Having people that we can look to for guidance and inspiration is an incredibly important part of our professional development. In this post, I would like to shine a light on some incredibly talented and inspirational women that are making moves and serving as a shining examples for other digital marketers.
To create this list of inspirational women in digital marketing, we pulled 25 of the top brand marketers from our list last year (our North Stars), and asked each of them to nominate someone (our Rising Stars) that they thought were deserving of having a light shone on their awesome work.
In addition to featuring insights about these savvy digital marketers, we asked each of our North Stars to share their inspiration for their own work, and asked what inspired them about their Rising Star nominations.
The list is in no particular order as each of these women is number 1 in their own right. Please join me in congratulating each of these exceptional women for the work that they do.
Senior Manager, Demand Gen Programs, Oracle
Bio: Amanda’s background as a content marketing practitioner supports Oracle Marketing Cloud’s demand gen initiatives specific to driving engagement with the media/adtech persona. Amanda works collaboratively with content, product, and other marketing teams to develop Oracle Marketing Cloud’s global integrated demand strategies, and to support emerging markets.
Amanda’s Inspiration: I feel privileged to work in the marketing technology space during an exciting time of innovation and collaboration. The Oracle Marketing Cloud is a continually evolving organization focused on fueling the best in Modern Marketing practice. The nature of the work environment fosters learning through collaborative planning and execution, and provides great opportunities to interface with and apply the latest innovations in technology. Personally I am motivated and inspired by my daughter, Estelle, to whom I wish to convey the same encouragement and drive that my mother did for me – to chase exciting opportunities that help you facilitate living the life you love.
Content Marketing Director, Fuze
Why Amanda is a Rising Star: Amanda has done incredibly creative and successful work over the many years we’ve known each other. In each role she’d held, and in her current role, she focuses on creating audience-first content and messaging that fuels a successful marketing engine. Amanda is smart, tenacious, and aims to expand her marketing horizons with professional and personal growth opportunities. I admire her work and her professional spirit!
Inbound Marketing Evangelist, HubSpot
Bio: Laura is not only well accomplished, but she has a warm and engaging presence. She founded the first Twitter for Business consultancy in 2008 and is highly sought after for speaking on the topic of social media and Twitter specifically.
Laura’s Inspiration: Since a huge portion of my time is spent working on our annual industry event INBOUND, I have to say the looks on the faces of guests as they move around the BCEC for four days every year. Watching nearly 18,000 people come together and have their minds blown wide open is incredibly powerful and motivating.
Marketing Manager, HubSpot
Why Juliana is a Rising Star: HubSpot’s blessed with an abundance of up and coming marketing talent, but Juliana has really blown me away this year in three ways. Her raw diligence (she’s one of the hardest working marketers I know), her versatility, and her powerhouse stage presence mean she’s already punching above her weight class, and I can’t wait to follow her career as it continues.
Social Media Program Manager, Dell
Bio: Suzanne takes an in-depth, hands-on approach to global social business strategy. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy and marketing communications.
Suzanne’s Inspiration: Think of any time you’ve been your best self at work – it’s always to meet a new challenge or solve an interesting problem. A huge challenge this year in our company was integrating Dell and EMC into a cohesive whole, without missing a beat, and without losing our main focus, which is people – customers, partners, team members. So it’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone, in both big ways and small, and working towards a common goal, with both new and familiar people.
Director of Social Media Activation , Dell
Why Amy is a Rising Star: Amy leads a team that is the social heartbeat of Dell. Her award-winning Social Media and Communities University team trains thousands of team members on social media best practices. That’s huge but it’s only step 1. Her team then empowers employees to be savvy advocates with tools, news and info, and continuing ed to keep the social engine running smoothly. Bottom line: If you see a Dell team member adding value in the world of social, you can trace those roots back to Amy and her team.
Vice President, Marketing for Xerox HR Services, Xerox Services
Bio: Jeannine has spent nearly 20 years of her career at Xerox. She worked her way up from Manager, Product Marketing to the Vice President of Marketing for Large Enterprise Organizations. She is also a highly sought after speaker on the topic of content marketing.
Jeannine’s Inspiration: To say that I love my work as a marketer is an understatement. The transition we’ve been making as marketers over the past few years has been exciting to be a part of, especially in the B2B space. We’ve stopped talking to corporations, and started talking to people (decision makers) about the things they value most. And it’s amazing! I’m also lucky to have amazing co-workers, partners and peers surrounding me that I’m able to draw inspiration from and learn from. We aren’t in the marketing world alone and for that I’m grateful.
Internal and Executive Communications Director, Xerox
Why Becky is a Rising Star: Becky simply lights up any room she enters. Her energy, humor and marketing fearlessness is so refreshing. It’s nearly impossible to leave a meeting with Becky without a smile on your face and a handful of fresh new ideas. She’s an incredibly talented communicator, gifted writer and authentic storyteller. Her mind is always firing on all cylinders and she finds creative and innovative ways to implement campaigns using the latest marketing trends. She helps others look good and sound good. The time has come for her to get a little of the marketing limelight and receive recognition for her amazing dedication and support to all around her.
Head of Content Marketing, LinkedIn
Bio: Alex’s passion for copywriting has offered here many experiences from PayPal to Salesforce, and now her current position at LinkedIn. Throughout her career, Alex has developed a unique skill set that encompasses content marketing, copywriting, design, SEO and social marketing.
Alex’s Inspiration: I’m grateful to work a company with so many brilliant, collaborative, and kind people. Their support and leadership have shaped the person that I am today and the person I aspire to be tomorrow.”
Head of North American Demand Generation, Sales Solutions, LinkedIn
Find Vidya on LinkedIn
Why Vidya is a Rising Star: I can’t imagine where our demand generation team would be without Vidya’s diligent leadership over the past years. Her passion, drive and expertise have been invaluable, and I’m honored to work alongside such an amazing woman.
RVP/Head of Central Region, Strategic Search, Microsoft
Bio: Melanie is a sought-after public speaker who has presented at search and public relations conferences around the world. In addition to her leadership role at Microsoft, she authored a popular series of eBooks on marketing and SEO on FT Press.
Melanie’s Inspiration: My motivation and inspiration is a formula made up of three things:
- People (brainstorming, creativity, diversity, learning, developing)
- Mastery (continuous growth, stretch goals), and
- Purpose (serving a greater vision)
I have followed this formula in every role of my career as it continuously motivates me to achieve even greater goals for myself as well as my teams.
Sr. Manager, Paid Media, DeVry University
Find Emily on LinkedIn
What Emily is a Rising Star: I am impressed by Emily’s ability to always find the “yes” in the “no”, her drive to constantly learn in our ever changing industry, her ability to build relationships/connect with people and her unstoppable motivation to drive towards outcomes. I know when she is given a target, she will crush it. Additionally, her passion for digital is infectious as she knows how to tell a great story that connects all of the dots along the cross-platform path to purchase. Not only is she impressive in her results, but she is a pleasure to be around!
Marketing Director, Global Social Business & Digital Strategy, Dell
Bio: Alison’s focus at Dell is on creating customer experiences that are mapped to business impact, scalability and innovation. Currently, she is leading the social business integration between Dell and EMC (the largest tech deal in history).
Alison’s Inspiration: People are amazing. They are simple and complex creatures all at the same time. In digital, I get to leverage my focus and strengths around people and numbers so that at the end of the day, our customers get what they need and feel valued, and simultaneously the business grows in key performance areas. It never gets boring because it’s constantly evolving, just like people and technology.
Vice President, Content & Demand Generation, Dun & Bradstreet
Why Lucy is a Rising Star: Lucy deep dives into whatever problem is presented and always comes out on the other side, having transformed that space into an strength. She is phenom in digital when it comes to branding, lead gen, and content marketing.
Senior Vice President of Client Strategy, Sysomos
Bio: Amber’s 15+ years of professional expertise makes her a force to be reckoned with. She has successfully run multimillion-dollar fundraising campaigns, built and led executive communication and professional services teams, and launched and grown international brands.
Amber’s Inspiration: The “lightbulb moments” when companies move from grappling with digital transformation to embracing it, and you start to see huge strides made in everything from company culture to innovation and ideation to more traditional marketing once digital takes a prominent seat at the table. Teaching and inspiring people to push beyond their comfort zone and realize success from it never, ever gets old.
Social Media Manager, Allianz Life
Why Kary is a Rising Star: Kary isn’t so much a “rising star”, she’s more what I’d call an unsung industry veteran who never seems to be in the spotlight but is always doing really great work for her company in a traditionally challenging industry (financial services).
Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Deluxe
Bio: Amanda is a veteran in the industry with a gift for the “big idea” that can turn a brand around. In 2015, Amanda and her team launched the “Small Business Revolution” campaign for Deluxe, using documentary film and photosets to document small businesses across the country and raise awareness of Deluxe’s small business offerings.
Amanda’s Inspiration: I am so inspired by my team and how important passion is to your work. What started as just an idea became a reality only because of the league of people who rallied around me and made it possible with their own touches of expertise. I am also moved that we, as marketers, can do work that truly matters and can help real people. I believe all brands are possible of finding a true purpose and using digital platforms to organically spread good through positive and inspiring movements.
Executive Director, Pollen
Why Jamie is a Rising Star: Jamie is a force…Pollen was founded in a belief that every connection begins with a story, and the platform centers around featuring the remarkable stories that make up a community through media-rich, nonfiction narrative.
Laura Howe (Kimball)
Manager, Reduced Risk Products Communities Development, Philip Morris International
Bio: Laura is passionate about online communities and has over 10 years of experience creating consumer advocacy programs and social media campaigns. She works hard to turn fans into advocates, and lift brands through the voices and actions of their most passionate consumers.
Laura’s Inspiration: I have the rare opportunity to be the direct connection between the consumer and the brand/company I work for. I get to have real-time conversations and discover their deeply personal relationship that they have with the product. Understanding what motivates them inspires me to create programs that benefit both the community and the brand.
Senior Community Manager, Starbucks
Why Madeline is a Rising Star: Madeline is one of the smartest digital brand marketers I know. Her work is dedicated to creatively engaging audiences through digital and is grounded in creating human connection and community. Prior to her work at Starbucks, she built and ran digital marketing programs for the Microsoft stores, Seattle Art Museum, and built the social media program at United Way of King County. She lives and breathes digital and is someone who everyone should know.
Associate Director, Social Media, Whole Foods Market
Bio: Lisa is an integrated marketing communications leader with a passion for building relationships between brands and customers through the combination of technology and communications. She has many specialities including digital strategy, social media strategy and community management.
Lisa’s Inspiration: I started my career in the service industry and have always thrived on creating an optimal customer experience. I love social because there’s a fluid feedback loop—it presents new and emerging ways to connect with people to deliver a superior experience. I can see where and how I should communicate upfront by listening to a group of people, and how that needs to evolve along the way based on emotional responses. This provides endless inspiration for what’s next.
Manager, it bed Activation, Sleep Number by Select Comfort
Why Kaitlyn is a Rising Star: I met Kaitlyn through an informational interview six years ago while I was at Mall of America. I was so impressed by her curiosity and smarts that I suggested to a colleague that she consider her for a PR internship. She did in fact become our intern, absolutely KILLED IT and has since gone on to crush everything she does. Kaitlyn looks at things holistically and is highly collaborative. She begins solving any marketing challenge by asking the right questions, culling insights and aligning those to a strategy and creative solve. She is lovely and I’m so grateful to know this incredible woman.
Chief Marketing Technologist, Aetna
Bio: Lauren was recently named one of the top 25 social business leaders by The Economist Intelligence Unit. In addition to leading social media and community development for Aetna, she serves as an assistant teacher at Harvard, helping foster online student communities.
Lauren’s Inspiration: I am never satisfied. While this can definitely be a weakness, I prefer to think it a strength. If I do not know something, I stop at nothing to research or surround myself with people who have answers or insights to share. Looking for new ways to communicate old ideas for fresh execution drives me to get up each morning and begin again.
Chief Experience Officer, The Barnes Foundation
Why Shelley is a Rising Star: I have followed Shelley as she forged a path for digital marketing exploration for cultural institutions beginning at The Brooklyn Museum. Shelley does not wait for others to lead. She pushes the boundaries of what is technically and cultural possible without breaking the spirit of either.
Vice President, Social Media, Fifth Third Bank
Bio: Shannon has over 7 years of experience leading social media marketing strategies for highly regulated industries. Her experience encompasses both B2B and B2C strategy, content marketing, web analytics and more.
Shannon’s Inspiration: I have a great team that helps me stay motivated and inspired. I think the banking industry is a really exciting place to be as well in terms of the pace of change that technology is having on the industry and the ability to have a positive impact on how people think about and manage their money. I also really love to learn new things, and since social is a place that continues to evolve, there is always an opportunity to grow and adapt to change.
Julie Niesen Gosdin
Vertical Content Marketing Leader, Zebra Technologies
Why Julie is a Rising Star: I met Julie shortly after relocating to Cincinnati where she and I both live. She’s a true expert in digital marketing and storytelling on several fronts. She knows her stuff from a technology trend perspective, and she continues to contribute to the local food scene through her writing on local news site WCPO and winemedinemecincinnati.com.
Kate (Dickman) Porter
Senior Social Media Program Manager, Office Depot
Bio: Kate saw the Internet’s potential for marketing early on, creating her first digital marketing business from her dorm room in college. She is a firm believer in the power of social media to connect consumers to brands.
Kate’s Inspiration: What inspires me and motivates me is the fact that the work that I do is always evolving and never gets stale. The ability to continuously learn is existent and there’s never a shortage of fantastically smart people to partner with and learn from. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an industry that is always keeping me on my toes.
Digital Marketing Manager, Velcro Companies
Why Kara is a Rising Star: Kara is super smart, witty and creative. I’ve really enjoyed hearing her thoughts and ideas on digital marketing and think she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s absolutely a rising star in digital and I’m excited to see all of the future initiatives and successes she’ll be a part of.
Vice President, Global Public Relations, Raytheon
Bio: Corinne won a 2015 Bronze Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America for her work with Raytheon. She is a trusted advisor to Raytheon’s senior executives, and works to build relationships with stakeholders through proactive media and public relations, and content marketing.
Corinne’s Inspiration: I have the opportunity to lead a great team and mentor a number of young professionals who will help redefine communications during their careers. I work with really smart people and get to hone my craft on a daily basis. I have the opportunity to learn from executives who believe in the value of communications as a business differentiator, whether they are inside or outside of the function.
Press Secretary, NASA
Why Stephanie’s a Rising Star: At the moment, Stephanie is on a special assignment serving as press secretary to the NASA Administrator. Stephanie is an authentic and passionate advocate for space on all of her social channels. She has built a tremendous network, that she continues to nurture, from her earlier role as social media manager for NASA. I got to know Stephanie when she worked for me at Raytheon. Her creativity and steadfast commitment led to a number of firsts for our brand, particularly on Twitter.
Head of Digital Planning and Analytics, NVIDIA
Bio: LaSandra’s experience includes delivering digital marketing plans for both paid and organic tactics. She is known for delivering one of the top social media strategies in Cisco’s history in her time as the head of Social Media Marketing.
LaSandra’s Inspiration: As far as what motivates me, I love digital marketing because of all of the new capabilities that the data driven world enables. We can personalize our conversations to be more relevant and timely than ever before. The possibilities seem endless and the ability to perfect the right message to the right person at the right time is exciting to strive for in every campaign.
Anthea S. Louie
Sr. Director, Digital Business & Marketing Leader, Symantec
Find Anthea on LinkedIn
Why Anthea is a Rising Star: Anthea runs the Digital Business for the Website Security business unit at Symantec. This is largely an online business and Anthea manages a team of nearly 100 people analyzing data and making data driven decisions in digital to drive the business forward.
Senior Manager, Global Paid Search Advertising, Oracle
Bio: Barbara discovered the importance of online marketing when she built her own business, expanding her knowledge until she assumed a leadership role at Oracle. She brings considerable technological knowhow to inbound marketing, leading a team of content specialists, developers, and programmers to get results.
Barbara’s Inspiration: As a Digital marketer I have a genuine curiosity to learn about the behavior of customers. I am driven to use both technology and creativity to help connect & engage customers to achieve their goals.
Digital Marketing Manager, Pacifica Host Hotels
Why Katie is a Rising Star: Katie is a young Marketing professional, organized, detailed, and her personality makes working with her so much fun. Her desire to contribute in ways that make things happen is what makes her successful.
Director of Content Marketing , American Express
Bio: Courtney works hard to help brands build and engage with their audiences across many formats, channels and industries. Her expertise lies in her ability to translate a brand mission, audience needs and business goals into compelling content that drives results.
Courtney’s Inspiration: What I love about content marketing is that I get to exercise both sides of my brain. I get to be creative and tell stories but also dig into analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not. Plus, there’s so much change and innovation, I’m constantly inspired.
Senior Wellness Editor, Mind Body Green
Why Lindsay is a Rising Star: Lindsay is a talented editor and content marketer who really takes a customer-first approach in thinking about creating content people actually want.
Vice President, Digital & Social Media, Wells Fargo
Bio: A seasoned Gen X’er, Jennifer Heyman is in her fourth year as VP of Wells Fargo leading the social media conversation across seven platforms. She leads a global team and marvels constantly at how fans and consumers are changing the landscape of personalized and real –time communication with today’s brands.
Jennifer’s Inspiration: I thrive on the vibrancy of connection and how unique perspectives communicated through omni channel, real time marketing, are shaping the brand approach to serving their customers. I draw inspiration from the very local interactions with customers and consumers and spend most of my time delving into social media conversations to learn about fans personal passions and pain points. These insights help me to innovative in my work and to guide my team to deliver personalized and heartfelt social media conversation.
VP, Innovation Strategist, Wells Fargo
Why Aneta is a Rising Star: A year ago, Aneta began a new career path with Wells Fargo leading marketing and strategy work with a specific focus on innovation within financial services. Her secret sauce is her passion for the story and creating a compelling and unique way to deliver it to Wells Fargo customers and the general public. Aneta’s approach is honest, inquisitive and fresh – three things key to success for any leader in brand marketing.
Global Digital Marketing Strategist, Intel
Bio: Marcia is a self-described “avid reader, walker, and lifelong learner.” In her six years with Intel, she has helped create award-winning campaigns, including 2014’s Make It Wearable Challenge, for which she won an Intel Achievement Award.
Marcia’s Inspiration: I am inspired by leaders who actively promote teamwork and diverse perspectives. I am motivated every day to communicate better, faster or more efficiently than the day before.
Digital Marketing Manager, Intel
Find Laura on LinkedIn
Why Laura is a Rising Star: Laura is a smart and kind woman leading the charge managing our intel.com strategy and presence. She also has mad SEO expertise.
SVP Business Development | Marketing, Mall of America
Bio: Jill is a strong leader who brings vision and innovation to her role at Mall of America. Her initiatives to make the mall more than a shopping destination include a recent campaign that created an indoor snowfall in the mall when patrons tweeted the hashtag #twizzard.
Jill’s Inspiration: I have an extremely talented team and have the benefit of working with a brand that houses endless content (i.e. retail, dining, trends, gifts, events, entertainment, etc.). We work collaboratively to create memorable experiences for our guests and use innovative tools and strategies to remain relevant and meaningful. We stay tuned into the retail and entertainment industry trends and find inspiration from other industries and influences. We enjoy the opportunity to engage with new challenges and gather consumer feedback so that we can continually learn, refine, test and re-launch our ideas!
Director of Digital, Mall of America
Why Emily is a Rising Star: Emily leads our digital and social efforts at MOA. I hired her just over three years ago and have been thrilled with her enthusiasm and drive to explore new opportunities. She continues to grow as a female business leader in our organization as well as the industry, and I thoroughly enjoy her innovative thinking and supportive efforts to build new creative partnerships and activations aligned with our digital roadmap.
Chief Marketing Officer, Ciox Health
Bio: Karen is an inspirational leader committed to nurturing talent and building long-term collaborative relationships across silos. Under her supervision, Optum’s “Game Changer” campaign generated nearly $5 million in new business, winning a 2015 Killer Content Award.
Karen’s Inspiration: We all know that healthcare needs to be moved forward. The work that we do on a daily basis has the potential to aide in creating a healthier healthcare system, which ultimately will lead to a healthier nation. Being a part of that change inspires me daily.
Director of Marketing, Provider – Thought Leadership & Content Strategy, Optum
Why Leslie is a Rising Star: Leslie has been consistent in providing outstanding thought leadership in the population health space, which can really impact healthcare.
Director of Digital Marketing, DocuSign
Find Jen on LinkedIn
Bio: Jen has been in her leadership role at DocuSign just over one year, after five years with Oracle. She specializes in campaign globalization and international marketing, supervising digital campaigns across verticals.
Jen’s Inspiration: I’m inspired by the amazing leaders I’ve had the luck to work with throughout my career- a great mentor / leader makes coming to work every day enjoyable when you have the freedom to be creative. On that same note- I am also very excited about the insane [and slightly overwhelming] growth of marketing technology and adtech. We now have endless ways of reaching people creatively in their digital / mobile lives!
Director of Marketing, Northern Europe, DocuSign
Why Caitlin is a Rising Star: Caitlin isn’t a rising star, she’s already a star. She is truly a social
media guru. She’s previously owned her own social media agency and is now running the show at DocuSign. Now that we’re all mobile-addicted, she’s at the center of everything brand marketing is focused on.
VP, Integrated Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems
Bio: Debbie is a dedicated marketing leader focused on building and motivating high-performance marketing teams. She currently oversees every aspect of the Hitachi Data Systems demand generation chain.
Debbie’s Inspiration: I get energized by making others successful. In the world of B2B marketing, that means connecting our customers with new ways to solve problems, add greater value and contribute to their organizations. I believe it’s my job to help inform, educate and enable them in that process — and I love both the creative and analytical components of doing that.
Director, Marketing Programs & Operations, Americas, Hitachi Data Systems
Why Kerri is a Rising Star: Kerri is a passionate and incredibly talented marketer who considers every detail of the customer creation process and pushes me and my team to get better every day. Her knowledge and commitment has been transformational to the Americas Marketing function at Hitachi Data Systems, resulting in a 437% Y/Y increase in MQLs in our most recent quarter.
Director of Social Media, Weight Watchers
Bio: Lauren uses the same personal touch with the community management at Weight Watchers that she does with her own Twitter account. She does a great job of creating a true engagement by finding a way to really connect and relate to her audience.
Lauren’s Inspiration: I am constantly challenged in a good way by the power of Social Media as a medium. Reaching people in the places where they have some of their most intimate moments – where you see a baby photo for the first time, announce an engagement, reconnect with an old friend – and staying relevant, engaging and on message in those moments is a bar social marketers are constantly setting ourselves up to achieve. At our best, this is as authentic, emotionally resonant and agile a marketing channel as it gets, and that is inspiring to work on in a daily capacity.
Consumer Marketing Director, truTV, Turner
Why Amy is a Rising Star: Amy, a vet of Comedy Central and Oxygen who is now doing amazing things over at TruTv, is the total package of brand strategy and multi-platform marketing for this generation. She’s developing breakthrough campaigns across on-air, digital, and experiential for hilarious new shows like Those Who Can’t, Impractical Jokers, and Billy on the Street, and I especially love the recent work she’s doing with social video and at festivals like developing a massive block party at Comic Con 2016.
Keep Shining Bright!
A special thank you to our North Stars for not only sharing their inspiration, but helping share their nominations for some of today’s top Rising Stars in digital marketing. You are all an inspiration for women and men around the world looking to have an impact with their digital marketing efforts.
Disclosure: LinkedIn, Oracle and Dell are TopRank Marketing clients.