Meet the biggest Names in the Marketing Industry

Gary Vaynerchuk against a pink background

Marketing is evolving at lightspeed. The credit for this goes to several defiant “Madmen” (and women) who dare to shake things up, whether it’s updating social algorithms, rethinking how ads are produced, or challenging our entire perceptions about a particular product.

It’s such a treat to study these minds. Following their work alone can teach you so much, possibly more than what you learned in the classroom. So here’s to their bold ideas, techniques, theories, and campaigns!

As part homage and part refresher, I’ve compiled a list of 100+ names and faces every marketer should know. Whether you’re a student or a veteran, this directory will guide you through our industry’s Hall of Fame. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the inspiration to be the next name on the wall?


Akshar Pathak (1989- )

Zomato is the most viral and engaged Indian startup brand on social media. People may use their competitor Swiggy to buy food but when it comes to consuming content, there’s just no competition.

There’s one team leader’s vision behind those witty puns, jokes, memes, campaigns, and signature red-and-white copy posters that have rocked the country’s internet (and OOH spaces) for ages. That man is Akshar, a young comedian from Delhi.

He worked with a couple of design agencies and Nike after college and saw his first brush with fame on Twitter as a graphic designer. Akshar’s quirky and minimalist movie posters racked up thousands of likes. The handle now has 1.9M followers. He’s now more active on Instagram.

Then he joined Zomato in 2013 and has been the Art Director there for 8 years, conceptualizing novel stories and crafting a legacy that all Indian marketers follow willingly or unwillingly.

Research Links:


David Ogilvy (1911-1999)

A British copywriter, author, and the visionary founder of the world’s biggest ad agency based in NYC, he’s aptly known as the ‘Father of Advertising.’ His clients included Dove, Rolls-Royce, and Schweppes. All of them met with huge market success through his signature witty long-copy print ads.

His seminal book “Ogilvy on Advertising” (1983) remains a timeless guide for aspiring marketers.

Research Links:


Neil Patel (1985- )

Neil is recognized by Forbes as one of the top 10 online marketers out there, period. He’s the “OG” content marketer who popularized content strategy, SEO, and scientific brand blogging.

He has launched many popular startups like Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, Ubersuggest, and KISSmetrics. Amazon, Viacom, and NBC are just some big names on the client list. Neil now runs his own proprietary agency.

Every business student should soak in his infinite wisdom, churned out in the form of extensive blog articles, YouTube clips, and a short Spotify podcast.

Neil hails from Indian descendants in the UK but is now settled in Seattle, US.

Research Links:


Gary Vaynerchuk (1975- )

This man needs no introduction for Gen-Z readers. He’s a globally revered serial entrepreneur with expertise in social media, viral content, and marketing.

He started in the wine industry and later launched VaynerX (a communications and media company), as well as the huge VaynerMedia (a social ad agency with HQs in NYC & an office in Singapore).

His Instagram, which currently sits at 9 million followers, is oozing with wisdom and no-bullshit tips for marketers, and the same goes for his half a dozen business books!

Vaynerchuk is of Belurisian-American descent.

Research Links:


John Mueller

If you’re in Search Engine Optimization, this is one name you’ll hear a lot in the circle. John has been a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Switzerland since 2007. But what sets him apart is his involvement in public discussions on web ranking (or anything internet-related), especially on Twitter @JohnMu.

Many SEOs ask him questions about Google’s algorithms, and how they can improve their websites to stay on top of the list, which he actively tackles in text threads or videos on all social channels.

He’s also one of the first voices to announce or clear up any myths and confusion regarding Google’s new updates, earning him the title of a “Search Advocate.”

Follow him to keep up with the search giant’s ever-changing strategies and priorities because your site’s reach directly depends on them.

Research Links:

  • Mueller’s Twitter handle
  • Who Is John Mueller Of Google – Vlog #26 via Rustybrick

Philip Kotler (1931- )

Kotler is a renowned marketing professor at Kellogg university. He’s also an economist and prolific author of over 80+ textbooks used by business students worldwide.

He defined new foundational concepts and theories like the 4 Ps marketing mix (price, product, promotion, place), demarketing, atmospherics, prosumers, and societal marketing. That’s probably why he’s considered as the “Father of Modern Marketing.”

Research Links:


So that concludes our list of people who influenced (or are still influencing) the world of brands. Who are your favorites? Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments!

Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” So I hope that you build on the foundations set by these leaders, eventually stunning the world with your own unique style.

Can’t wait to add your name here soon!

Published by Manik Rege

Writer | Digital Marketer | Leadership Enthusiast. Tweet to me @manik_rege

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