insight and access to the audience on Spotify.

Jay has been a driving force of Spotify’s monetization strategy since joining the company in 2013. In this role, Jay has overseen 10x revenue growth in the business.

Previously, he has been in charge of the teams developing both free and paid for premium products including Spotify’s subscription platform and has helped scale the freemium model to new heights.

In 2018, he moved into the Advertising Business Unit to accelerate Spotify’s efforts in the space, which now include Podcasts, and is a key figure behind their latest ‘Spotify Podcast Ads’ initiative.

Melanie Deziel (Storyful)

Melanie Deziel, the founder of StoryFuel, is an international keynote speaker and a lifelong storyteller, recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in native advertising and branded content.

As a speaker, she’s taught marketers around the globe to think like journalists and tell better brand stories. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, and has graced the stages of industry-leading events like Content Marketing World, Native Ad Days, Social Media Marketing World, SXSW, and more.

Melanie was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, where she wrote the native ads that won the Best Native Advertising Execution OMMA Award in both 2014 and 2015.

She serves on the board of the Native Advertising Institute, and has judged countless industry awards, including the Content Marketing Institute Awards, Digiday Content Marketing Awards, the Native Ad Awards, the WANIFRA Digital Media Awards and the Mirror Awards.

She developed the Content Marketing course for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MS in Digital Marketing program, and has taught as an adjunct professor for both FDU and Syracuse University.

Tony Ralph (Walmart)

tony ralph martech

Tony Ralph has worked in digital advertising for 15 years in roles spanning both the buy and sell sides of the industry.

His sell side experience includes leading globally scaled engineering and product solutions related to the development, integration and monetization of what were (at that time at least) the highest volume advertising solutions in the world (Yahoo and Google).

His pure marketing technology experience includes design and implementation of advanced programmatic tools and tactics as Netflix brought their media buying practice in-house; driving end-to-end personalization and marketing data platform efforts at Intuit and most recently taking on a marketing product management leadership role for Walmart eCommerce.

Erin Rowles (Deluxe Corporation)

Erin Rowles

Erin Rowles leads the enterprise Marketing Technology office at Deluxe, responsible for marketing automation strategy, integrating new technologies into the martech stack, and managing the marketing data supply chain.

The tech-enabled solutions company serves millions of small business, banking and enterprise customers, providing everything from printed products to websites, logos and payroll, AI-enabled payment processing to receivables management solutions and more. With this broad portfolio, Deluxe has accumulated customer data from multiple sources, varied across legacy tools and systems.

As the company prepares for the next 100 years, it is focused on digital transformation and fundamentally changing its go-to-market strategy and Erin is at the heart of that change.

She is a frequent speaker on the marrying of technology with marketing strategy and operations. She pulls from her 13-plus years of marketing operations experience on both the client and agency sides.

David Encizo (Wells Fargo)

David Encizo has spent his career at the intersection of data, technology, and marketing. With over 10 years martech experience (startup to corporate), his passion lies in leveraging data and technology to innovate and drive better business outcomes.

At Wells Fargo, David leads social media technology and operations where he ensures team members have the best tools and technology at their disposal to perform key social media functions at scale.

He has led cross-functional teams (marketing, engineering, and data science) to integrate customer feedback data across disparate platforms by building and implementing API connections to achieve a holistic database of customer experience feedback. And has helped elevate the customer voice at Wells Fargo by leveraging social media listening data to uncover opportunities to assess risk and improve messaging, targeting, products & services.

He is currently undergoing an effort to modernize Wells Fargo’s social media technology architecture while enabling seamless integration with the rest of the marketing tech stack. David has also developed measurement framework to assess vendor performance, strength of offering, and strategic alignment with company goals and objective.

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