By Brian Hansford, marketing automation practice lead for Heinz Marketing

I love discovering new people who have fresh ideas on topics I’m passionate about, especially with marketing automation.  That doesn’t mean they are the most popular or the most followed.  There are lots of well-known people who have influenced the space for years.  I wanted to share some of the Marketing Automation Influencers you may not know, but definitely should get on your radar.

For the most part these people are hands-on practitioners who often share innovative and proven ideas based on their experiences in the wild.  Some of these people are on Twitter. Some aren’t, but they publish excellent content elsewhere such as blogs.  Freshen up your list Marketing Automation Influencers and I guarantee you will learn some new ideas and concepts and maybe even develop a rewarding relationship!

I used LittleBird to help with this process.  After the initial pass in LittleBird I used filtering criteria to include people who actually work with marketing automation, or have direct hands-on experience. These people aren’t just on the speaking circuit – they lead by doing!

1. Kelly Waffle – Vice President Strategic Solution Group at MarketBridge
Kelly isn’t on Twitter – the shame of it all.  (His colleagues at MarketBridge are putting the pressure on him!) But he does publish excellent articles on the MarketBridge blog. He’s also won awards from Marketo and Eloqua. Not bad.

2. Maria Pergolino – VP of Marketing at Apptus
I met Maria in Seattle when she was the marketing director with Marketo.  I was incredibly impressed with her knowledge on how to use marketing automation to measure performance and predict future results.  She’s a serious marketing automation cranium and a definite must-have in your network.

3. Jeff Shearer – Acquisition Marketing Manager, Egencia (Expedia)
Jeff is as good as they come. He runs an incredibly successful Marketo implementation for Egencia, the B2B business division of Expedia.  Not only that but Jeff helped build one of the most active MA communities in the US with the Seattle Marketo User Group.  Jeff possesses the unique balance of technical and business acumen and he freely shares knowledge and expertise throughout the community.

4. Eric Wittlake – Sr. Director of Media, Babcock & Jenkins
Eric produces some of the best B2B marketing content on his personal blog. He provides excellent guidance on all things related to marketing technology and operations – with a keen customer focus.

5. Kristin Connell – Senior Manager, Digital Marketing & Content Strategy – Deltek
Kristin is a good friend and without a doubt one of the best marketing automation strategists and technologists around.  I have learned a ton from Kristin.  She’s a former marketing automation consultant with Astadia and helped build Deltek’s marketing ops into a world class Eloqua implementation.  Kristin shares great content on Twitter and the Eloqua Topliners community!

6. Ryan Schwartz – Director of Marketing and Sales Systems and Operations, Docusign
Ryan is arguably one of the best marketing automation strategists and technologists anywhere.  I always learn a ton from Ryan whenever I have an opportunity to talk with him or sit in one of his presentations.  What I really like about Ryan is his hands-on expertise and how he continually innovates how to use marketing technology to drive business.  Ryan and his team at DocuSign have built a world-class and award-winning demand generation program and the results speak for themselves. Ryan loves to share ideas and he regularly provides tips and advice on the Eloqua Topliners community.

7. Dennis Dayman – Chief Privacy and Security Officer, ReturnPath
Dennis is one of the many Eloqua alumni who moved on to new roles.  He’s now the CSO at ReturnPath and continues his focus on data health, security and compliance.  While at Eloqua Dennis helped the marketing automation and Eloqua community stay on top of privacy and compliance issues.  He regularly provides guidance on deliverability, security, privacy and CAN-SPAM and CASL compliance.  All marketing automation pros and technologists should follow Dennis as the digital world becomes more regulated.

8. Howard Sewell – President, Spear Marketing Group
Howard is another Seattle marketers who shares great ideas and advice on B2B marketing and utilizing marketing automation. I like how he often publishes content that seems counter intuitive to traditional marketing thinking.

9. Steve Susina
Steve is a Chicago area B2B marketing technologist and Marketo consultant with Lyons Consulting Group.  Steve curates and shares excellent content in his Twitter feed around B2B demand gen and digital marketing.

10. Mike MacFarlane – Managing Principal Consultant, Eloqua
Mike is a hands-on and pioneering marketing automation technologist with deep technical knowledge, especially around Eloqua.  He has worked with platoons of Eloqua customers and his wide exposure to customers is a treasure trove of knowledge for other MA folks, regardless of platform.

11. Cari Baldwin – Founder and Partner, BlueBird Strategies
Cari is a B2B marketing veteran and she has worked with marketing automation platforms for a long time.  Cari also has broad customer exposure which is valuable to learn from.

12. John Watton
John is an award winning B2B marketer and likely Adobe’s strongest voice for digital marketing.

13. Claudia Hoeffner – Sr. Director of Demand Gen Acquia
Claudia is another award-winning B2B marketing veteran with an impressive background in automation and demand generation.  She brings perspective and experience together with her background working for a marketing automation company, services agency, and as a customer.

14. Kurt Weisenberger – Sr. Marketing Manager, Lifesize a Division of Logitech
Kurt and his team have built a high performance and award winning demand generation operation.  So much so that Eloqua awarded them a Markie in 2013.  He shares great ideas and his hands on experience is valuable for everyone.

15. Jennifer Igartua – Marketing Automation Consultant, BlueWolf Consulting
Jennifer publishes and shares excellent content.  She also develops excellent practical advice to to optimize and run marketing automation platforms.

These are just some of the people you should follow and connect with.  They may not have the largest following in the socialverse.  But they are clear subject experts with a wealth of experience.  Who are some of the up and comers or influencers you follow and connect with?