Disruptive Marketing Influencers
new year 2021

Rakefet Yacoby From
CMO at Mayple
Larry Kim
CEO of MobileMonkey
Neal Schaffer
CEO of Maximize Your Social

In the year 2025

Meet the marketing guru who got his start at age 12 building websites in his parent’s garage, the woman who created a trademark method that granted her the nickname “the Idea Whisperer”, the guy who has helped Coca-Cola and other ‘Globrands’ solve complex marketing and business problems, an NYU professor, eight acclaimed authors, and successful Start-up mentors, as they share their vision about where the marketing industry is headed in the near future.

In this must-read article, 20 marketing masterminds reveal what makes them tick and has granted them a rightful place in the pantheon of marketing influencers - all followed by thousands of people online, several keynote speakers at some of the industry’s largest events and some major publications contributors.
We label these influencers as disruptive because each one of them has made an impact or holds a unique point of view on how businesses can tell their stories so customers will listen. Being disruptive isn’t always about breaking all the rules, but rather being able to distill a clear path to the emotional triggers that move the marketing process along. No groundbreaking technology or marketing tool can replace the proven heuristics these influencers preach.

We at Mayple are proud to call all of these influencers like-minded friends. Much like them, we too recognize the business leverage obtained by combining the best technology has to offer with irreplaceable human insight.

So here is our rundown of the 20 most disruptive influencers, as we approach 2021.

Neal Schaffer

CEO, PDCA Social | Social Media Speaker, Consultant, Author & Educator
Neal Schaffer is an accomplished marketing speaker, consultant & advisor for both large and small enterprises. He assists businesses develop and execute marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives on social media.

Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese he is a frequent guest speaker on digital media across the globe and teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland).  

He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including “Maximize Your Social” (Wiley), and is expecting his 4th book to be published this winter (2019), “The Business of Influence” (HarperCollins), on leveraging the potential of influencer marketing.
“I believe that marketers need to become more data-driven and more focused on the end-to-end customer experience. This means that the marketing industry needs a lot more data scientists but also needs to be better at listening and conversing on social media where most public conversations about the brand occurs. Similar to how social media marketing ROI was difficult for many companies to measure before the appearance of Paid Social companies will need to realize that customer experience marketing is a necessity in order to thrive in today's increasingly difficult market and find different ways to measure the ROI of their efforts there.”
"I believe in 2025 you will have a scientific and artistic approach to marketing. The scientific part will be about having a completely data-driven approach to marketing which includes a greater share of marketing automation. On the other artistic side you have the exact opposite, where the "art" group of marketing will have to become better storytellers with the content they create and how they engage with social media users as well as influencers."
"I embody both a data-driven approach to marketing activities solely focused on hitting ROI and strategic marketing objectives while also having a user-first approach to organic social media marketing with a focus on generating user-generated content and developing relationships with influencers to replace in-house efforts that are simply no longer effective."

Larry Kim

CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc.
and founder of WordStream, Inc
Larry Kim is the CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc. a leading Facebook Messenger Marketing Platform, for marketers at companies of all sizes, and founder of WordStream, Inc. (recently acquired for $150M) a leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools used by millions of marketers worldwide.

He is a top-ranking author on Medium and a contributor to CNBC and Inc. Magazine on all matters related to AdWords, Facebook Ads, Entrepreneurship and Start-ups. He is also an award-winning marketer and guest lecturer at MBA classes at Harvard & MIT.
“Marketing is always going to be about finding the channels with the most leverage. Channels are always going to change, and it's impossible to know the exact platforms that will be dominant in 10 years, but you can look toward trends: machine learning, chat marketing channels and personalization. The smart marketer today will be investing in their training and capabilities where these opportunities lie. Then no matter what channels are available, they will have experience testing and designing funnels.”
"Businesses have been slow to adapt to the popular communication shift towards chat preferences. 75% of millennials say their preferred channel of communicating with businesses is via messaging, yet less than 1% of businesses around the world have developed the ability to automatically connect with customers and leads by chat. Developing effective chat automation or building chatbots is the biggest adjustment that marketers need to make right now. Other technological shifts like adapting strategy to AI, is actually not as big of an adjustment; most businesses will be able to follow the old standard ways of marketing for what the customer needs and create great content in order to optimize machine learning that is heavily weighted toward user interaction signals."
"Right now the most leverage can be gained from Facebook ads, typically in Instagram story placement, with a chatbot conversation as the post-click experience. Add Facebook Messenger ads to the marketing funnel for instant lead capture at a fraction of the cost per click and 10X the ROAS of traditional Facebook ads with traffic or conversion objectives."

Tamsen Webster

Founder and Chief Message Strategist
at Find The Red Thread
Tamsen Webster is the creator of the Red Thread™ method for brand and message strategy. Part keynote speaker, part message strategist, and full-time “Idea Whisperer”, Tamsen uses her proprietary Red Thread™ method to help audiences, organizations, and individuals build and tell the story of their big ideas.

She is a long-time Executive Producer of TEDx Cambridge, one of the largest and longest-running TEDx Talks in the world. While she does hold degrees in the fields of Management Communications, Organizational Behavior, Administration and Marketing, she credits most of her learning about inspiring change to her 13 years as a Weight Watchers leader.
“I think that the most dramatic change the marketing industry should go through is the re-embracement of human nature as the engine for marketing technological advancement. People need to connect to brand and business emotionally, and marketing automation (which seems to be all the buzz nowadays) is still lagging behind.”
"I think that there are two parallel developments that will become intertwined. Technologically we are moving forward, speeding things up, connecting from all over the world. Psychologically, we’ll be looking back at what has and will always fundamentally be true and that is human nature. AI is essentially the culmination of both, and the better we get at that on the technological side, the more our marketing efforts will pay off."
"My approach is very human-centric, I believe that the emotional connection should be at the heart of every marketing step. My method is just my unique way of helping people tell the story of their big ideas."

Michael Brenner

Speaker, Author, Consultant and Chief Marketing Officer, CEO of Marketing Insider Group
Micahel Brenner is a Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes.

As a keynote speaker and evangelist on leadership, culture, and marketing, he help companies reach, engage, and convert new customers through employee engagement and storytelling.

Today, he is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, helping brands to create content that converts and delivering presentations that connect at events all over the world.
“Marketing is under attack. I even like to say that "marketing has a marketing problem" because ask most people what marketing is and they will say ads. And who likes ads interrupting their favorite content? For example, there is no CMO at Coca Cola, Uber, Lyft, Taco Bell or Hyatt hotels. Those companies decided they didn't need what we used to think of as marketing. But I learned in college that marketing is supposed to be a 2-way conversation between a company and it's customers. But what executives see their marketers as the ones driving conversations with customers? Marketing leaders need to learn to explain to the business side that marketing is strategic, and adds value to the organization in a measurable way.”
"We used to run marketing like this: ask for a big budget, hire an agency to create ads. Run the ads. By 2025, effective marketers will be telling stories of real people, by real people, of real human challenges. We will be activating our customers, our partners, and mostly our employees to serve as brand storytellers. Then technology will tell us what works, where we need to promote that content, and how to generate business from the engagement."
"Every organization creates content. But I believe that most organizations don't answer their customers' questions or tell authentic stories. It's the natural instinct of the business to want to promote itself. But that doesn't work anymore. "Hi you don't know me but let me tell you about my product" is not effective anymore if it ever was. We help our clients to focus on customer value by answering their most basic questions. We help them to rank for the "pain point" keywords that their customers are using when they search for answers. Then we help them activate their employees’ expertise and storytelling ability to scale that success."

Brian Honigman

Social Media & Content Marketing Consultant
& Adjunct Professor at NYU
Brian Honigman is the owner of Honigman Media, a marketing consultancy based in Philadelphia. Through speaking, leading marketing trainings and workshops, coaching, strategy consulting and writing, He teach leaders how to drive business value from content marketing, social media, SEO and career development. He is also the adjunct Professor at NYU.
“Marketers need to spend more time developing a strategy to guide their efforts. With a clear plan behind their programming, it's easier for a marketer to work towards the right goals for their organization, account for potential challenges, optimize for the right opportunities, and adjust to handle any issues that may arise. Marketing programs that are guided by a defined strategy, instead of an impulse or simply following the lead of others, can help an organization better position itself as a distinct, meaningful, and supportive voice in their industry.”
"By 2025 marketing will be more automated than ever, which is why it's important to focus on a marketing strategy that creates a distinctive perspective for your organization and meaningful dialogue with your customers. Having both ensures that regardless of what channels, techniques, and technology become popular or disappear into obscurity, it'll be easier for your business to adapt and continue to reach its customers."
"I educate marketers and corporate leaders on how to drive business results from their marketing by focusing on the right goals. It's common to get caught up following industry standards and duplicating what others are doing to reach customers, leading to less effective marketing. But with my support, it's more impactful to develop your own unique strategy that addresses the distinctive qualities of your organization and caters to the particular needs of your customer base."

David Meerman Scott

Wall Street Journal Best Seller Author
David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed business strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, and public speaker.
He is the Wall Street Journal's bestselling author of ten previous books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in a 6th edition and available in 29 languages), Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, and The New Rules of Sales & Service. In his spare time he surfs and travels around the world for great live music.
“In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine human connection. People are going to be most invested in that which creates a sense of intimacy, warmth, and shared meaning in a world that would otherwise relegate them to a statistic. The relationship we build with our customers is more important than the products and services we sell them. I call this a fanocracy.”
"It can be scary, at first, to focus relentlessly on intangibles like community, generosity, and fun, rather than squeezing every penny from each interaction. But those who apply the strategies in Fanocracy are more likely to dominate their categories."
"The fundamental ingredient for true fandom — meaningful and active human connection — can mean a shift in the way a company communicates with their customers. They are more forthright, helpful and transparent. They create new experiences by turning customers into like-minded, enthusiastic fans.
A fanocracy is a culture where fans rule, and that’s what I see emerging in today’s world. We are moving into an era that prizes people over products."

Jamie Turner

Author, Speaker, and CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com
Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author and national TV news contributor who has helped The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Holiday Inn, and other global brands solve complex marketing and business problems.
“Here’s a fact that many marketers don’t want to hear – people hate advertising. They hate ads that interrupt their lives. They hate sales pitches from adverstisers. And they hate the inauthenticity of the whole approach. But every single person who hates advertising can also name a “favorite ad.” We all have a favorite ad, so why can’t marketers find a way to make their campaigns more enjoyable, fun, and engaging? That’s the biggest challenge moving ahead – how to make your marketing campaigns more enjoyable and fun to engage with.”
"The answer most people will give to this question is that AI will be planning and managing your campaigns. And, while that’s true, I think the pendulum will have swung back towards a more human approach by 2025. In the end, AI will only take us so far, and the smart brands will be swinging back to a more balanced Human + AI approach by 2025."
"There are three things marketers will have to do moving ahead. The first is to make the marketing campaigns more engaging. The second is to make the campaigns human and humane. And the third is to try to make their campaigns ubiquitous. Many people hate marketing campaigns, so we need to see companies learn how to weave their brands into the fabric of the consumer’s life. If consumers are going to push back against marketing, then marketers will have to figure out ways to be part of the consumers life, rather than just interrupting it."

Tamar Weinberg

Bestselling Author & Digital Marketing Strategy
Tamar is a Bestselling Author and operations Leader. She has had a very diverse career working in system administration,  private investigating, marketing strategist, sales, negotiatiator and so much more. She titles herself a "generalist," with a knack for operations or a "professional hustler".
“I believe that marketing and customer experience should work more hand in hand. The reason is simple: marketing is all about company awareness through broadcasts, creative storytelling, etc. But it's not as relationship-driven as the customer support experience. Therefore, it's imperative that marketing and customer experience work a lot more closely together, because a happy customer is a marketing vehicle, and you want your customers to tell the proper story.”
"I've honestly been preaching the customer experience journey in the context of great marketing for the last 6 years, yet few organizations really have an integrated entity that caters to the collaboration between both arms of the company. I believe that it's a slow and steady evolution, but marketing in 2025 should see a lot more cohesiveness in that respect."
"Marketing is a big part of putting the company on your radar, and that itself works fine, but we need to bring the people who consume the marketing materials into the fray. This is not your typical marketing these days, because marketing works independently. Here's a basic example, but just this past week, I saw an ad for a product on Facebook that I was genuinely interested in. I reached out to the company on Facebook with some questions and heard nothing. Four days later, I decided to follow up with the company in their standard communications channel, which is email support, explaining that they need to maintain a presence where their customers are, especially if they're advertising! Their response was "this is our standard support channel, not Facebook." No! You need to engage where your customers are. There's no excuse. But that's the obvious part. The less obvious part is that the tone of your communications can't be old-school, can't be formal, and can't be dismissive. If you want to gain and most importantly, retain customers, you make every single effort to communicate with them in the right way, where it can't bite you in the behind. Remember, your customers can copy/paste anytime we want and paint you in a negative light — we all have that power nowadays."

Robert Rose

Founder of The Content Advisory
For more than 25 years, Robert has helped marketers tell their story more effectively through digital media. As the Founder of The Content Advisory, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100. He’s provided strategic marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert is also the author of three books, and the host of two podcasts.
“The most dramatic shift for marketing is the shift from the classic campaign-centric (project-centric) operating model into the always-on media operation that is evolving today. Today, the decreasing amount of trust that consumers have in media (and brands), combined with the fragmentation of audiences across digital channels means that today’s consumer is more informed, less loyal, and more skeptical than ever before. So, it becomes important for businesses that want to excel at marketing to adapt to delivering engaging experiences at each and every opportunity they get to gain the customer’s attention.”
"By 2025, marketing will not much look like it does today. It will be planned and managed much like a media organization works today. Content-driven experiences will be at the center of the operation, and marketing professionals will be working in an “always-on” organization to continually attract, engage, and retain audiences that are potential customers."
"Content is at the heart of all business communications.  That means that content – and the business’ ability to create, manage, and measure it well, is one of the single most strategic functions in the enterprise today.  But, unfortunately, most businesses don’t operate this way.  Content is currently everyone’s job, and no one’s strategy.  This is where we bring a unique approach. Mastering content strategy is not simply a creative, governance, or technological challenge. It is both emotional and logical.  It is a cultural shift. An intelligent content strategy evolves the way business teams create, collaborate, and collect insight on every communication. At TCA we are a consulting and education firm, helping to bridge the art and science of strategic content for the modern business."

Ann Smarty

Founder at ViralContentBee.com
Ann Smarty is the Founder at ViralContentBee.com and Brand Manager at IMNinjas.com. Ann also specialize in SEOs and social media marketing.
“Technology is the biggest disruptive force here. It's already changing the marketing industry dramatically. The world is moving in a pretty scary direction: These days machines interact with brands on a regular basis. Machines can now call and schedule an appointment at a nearby business. Machines can perform web searches and select search results. Machines can plan your future shopping lists and remind you what you may have missed adding to cart.

In the future, machines will play an increasingly bigger part in the purchase journey and businesses should start preparing for that now:

– Tools like Alter allow you to create a smart self-learning bot that would interact with your site visitors on your behalf and help guide them through the conversion funnels
– Tools like Text Optimizer helps adapt your content strategy to Google's (and its users') expectations and assist you in understanding how a machine may be understanding your topic.

There are many more tools that teach businesses how to interact and better understand machines but these two are the easiest to start with.”
"Not an easy question! I tend to never look that far! But I think these tactics will be essential:
Creating voice-operated websites. Imagine people using your site without ever needing to type anything. Using the navigation, adding things to cart, giving voice commands, etc. In the future there will be less typing and more voice interaction.
Searching by voice and video. There are already traces of that with Google Lenses but there will be even more. It will be enough to show a cute dress to your iPhone for it to find it on your site to buy.
Becoming part of the brand. If you are not a huge brand, become part one. Being part of Amazon, Google Shopping and eBay algorithms means occasional brand discovery now. It's going to be your survival in the future. Consumers use traditional search less and less. If they want to buy anything, they head straight to Amazon and find products there. And it's going to be only worse. As these guys are collecting their users' data and serving their customers what they want even before they know they wanted it. You will have to get your products there."
"I believe anyone should have a voice. Whether it's a well-known brand with a large  following, or a an enthusiastic newbie with lots of ideas - there should be a way for everyone to get heard.

Therefore, project after project, I come up with ideas on how to connect people in a most meaningful way without having them spend years building their following or reputation. For example, MyBlogU allows anyone to contribute to expert interview and share ideas which then will be published one someone's blogs. And Viral Content Bee allows any website - big or small - to put their content in front of eager social media users who will be encouraged to share high-quality relevant content to their social media feeds.

Both the projects connect people based on mutual benefit. It's the power of collaboration I am a huge advocate of."

Deirdre Breakenridge

CEO of Pure Performance Communications
Deirdre is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications has been in PR and marketing for over 25 years helping senior executives in mid-size to large organizations communicate to their stakeholders. She is a communications strategist and has worked with clients on many different types of communication programs, including executive communications and thought leadership, image and reputation management, crisis communications, media relations, PR 2.0 and social media programs.
“Incorporating ethical practices and standards into marketing should be among the most dramatic changes to expect. With artificial intelligence and marketing automation, consumers want to trust brands with their personal data. A big part of this process is communication transparency, good judgment and ethical practices surrounding how companies collect, use and secure the data. Many companies may be looking at ethics as something that comes out of the communications or PR department. Have you heard this familiar statement, “Ethics is the job of the PR people to be the conscience of the company.” True, however, ethics in marketing has to penetrate the entire organization at every level and position. Whether you are incorporating AI and automation into your marketing practices currently or you’re looking to jumpstart the process, then it’s critical to take the lead in your approach to ethics and your definition. Every business must define how it wants to show up to gain the trust of its customers. One breach is all it takes to put trust and credibility in question.”
"By 2025, consumers will experience far more automated processes when interacting with their favorite brands. Yet, human capital and emotional intelligence are still critical elements in building your business relationships. Sure, machines can make the process faster and customers appreciate quick and targeted information as well as the expedited service. Yet, you still need to place an emphasis on the value of the human relationship. You can’t forget part of your marketing programs, from the planning phases through launch and relationship management. If you’re serving consumers, then it’s about people. They require higher Emotional Quotient (EQ), especially when negative issues and less than pleasant experiences surface. Technology and social media intelligence help us to collect large amounts of data to get more “intimate” and understand our customers’ behaviors. However, what truly separates us from the machine is our ability to build genuine relationships, use our intuition, show compassion and create trusted environments through real understanding. Planning and managing with the human “touch" will always be needed as AI and automation become standard practice in 2025."
"We create connections, engagement and build relationships from a FEEL First perspective. Genuine relationships require the ability to FEEL or face Fears, engage with Empathy, use Ethics and good judgment and to unleash the Love for your brand. If you can’t FEEL First, for the people who you want to reach, then the amount of time and resources invested into strategic planning efforts and the execution of your campaigns may not produce the loyal and unbreakable bonds you’re looking to build. Months of research have uncovered the high expectation Millennials have surrounding communication and the type of interactions they would like to have with their brands and company leaders. Unfortunately, Millennials are less than satisfied with the way business leaders are sharing information. Research has also pointed out how Millennials find communication, especially on social media, to be disingenuous, unethical, and lacking compassion. As a result, our strategy for clients includes a FEEL First approach to bring humanity, empathy, ethics, and passion back into communication. FEEL is the bridge that closes the gap between different generations that need to improve in the relationship and trust building department."

Tom Pick

Independent digital marketing consultant
As an independent digital marketing consultant and in collaboration with select marketing agencies, Tom helps B2B clients increase their visibility and business success online. Through web presence optimization, SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing, online advertising, and marketing technology strategy, he's helped clients ranging from single-person businesses to $1 billion+ corporations.
“Marketers need to (and the best will) realize that automation technology is a tool like a hammer: it can be very helpful, but it can also cause a great deal of damage if misused. It's not unusual for buyers to receive the same "introductory" email from a company or individual several times -- even AFTER responding. That makes marketers look incompetent and erodes brand trust.Automation is most valuable for improving efficiency at top-of-funnel marketing. But it must be used carefully in order to help move buyers to the next stage, rather than being obviously inauthentic and driving them away.”
"There will be an increasing move toward frameworks, an effort to "process-ize" marketing. For example, the book Building a Story Brand and Myk Pono's Strategic Messaging Map provide a model for brand messaging and product positioning. Books like The Perfection of Marketing and Dan Martell's videos apply a broader framework to the practice of marketing.Those types of models can be very helpful, though only to a point. Marketing is still fundamentally a creative activity - and has to be managed as such. Data is important but it can't answer every question or solve every problem. Just as an example, Facebook has possibly the largest trove of data, best analytical tools, and the biggest team of any marketing organization, yet it still routinely bombards users with irrelevant ads, pointless alerts, and nonsensical event notifications."
"B2B decision makers buy based on two factors: competence and trust. Competence is the simpler (though not always easy) hurdle to overcome, it's basically just "can you solve my problem"? It's about product features and functions, but also about demonstrating that you really understand the customer's problems and speak their language.Trust is tougher. It involves case studies, customer testimonials, social media engagement, (in some cases) industry certifications, and influencer marketing. I help clients understand, navigate, and optimize those processes."

Joe Williams

Search Engine Optimisation Teacher at Tribe SEO
Joe's on a mission to make SEO easy, fun and profitable. If your website is lost on search engines and you want it to be found, “Joe the SEO” can help. He’s the founder and SEO trainer at Tribe SEO, the lead SEO lecturer at the Digital Marketing Institute, and he’s here’s been featured in the Guardian, BBC and Huffington Post.
“It’s tempting to go after the largest number of people possible. This is mass marketing and if you’re just starting out or struggling with sales, it’s what a lot of people do. But here’s the thing, unless you sell a regular commodity that you can buy from anywhere, your marketing message needs to be personal. It needs to feel like it was written not just for your target audience but for the person reading it.If you can’t address your target market’s fears and worries… if you can’t provide a solution that overcomes the problems that they face… why should they buy from you? Marketing needs to become and stay more personal.”
"This is how marketing will be planned and managed in 2025. True marketing isn’t merely persuading people through clever copywriting. Although that can help, true marketing starts with having a product that people want and offering it at the right time.Now, image your target market is flowing down a river and they are going in one direction. You’ll want tap into where they are going, right? You don’t want to fight against the tide or paddle upstream, so you’ll want to be right in front of them and let them come to you.In 2025, smart marketing will align market research and product design to position itself to where the market is heading. It will take industry insight, courage and timing to say “no” to what appears to be working right now and “yes” to the one thing you can deliver better than anyone else in the future."
"I’m in the online marketing training space. People are results driven and short of time. My courses focus on moving my students from where they are now to where they want to be and in the fewest number of steps. I do this through engaging videos and frameworks that are easy and clear to follow."

Barry Adams

SEO Consultant & Public Speaker & Educator
Barry Adams is an award-winning SEO consultant specialising in technical SEO and specialised services for news publishers. He's been active in SEO since 1998, and works with a wide range of clients - from micro-businesses to the world's largest media brands. Barry enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with the industry; he regularly speaks at digital conferences around the world, delivers annual guest lectures for several universities, and is chief editor at the popular European marketing blog State of Digital.
“Right now I feel marketers are either very data-driven, or very creative-driven. There doesn't seem to be a lot of overlap between those two approaches, and that needs to change. The best campaigns take what data has to offer and combine it with creative thinking to make something unique and exciting.

Creativity in marketing needs data to keep it honest and accountable, and data in marketing needs creativity to make it human and be able to reach people. Combining the best of both worlds will be something the industry needs to figure out if it wants to stay relevant in the future.”
"I see a growing shift towards tenancy on big platforms. In 2025, almost all marketing will be focused on a brand's space on a third-party platform like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. Rather than build your own properties and trying to grow an audience, brands need to find ways to maximise their visibility on these rented platforms because that's where all their customers will be.

I believe in 2025 that marketers will increasingly focus on generating and optimising data feeds for these third party platforms for maximum visibility. These feeds will contain things like product data, blog content, voice search answers, and even web components that tie in to the main platforms' systems. From basic Amazon product feeds to AMP webpages and structured data, marketing in the near future will be all about integrating your data with the big platforms."
"My motto is that I'm only as good as my last project. So for every client I want to do the best work possible, delivering as much value as I can. It takes years to build a good reputation but only one wrong project to destroy it, so I treat every client as a precious commodity that needs to feel truly appreciated and valued as a business. I don't think that's particularly unique or innovative, but this approach has certainly done well for me."

John G. Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK.
He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran six of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.

He is also a very experienced business Mentor, with Microsoft Ventures then Microsoft Accelerator (now Microsoft Scale-Up), HRH Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace, SETsquared (scale-ups spinning out of the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Surrey and Southampton) and Entrepreneurial Spark (now NatWest Accelerator). He is also on the Advisory Board for the Oracle Start-up Cloud Accelerator (OSCA).
“We have seen over the past few years that marketing has started to go full circle - pre-digital it was all strategy, 5 P’s and offline, then when the internet came in, marketing and digital were seen initially as two different things. Digital was “gaming” Google with hidden text and two-way links which then morphed over time to quality content engaged by the right audience. We have already started to see the pivot back to core marketing principles of strategy, 5 (or 7 or even 9) P’s and offline and online working together. I believe this trend will continue and the key to it all will be a marketing strategy which will replace digital tactics as the main driver of success.”
"What is the biggest change businesses should go through to be fit for marketing in 2025 - A growing focus on marketing strategy rather than digital tactics and the returned prominence of the Marketing Strategist - be that the Marketing Director or CMO or whatever they may be called. Digital tactics will remain in use but strategy trumps all in the future as it did in the past because that’s the fundamental that drives all success. Strategic thinking is something that can be taught but it requires a certain type of mind that can unpick a knotted ball of string, analyse the threads and then put them back together in a better order to get better results. I personally feel that there will be a huge amount of connected data that comes from all the automation that will be happening by 2025 so it is more likely that you’ll need grey hairs to help interpret the strategic insights to grow the business."
"Your unique approach that helps businesses get there - Our Advisors all have entrepreneurs’ battle scars, having grown businesses, often from a garage or bedroom to dozens or hundreds of staff. They are available as part-time Executive Directors (CEO’s, MD’s, Digital Directors, Ops Directors, etc) from one day a month to 3 days a week, and both short-term to help transitioning or to fill a recruitment gap to a long term resource. Or also available as Chairs, NEDs or Board Advisors. Many are trained in strategy. Most have grey hairs, some have none. What they all have is experience."

Andrew and Pete

Keynote Speakers, Authors, Youtubers
Andrew and Pete are international keynote speakers, authors and YouTubers. They are a multi award winning business duo who help business owners scale their business so they can stop swapping time for money. They run a leading small business development community ATOMIC, and host the UKs leading business conference: ATOMICON.
“Marketers should stop trend-jumping and trend-bashing because there isn’t one size fits all for any industry. Work out the best way to engage YOUR potential customers, and do that consistently, whether that’s with the latest trend or now. Put customer trust and loyalty at the forefront of your marketing strategy.”
"In 2025 the only thing that is certain is that it will be different from today. That’s what keeps marketers on their toes. You can either complain about the latest Facebook algorithm change, whinge about how awful bots are - or instead focus on what’s best for your business and your customers today. 
In 2025 - don’t be worried about what’s happening in 2030. Worry about what you’re doing in 2025 that is going to get you to 2030. We think we can all apply that to 2019 too if you catch our drift."
"With ATOMIC we help businesses make the right business and marketing decisions based on their business. We combine creative thinking and logical decision making, which we think are the 2 key ingredients of any marketing campaign. 

The first step is to work out what to STOP doing. So much marketing is done for the sake of doing it. We help our clients work out what to stop, giving them time back to make better, more creative decisions."

Andrew Grill

TEDx & Futurist Keynote Speaker
Futurist Keynote Speaker and former IBM Global Managing Partner, Andrew Grill is a top-rated presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, social selling, the workplace of the future, emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, digital diversity, personal branding, and employee advocacy.

Andrew has developed an important and relevant niche as The Practical Futurist. Unlike traditional Futurists who can paint a picture of the future in 10, 20 or even 50 years’ time, Andrew delivers practical and actionable insights in every session.An experienced corporate leader, Andrew has launched and run technology companies in Europe and Australia and worked with and for some of the world’s leading companies. He speaks to and consults for organisations world-wide to develop their strategy in a world rife with digital disruption.

Recent clients have included senior executives from companies as diverse as Vodafone, Barclays, Nike, Mars, Schroders Bank, Nestle, Wella, Euler Hermes, DHL, Taylor Wessing, Technogym, LinkedIn, and CPA Australia and he has spoken in over 40 countries.He also holds both Master of Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees.
“As a Practical Futurist, I try and provide my audiences with a view into the near-term future to help equip them for what’s new and what’s next. I think we are not too far away from the age of the “Digital Agent” – our own personal assistant that will not only manage the minute of our daily lives, but also do “digital deals” with the digital agents of our suppliers and providers. This means that we will have to start writing ads for robots as we just won’t see ads anymore. Our agents will become the gatekeepers and use AI to screen which advertisers get through and which are blocked. This is likely to turn traditional advertising as we know it on its head for all the right reasons and hand control back to the consumer.”
"By 2025, we are likely to be in the age of the digital agent. “Interruption marketing” will no longer be a profitable tactic and the use of AI to learn how to get messages through our digital agents to us will become the norm. Planning marketing will be much more complicated than the “programmatic” tactics used in 2019. A true value exchange will exist as consumers will demand a fair value exchange in how their data is used and advertisers will have to respond in a dynamic way. Keeping tabs on the individual, dynamic deals negotiated by digital agents will fundamentally change the discipline of marketing as we know it."
"I’ve had over 30 years’ experience as a Futurist in both the pre and post internet/mobile world. My mantra for this whole time has been “to GET digital you need to BE digital” By this I mean you need to lean forward and embrace new technologies and platforms and actively use them to understand how they work in practice. Having a very broad cross-industry approach to innovation I try out anything new in order for me to be able to explain it to clients and understand how it might disrupt a business or entire industry. My c-suite clients have learned to expect a completely unbiased and hype-free view of a disrupted world."

Adrian Niculescu

Marketing Expert
Adrian has over 20 years of experience in building and developing companies and has mentored 30 tech-start-up companies since 2014. He has also tutored over 10,000 students in his online and offline marketing and business courses for the past 6 years. Some of his marketing skills include: marketing strategies, product and startup launch strategies.
“Marketing was and will always be at the crossroad between human emotions and technology. While the technology will massively evolve in the next years at the highest rate the Planet Earth has ever witnessed, our core structure as human beings with our minds and bodies will remain mostly the same.  This could only change if the chip implants will become mainstream but until that moment I don't see any modifications in how our mind operates.  People have the same emotions, fears and triggers that make them do something like our ancestors had,  just that the context of manifestation evolves. We, as marketers, once we create an ideal customer profile for a certain product or service will know more than a person who fits the profile knows about himself or herself. We will know on average the problems keep them up at night, the discussions running in their heads, the triggers that will make them add the card to checkout to make a purchase or to make the call to place an order. We will also know the hooks that will make them pay attention to our social media posts when they browse the social media feeds, the stories that will make them read more and definitely the offers to convert as many of them from prospects to leads and buyers. The technology makes very easy to reach these ideal customers and with such power also comes great responsibility and I believe that here will have to happen the most dramatic change. 

If we can create the systems and strategies to sell everything we want to our target market we would have to be very careful and add as much value to our customers so once the sales are made the products and services offered to improve their lives and not the opposite. Both ethical and unethical companies, products and services bid for the same customers and usually the sales are made based on the pitch and not all the time the quality of the purchase. The act of buying is followed by fulfillment or lack of it for the promise made at the moment when the payment changed hands between the client and the seller. ”
"We are entering the era of robots and a lot of the marketing tech will be AI-driven. While my desire is that my creativity never be replaced by a robot :) I see the marketing shifting towards the best mediums where the clients and the potential clients are digesting the information. Now video, chatbots, and voice are slowly taking over. By 2025 I expect new mediums to arise, new platforms to make current highly successful ones obsolete and the personalization of messages and experiences to reach levels we don't even have ideas about nowadays."
"My unique approach is that I always connect the marketing with sales, ROI and business growth. It is very easy today to create a marketing campaign - there are tons of tools and resources available. What is not easy is to create or to grow sustainable a business using ethical marketing strategies, tools, and tactics. Marketing is like a habit, it is not a one-time event, it has to be a persistent activity, trying a lot of things, pushing what is working and pivot from what is not working. A client in my case is always buying not the marketing consulting or service themselves but the value added by marketing in the business which has to be easily trackable and measurable."

Justin Pearse

Partner at Bluestripe Media
& Editor New Digital Age
Justin Pearse is partner at communications agency Bluestripe Media. He has worked in the digital media industry for over twenty years, with roles spanning journalism, branded content and PR. He founded and ran the award-winning Drum Studios, the branded content arm of The Drum, before joining Digiday to launch its creative content agency Custom in Europe.

Previous to the Drum, Justin spent two years as Associate Director at content, community and communications agency Bite.

Before this, Justin was a journalist for 16 years, working at titles including IT Week and ZDNet, ending up as Editor of New Media Age where he spent 12 years in total.

He has appeared regularly on television, radio and in the national press as an expert on digital media, from BBC’s Newsnight to Channel 4 news and the national press.

Justin sat on the board of trade body BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) and acted as a member of the IAB Content Council.
“The marketing industry has taken great strides to address the many ‘isms’ it is responsible for and suffers from, in both its output and internal operations, from sexism to racism. It’s now time to tackle the often overlooked final sim, ageism. The reason we launched Rebels, Misfits & Innovators: 50over50 on the publication we own, www.newdigitalage.co, was to celebrate the incredibly talented and prodigious people in our industry who just happen to be aged 50 or over. The industry’s obsession with youth means we’re wasting huge amounts of talent and experience in an industry crying out for both.”
"Increasing amounts of all elements of marketing will be both planned and managed automatically through the use of technology. AI is already making a huge impact in areas such as programmatic advertising and is fast creeping into the more creative areas of marketing where human beings were once thought the only ones capable. The need for human creativity and expertise won’t be diminished but its application will shift to harnessing the power of technologies like AI and XR."
"Through both Bluestripe Media, the comms agency I co-own, and New Digital Age, the publication owned by Bluestripe, we’re dedicated to using the power of authentic content and communications to add value to the digital economy. Through the clients we work for and the readers that visit New Digital Age."

Rise of the machines… and man

It is evident that flashy terms such as AI, automation and data-driven marketing will continue to dominate the marketing industry. However, it’s important to take these technological abilities at face value and see them as tools to carry out the creative human thinking process, and not the other way around. Our challenge as marketers has and always will be based on how good we are at reading people's minds and motivating them to take the desired action.

Having said that, there are specific technology developments and marketing trends on the rise that should be harnessed to support and deepen the impact marketers have as storytellers.

For instance, voice-operated websites and search engines should be harnessed to create a more genuine and intuitive brand communication process. To maximize brand discovery, eCommerce based businesses should consider “renting” space on big web platforms such as Amazon, Google Shopping and eBay (and take advantage of their algorithms) over the current native brand building practices. While precise marketing strategy will become even more centric as the foundation to build narratives upon, regardless of channels, techniques, or technology - just to name a few. By 2025 the smart ones among us will be those who figured out the right balance between human and AI capabilities.