Thought Leader: “an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.” (Wikipedia)

As stated above, thought leaders are highly regarded individuals (or firms), due to their influence and writing on specific topics. In the world of B2B marketing, the ‘thought leader’ title is very sought after. While there are many smart B2B marketers out there, a select few stand out for their accomplishments and writings that have significantly influenced the field of B2B marketing.

We have selected 5 Thought Leaders that we believe all B2B marketers should follow closely:

Jeff Bullas

Jeff is an avid social media blogger and very active on social media. He maintains an important blog and has been published on top tier journals such as The New York Times. Jeff’s blog, JeffBullas.com, covers important topics related to B2B marketing and produces some of the best and most valuable B2B marketing content out there.

Among his many achievements Jeff was listed by Forbes.com as “Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers” in 2013 and “Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow” by Huffington Post. In his book, “How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media“, Jeff covers a wide range of topics many relating to B2B.

Jeff has a staggering 194k followers on twitter and a readership of 300,000 on his personal blog.

Follow Jeff: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

Brian Carter

Brain Carter is a renowned author, speaker and blogger on all things marketing. Some of Brian’s title include “The Like Economy” and “Facebook Marketing”, Brian has firmly established himself as an influential figure in the world of Social Media Marketing. Carter’s book “LinkedIn for Business” brought his wealth of insights into Social Media marketing directly to the B2B Marketer.

Brian recently released a second edition of his book “The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook” one of the main additions is a an entire chapter dedicated to B2B Facebook marketing, a field that many B2B marketers are not familiar with.

Brian is VP of Marketing & Customer Success at social intelligence platform InfiniGraph.

A little known fact about Brian is that he is also a stand up comedian. Seems like he is a jack of all trades!

Follow Brian: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

Tom Martin

Tom is a world renowned author and the founder of Converse Digital. Converse Digital is a strategy agency, focused on companies that don’t have experience in the world of digital marketing. Converse provides them with “Chief Marketing Officer… on speed dial” tactics and leadership. Tom has an illustrious 20 year career in helping “digitally challenged” companies, including B2B’s, master the art of digital marketing.

His recently released book “The Invisible Sale” which contains a wealth of important information for B2B marketers – In the world of B2B marketing, it is a must read.

Follow Tom: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

Todd Wheatland

Just by looking at Todd’s job title, his presence on the list is obvious: VP of Thought Leadership and Marketing at Fortune 500 company Kelly Services.

Kelly Services, a workforce consulting and outsourcing agency, is a B2B itself. Todd has been able to apply his B2B marketing Guru-ness (if that is a word) to growing the business into the Fortune 500 company it is today.

With his book “The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare: How to Build Your Brand, Generate Leads & Create Opportunities“, Todd highlights the many benefits of SlideShare, as a social network, that could be utilized for businesses. He puts major emphasis on B2B’s utilizing this platform and provides fantastic tips on how to leverage Slideshare for your B2B marketing strategy.

Todd is a highly sought after speaker and participates in marketing conferences world-wide. His speaking topics include “Transforming Your B2B Brand into a Content Machine”, Todd brings valuable insights into the world of B2B marketing.

Follow Todd: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

Michael Brenner

Michael is the Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy at SAP, one of the largest B2B’s in the world. His opinions and writing are extremely well respected in the field of B2B Marketing, since they are backed up by years of first hand knowledge.

Michael runs B2B Marketing Insider, a website dedicated to all things B2B marketing and is a regular contributor to such well known journals as Forbes.

Follow Michael: TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn

These are only a few of the Thought Leaders out there today. Do you have any other influential figures in the world of B2B marketing that you would add to our list? Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments section.

This content originally appeared at Oktopost Blog.