The marketing skills necessary to master today's digital landscape are constantly evolving. But some things don't change. To be an industry leader, you must project confidence and an innovative edge at all times. So it's no wonder the 21st-century marketer is a natural at personal branding. Selling a great idea means selling yourself. But although many marketers have this inherent edge, not all are blessed with the it factor.
People who possess a certain je ne sais quoi -- or the quality that embodies all that is hot -- are hard to overlook. You can sense their presence when they enter a room. It's like their confidence, intelligence, and achievements are leaking out their pores.
In keeping with summer tradition, iMedia went in search of the marketers who are steaming things up this year. Online, the chosen standouts are fierce marketers. Offline, they are stylishly fierce.
It was no easy task, but nevertheless, the verdict is in. In this article, iMedia's editors reveal 2013's hottest marketers.
Bart Claeys, Creative Director, Ratio
Originally from Belgium, Bart Claeys is a technical whiz who lives by the motto "create your own opportunities." His diverse background and vast international education -- including a master's degree in product development and additional training in brand management -- have helped craft him into the cutting-edge creative he is.
His professional resume is even more impressive than his academic one. He's held past positions at Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels, Projector in Stockholm, and Vidax in San Francisco. In 2005, he founded the award-winning Creativeskills.be, effectively combining his knowledge of web design, development, and business skills.
His non-stop professional life blends almost seamlessly into his personal life. It's no surprise that Claeys enjoys world travel and exploring new places whenever he gets the chance. Currently based in Seattle, he serves as Ratio's creative director and product strategist, roles that enable him to apply his unique style to holistic user-experience management.
Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO, Moz
Rand Fishkin is an addict of all things content and social on the web. In 2004, he founded and continues to serve as CEO of Moz -- a marketing analytics software company based in Seattle. Earlier this year, Moz -- formerly known as SEOmoz -- launched a major rebranding of the company, growing its efforts.
Fishkin promotes his company's core beliefs via its TAGFEE Code, which stands for transparent and authentic, generous, fun, empathetic, and exceptional -- all the qualities that make Fishkin himself a digital head-turner.
There's never a down moment for this digital guru. Fishkin regularly blogs on entrepreneurship, co-authored the "Art of SEO" from O'Reilly Media, co-founded Inbound.org, and has more than 100,000 Twitter followers.
His inventive style is not going unnoticed. In 2009, he was named to Businessweek's "30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30" list. This year, he was among The Puget Sound Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list. When he's not traveling around the world, he enjoys spending his miniscule spare time with his partner in crime, wife Geraldine.
Suhaila Suhimi Hobba, EVP and Digital Director, Initiative Media
With 18 years of experience in developing digital marketing solutions for Fortune 500 brands, Suhaila Suhimi Hobba is a respected veteran of the digital media space. A native of Malaysia, this fearless marketer came to the U.S. to pursue her dream of working in advertising. With a B.A. in communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M.S. degree in Mass Communications from Boston University, she has gracefully worked her way up the ranks.
Her national and global clients include Volkswagen, Fidelity Investments, AOL, Vonage, Doritos, FedEx, ConAgra Foods, Mattel, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group -- to name just a few. Known for her passion and ability to empower media professionals at all levels, she never fails to deliver quality and innovative work.
An award-winning marketer and an avid traveler, Hobba is a genuine thrill seeker. She has visited 45 U.S. states and 55 countries. Whether it's diving with the great whites in South Africa, zip-lining in Costa Rica, snowboarding in the German Alps, or safari trekking, Hobba is constantly seeking new challenges.
Sky Holden, Partner, Velocity Made Good
As his name implies, there's no limit for this digital marketer. With more than 14 years of experience, he has worked for leading companies including Myspace, RealNetworks, Tickle, and iMeem. Always in demand, this industry veteran understands the power of maintaining a desirable reputation.
Currently at Velocity Made Good, Holden and his team are the brains behind the cutting-edge tablet publishing system, Avalanche. As the first tablet advertising system for premium web publishers, Avalanche elegantly marries content and advertising into a seamless user experience across all touch devices.
Holden was previously the VP of sales at 33Across, responsible for the go-to-market sales team. He has a BA in organizational communication from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an MS in integrated communication, advertising, PR, and marketing from Florida International University.
When Holden isn't tearing up things professionally, he's playing competitive volleyball. And as if his own digital presence isn't enough, he has an identical twin brother named Shadow.
Adam Kmiec, Director of Global Digital Marketing and Social Media, The Campbell's Soup Company
Hot soup needs a hot marketer behind it. That's Adam Kmiec of Campbell's. He's been responsible for making Campbell's one of the most digitally fit organizations in the world. For 15 years, he has worked for some of the most forward-thinking organizations in the world, while building numerous brands' social interactions and online presences.
Kmiec's career spans both the client and agency sides of the marketing and advertising industry, from Fallon and Leo Burnett to ConAgra Foods. And while he's made his career in digital media, he still prefers an old-fashioned face-to-face conversation over a beer.
A frequent speaker and news contributor, Kmiec constantly challenges the norm with his opinionated yet honest style. When not leading organizations through the interactive landscape, he enjoys traveling and photography and prides himself on being a "cool" dad.
If that's not enough to keep him busy, he is currently working on a book titled, "Yes, It's Hypocritical," due for completion next summer. Ever the proponent of encouraging the advancement of social media via the next generation, Kmiec thinks you should follow his kids on Twitter at @corakmiec and @johnpkmiec.
Johnna Marcus, Director of Mobile and Digital Store Marketing, Sephora
Since joining Sephora in 2011, Johnna Marcus has managed the brand's mobile marketing and app strategy. Her leadership in this space has bridged the digital and store experiences, effectively giving the shopping experience a complete makeover. Her creative contributions secured Sephora the top spot in L2's first "Prestige 100: Mobile IQ" report and the only "Genius" ranking in 2013's "Specialty Retail Digital IQ Index." Mobile Marketer also recently named her one of the "Mobile Women to Watch" for 2013. Note taken -- we are watching.
She is no stranger to the worlds of glitz and glamour. Before Marcus was involved in the cosmetics and beauty arena, she was the director of program management for innovation at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas. In this role, she was responsible for identifying and piloting new marketing opportunities.
A graduate from the University of Washington's College of Engineering, Marcus' experience as a project manager positioned her to lead projects in a range of industries, from financial services to travel/hospitality to automotive. Wherever her expertise is needed, she delivers it in style.
Lauren McCadney, Social Media, CDW Corporation
This marketing maven describes herself as "equally left brain and right brain." With a bachelor's of business administration and an MBA, Lauren McCadney is a truly integrated marketing communications professional.
Before she started heating things up at CDW, she was assistant vice president at SBC, where she held leadership positions in customer analytics and research, marketing, and sales. Her work has been noticed in both 2012 and 2013 by BtoB Magazine, which named her one of the "Top 25 Digital Marketers."
She has a reputation for spicing things up. While at Burrell Advertising, she was the mastermind behind the controversial, yet hugely successful, "Second Chance" commercial featuring Calvin -- one of the first ads to be serialized by McDonald's.
A pioneer in social media and integrated marketing communications, she has been an educator at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois, George Washington University's STAR EMBA, and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. When she's not at her desk or in the classroom, you might find her behind the lens of a camera. She has shot prestigious entities including Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and South by Southwest Music, and her work has appeared in Ebony.com, NewYorkMagazine.com, and the book "Chicago in Focus: Portrait of a City Through the Eyes of its People."
Petra Neiger, Senior Manager of Digital and Social Media Marketing, Cisco
A true social media influencer, Petra Neiger leads the digital brand campaign and social business group at Cisco. She oversees the company's brand campaign in the digital world and is responsible for various social business programs to drive social capabilities and scale social media.
The results she delivers have not been overlooked. She is the recipient of multiple digital and social media awards, including being named to BtoB Magazine's list of top digital marketers in both 2012 and 2013. Although today she lives her professional life online, her experience spans many arenas, ranging from market and competitive intelligence to game development.
When she does take a break from the digital world, you might find this certified yoga teacher studying a form of holistic medicine, traveling, or practicing her downward dog.
Amy Vale, Head of Global B2B Marketing and Branded Experiences, Spotify
This Aussie knows the ins and outs of marketing and advertising. One of Spotify's latest additions, Amy Vale is head of global B2B marketing and branded experiences. In this role, she aims to educate agencies, brands, and the broader advertising industry on the best ways to connect with consumers.
Vale began her career as a marketing executive for XM2, a photographic and web design agency in Melbourne. In addition to her position there, she was able to juggle her own marketing and advertising agency that focused on small and medium-sized businesses. She then tapped into her creative side, joining Whybin/TBWA as a copywriter, where she developed campaigns for such brands as Mars, Pacific Brands, and Nissan.
Vale later held senior marketing operations positions for Jobsjobsjobs.com.au, Inifinti Telecommunications, Zinc Group, and Kidspot.com.au. In 2010, she moved to New York and joined Mojiva Inc. as the VP of research and strategic communications prior to her recent move to Spotify.
iMedia isn't the first to recognize Vale's allure. In 2012, she was named one of Business Insider's "50 Sexiest Advertising Executives Alive." She was, in fact, No. 1.
Morgan Vawter, VP of Analytics & Optimization, Piston
Morgan Vawter does her job by the numbers. At only 16, this Southern belle was chosen to enroll in college two years early at the Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering & Science. After snatching up her B.S. in psychology and chemistry, she became a master of all things analytics.
Spending years as a web strategy and analytics consultant for brands like Shell, Sony, Trojan, and Cox Communications -- among others -- she became known for her vast knowledge as well as her stellar interpersonal skills. She's a natural at deciphering the complexities of the web.
Now at Piston, Vawter manages the analytics and optimization team, working for clients including Oakley, Cars.com, and Bare Escentuals. Ever the industry mover and shaker, she is frequently asked to speak at industry conferences, including ad:tech, WebVisions, and SES. She was recently named as a top digital strategist by the Online Marketing Institute.
When Vawter's not working, she shares her expertise as a mentor for The Analysis Exchange, a charitable organization that offers free analytics consulting to deserving non-profits.