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6 Digital Marketing Experts to Follow in 2019

If you want to learn more about digital marketing, read this article. We stay informed by following the most innovative marketers around.

We've cherry-picked 6 highly-regarded digital marketing influencers for you to follow in 2019 and tell you what their industry predictions are for this year.

1. Chris Do

seo expert

Chris is the owner of design agency Blind and The Futur, his self-styled educational platform that teaches creative professionals how to succeed in the design business

Chris' parents emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam and had to start again as refugees in a foreign country. His parents struggled to understand the culture, and so did Chris —he was an easy target for bullies living in a predominantly white community and struggled to find acceptance in the US.

He became introverted and shy and channelled his energy into art. In between his junior and senior year he got a job inking illustrations in a silk screening shop. However, It was an encounter with graphic designer Dean Walker that ignited his passion and he went on to study graphic design.

"Through years of coaching, trial and error, I’ve developed my communication skills. Now, I feel that this is the most important thing that separates me from others." - Chris Do

He started working for a record company after his degree, but didn't like it and tried his hand at freelancing. His freelancing turned into over 24 years running his own business.

Chris is well-known in the creative side of both design and marketing and gives design professionals a different perspective than what they're used to. He deconstructs questions and always asks tough questions in a kind, understanding manner.


  • 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation

2. Neil Patel

seo expert

Who is he?

Entrepreneurship was in Neil Patel’s blood before he established his first company.

He and his family emigrated to California when he was two. Several family members set up businesses in The Golden State, which rubbed off on him. 

He started selling CD's at school, using cable black boxes bought from eBay to make a few extra bucks.

After leaving, he studied's business model and set up job board Advice Monkey, which failed.

"Behind every successful person are a lot of unsuccessful years" - Neil Patel

Realising the potential of digital marketing, he developed Crazy Egg. A software application that heatmaps clicks to show which areas of a page are successful.

Crazy Egg had limited reach, so he created Kissmetrics. An in-depth web analytics tool that focuses on the 'metrics that matter'.

He co-founded other software companies like Hello Bar and Quick Sprout and is still involved with company enterprise.

His most recent venture is It's packed with practical resources, and anyone interested in digital marketing should visit and subscribe.

"Sometimes when you follow your dream, it opens the door for others to be able to follow theirs" - Neil Patel


  • New York Times bestselling author.
  • Wall Street Journal top influencer.
  • Forbes top 10 marketer.
  • Entrepreneur top 100 companies created.
  • Barack Obama's Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30.
  • United Nation's Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 35.

What Are His Predictions for 2019?

3. Mari Smith

marketing experts

Who is She?

Mari Smith took a gamble leaving her Scotland home and flying to America in 1999. With 30 days to find work, she got a job at a baker's decorating cakes before her visa expired.

The digital marketing expert got the break she needed and seized the opportunity. She worked as a marketing consultant until 2007. Spotting the limitless possibilities, she was hooked on social media.

"We must develop a thick skin. With an unshakeable sense of self – and a commitment to being compassionate – nothing will faze you" - Mari Smith

In 2007 she created Her goal was simple. Help professionals and business owners market their products with social media.

Mari is a founder and contributor to the Social Media Examiner. A company that publish articles on how to 'navigate through the social media jungle'.

She's a brand ambassador, speaker, and best-selling author with Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

"Content is King, but engagement is Queen and she rules the house" - Mari Smith


  • Small Business and Facebook Marketing Expert.
  • Forbes' #4 Top Social Media Power Influencer.
  • Dun & Bradstreet Credibility’s Top Ten Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter.
  • Fast Company’s Pied Piper of the Online World.

What Are Her Predictions for 2019?

4. Larry Kim

digital marketing expert

Who is He?

Larry graduated with an honours degree in electrical engineering in 2000. He completed internships at Ford and The Royal Bank of Canada before a four-year stint as a marketing director.

In 2007 Larry founded WordStream. Initially, he used it as a personal automated PPC and keyword tool. The software developed into a full PPC solution, and he became a key player in the industry.

Larry is well-known for his work as a tips and tricks author and digital marketing influencer. He's blogged for The Social Media Examiner, INC, Medium, HubSpot, Search Engine Journal and MarketingProfs.

"Be a unicorn in a crowd of donkeys" - Larry Kim

In 2017 he left WordStream and started Mobile Monkey, building easy-to-use chatbots for 24/7 customer communication.

Mobile Monkey chatbots are known for their ease of use with multiple platforms (Facebook, ads, websites), speed and convenience. Their popularity is growing as businesses can be available at all times.


  • Search Engine Land Search Marketer of the Year
  • US Search Search Marketer of the Year
  • The Top Most Influential PPC Marketer in 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2013

What Are His Predictions for 2019?

Larry has been coy with his predictions for 2019, stating that much of what will happen is an extension of what happened in 2018. So, voice search developments, more mobile search, more ads and more snippets

5. Ann Handley

digital marketing influencer

Who is She?

Ann always wanted to be a writer and craved the interaction and community that content provides. As a youngster, she created and delivered community newsletters.

She wrote to pen pals, creating different lives and personas to wow her far away friends.

After graduating with an honours degree in journalism, Ann achieved her dream of being a writer in 1985. After 12 years in journalism, she wanted to try something new.

In 1997 Ann and Andrew Bourland saw a gap when digital marketing was on the rise. The duo created ClickZ, which houses resources for aspiring online marketers. They were the original digital marketing influencers. But in 2000 they decided to sell the company for $16 million.

"Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It isn't self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates the questions that readers might have as they're reading a piece, and it answers them" - Ann Handley

In 2002 she became Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs. They provide educational programmes teaching skills that create lasting business relationships.

She’s a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and keynote speaker.


  • LinkedIn Influencer
  • Forbes' Top Thought Leader
  • World's first Chief Content Officer
  • One of IBM's 7 people shaping modern marketing

What Are Her Predictions for 2019?

Ann wants marketers to think about ditching algorithms and going for the personal space of email. The beauty of email is that it follows a pattern that you create.

It may seem counterintuitive in a world where automation, AI and other forms of technology are taking over, but if you use email right, it can work.

Ann's email newsletter 'Total ANNARCHY' is written in letter format, so it's more personal to the reader. Sales emails are tossed aside, barely glanced at. But if someone writes to you, it becomes personal.

6. Rand Fishkin

ppc expert

Who is He?

Before he became the ingenious Wizard of Moz and digital marketing expert, Rand Fishkin had been studying the web since its inception. In the 90's he was making websites for professional service firms in Seattle.

He acquired his SEO knowledge contributing to forums in the early 00's. He outgrew the forums and started to post to a website in 2004, which would become Moz.

In 2004 Rand founded SEOmoz, which gave him a platform to post his SEO tips and software.

"SEO is no longer just a job title, it has become part of everyone’s job description" - Rand Fishkin

As the company increased in popularity, it's values and services started to change. In 2013 Rand changed the name to Moz, feeling the name represented the company's direction.

In 2011 Rand and Dharmesh Shah created A website where marketers can share relevant material and knowledge. He sold his shares to inbound giants HubSpot in 2014.


  • Valued at $120 million in 2016.
  • Featured in Businessweek's Best Young Tech Entrepreneur

What Are His Predictions for 2019?

Who to Watch Out For

steven bartlett

Steven Bartlett - At just 26, Steven Bartlett is the youngest on this list. He's already built a company that's recognised around the world, and we think there's a lot more to come from the social media guru. At 18 he dropped out of university and has since become an award-winning entrepreneur. We expect big things from him.

Honours - Metro Newspaper's Creative Pioneer of the Year 2012; TSB Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013; Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2016; Econsultancy's Most Influential Industry Figure 2018; Black Business Award's Rising Star 2018

digital marketer to follow

Lilach Bullock - This London based digital marketing expert is already a household name. Endorsed by Neil Patel's Kissmetrics, BBC, Amazon and The Telegraph. 2018 is going to be a big year for her.

Honours - Forbes Top 20 Women Influencers; Global Champion Award for Outstanding Contribution and Leadership in Business; No 1 Digital Marketing Influencer by Career Experts; Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle

content marketing expert

Shama Hyder - Known as the Zen Master of Marketing by Entrepreneur and Millenial Master of the Universe by Fast Company. She's CEO and founder of Zen Media, a keynote speaker, author and TV personality. Definitely one to keep your eye on!

Honours - LinkedIn Top 10 Voices in Marketing 2016; Inc Top 10 Women to Watch in Tech 2015; Forbes 30 Under 30 2015; Fuzion Top 20 Influential Women 2013

We interviewed Shama to find out what her predictions were for marketing in 2018 and got some fascinating results, here they are:

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