Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

Performance marketing technology provider Impact Radius announced the publication of a “Top 25 Performance Marketing Influencers” list.  Here is the infographic they provided in their press release:

Top 25 Performance Marketing Influencers List Infographic from ImpactRadius.com

According to their release,

“Designed to help advertisers, agencies and media companies seeking expert guidance in improving their revenue from performance marketing, the list, based on an Impact Radius independent analysis of the influence of more than 400 prominent performance marketing thought leaders, identifies the top people whose blogs, tweets and social metrics provide the most influential insights and advice for the industry.”

While I appreciate being included in the list, I'd like to go on record with my thoughts about this list, and lists such as this. This is not meant to be disrespectful to the folks at Impact Radius (and I know that they won't take it as such) but in my opinion, it's lists such as these which can lead to confusion, especially to those outside of the performance marketing/affiliate marketing industry, as well as to folks new to the industry itself. And, the last thing we need is more confusion.

Heck, we still can't even agree on what we call ourselves in our own industry.

As I've been an affiliate marketer since the late '90's, I've been around the block a few times, so I'd like to share some points that I strongly believe should be taken into consideration when interpreting this list.

Caveat Emptor When it Comes to Folks that have “Made the List”.

I do not mean this as an insult, but there are people on this list that are simply NOT influential in the affiliate marketing/performance marketing space. They know who they are and they are likely wondering to themselves why they've been included.  That does not mean to say that they are not impressive in their respective areas of expertise; it's just not affiliate marketing.  Just do your due diligence. OK?

Ranking People Using Social Scoring Does Not Give You the Whole Picture

Sadly, this list only used online social metrics to determine authority ranking.  Big mistake for many reasons:

  1. Using social scoring immediately discounts the long term effects that the truly influential people have had for many years before Twitter, Klout and Peer Index existed.  And trust me, when these leaders do speak, their message is not only heard, it's respected.
  2. This list does not take into account a person's offline influence or authority in alternative online sharing platforms, such as forums.  Just because these people do not choose to participate in Twitter, etc. does not mean that their influence is any less powerful.  
  3. Klout, Twitter and PeerIndex can all be manipulated — easily. [Bots, frequency of posting instead of quality of posting, etc.)
  4. Social scoring does not segment a person's ability to influence within an industry, but rather provides just a single number to rank them across the board. So folks with large Twitter followings, high Klout Scores and PeerIndex scores in general, will likely outrank people that are truly influential in a specific industry.

For the reasons above, I'd like to recognize a few people who should have been included in this “Top 25” list, as they actually have driven action and continue to drive the affiliate marketing / performance marketing industry.

  • Brian Littleton, ShareASale.com
  • Kellie Stevens, AffiliateFairPlay.com
  • Todd Farmer, AffiliateMarketingPlan.com
  • Scott Jangro, MechMedia.com
  • Pat Grady, RhinoFish.com
  • Eric Nagel, EricNagel.com
  • Todd Crawford, ImpactRadius.com  (Yes, the Co-Founder of the company that put this list out, who has propelled this industry for many years, didn't even make the list.)

Who do you think is missing from this list?

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Missy Ward

Co-Founder & President at Affiliate Summit, Inc.
Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. If she's not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on her part and it will be corrected soon.

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