Every rock hero stands on the shoulders of giants: think Prince’s debt to little Richard, or Chuck Berry’s impact on the Stones. So as the final chords of 2018 reverb round the Rockstar CMO stage, we asked our backstage rock stars who they’d induct into the Marketing Hall of Fame. Sit back, read their homages, and bask in the glow of the legends who blazed the trail…

Robert Rose – “Peter Drucker, Theodore Levitt, Philip Kotler are in my ‘supergroup’ of rock stars.  But additionally, I’m inspired by thinkers such as Rita Gunther McGrath, Youngme Moon, Clayton Christensen, and Don Schultz.”  

John Andrews – “Sam Walton was one of my earliest influencers, specifically Made in America – the book he wrote about building a great business. Sam’s marketing genius was that his customers became the primary marketing tool for his business. They simply told others about the great prices and selection at Walmart and it became the leader in retail. Word of mouth works, especially if you deliver on your promises.”

Tom Wentworth – “Mike Volpe, formerly of HubSpot, and now at Cybereason. By reading and studying everything Mike wrote on inbound marketing, I was able to fake my way through the early days #fakeittillyoumakeit”.

Ted Rubin – “Seth Godin who I worked for in 1997-98 taught me about ‘permission’ and ‘ideas’. And Dale Carnegie… the best social media ever written was written in 1936 and is more relevant today than the day it was written: How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Darren Guarnaccia – “Don Miller and his book Building a StoryBrand. I also fell in love with Simon Sinek’s Start with Why book. Both tell a similar story, and helped ground me in the power of storytelling and how to best understand your customer. Seth Godin’s permission-based marketing is my bible for thinking about customers and shaping their experiences.”

Christine Bailey – “Because I value my network over everything, I’m going to induct Ted Rubin, for his ROR (Return on Relationship) philosophy.”

Jenny Young – “Cindy Gallop – from advertising guru, to someone on a mission to change the world. Her drive for gender equality is incredible and her social media presence is great – frank, funny and very, very powerful. Anyone who has the LinkedIn intro “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business” deserves that spot in the Hall of Fame.”

Wendy Bryant-Beswick – “Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings and Ariana Huffington.”

Jeanniey Mullen – “Doug Carlson, founder of Fiji Water and CEO of Tommy’s Superfoods. The way he brought the brand to life is probably one of the most compelling stories you will ever hear (ask him about the trucks in NYC and Jennifer Aniston).”

Casey Petersen – Hank Heithaus – former president of Murphy USA, the gas chain at Walmart Supercenters, and a former employer. Late in his career, he transitioned from an oil company to retail marketing and built a brand under the shadow of Walmart. He read several books a week, and was an amazing thought leader in the future of mobile and social media, even though he was at an age where he didn’t find it useful himself. He led a scrappy chain to be the first in mobile payments. The first in geo-location marketing. The first convenience store with real-time pricing in their app.”

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