The 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards: Meet This Year’s Winners


The 2019 Oscars may be over, but awards season is still in full swing here at Callbox. We’re excited to announce the big winners of our first-ever Callbox Influencer Awards.

With the Callbox Influencer Awards, we shine the spotlight on five marketing influencers whose work has dramatically transformed the following key marketing areas:

  1. Content Creation
  2. Social Media
  3. Book Publishing
  4. Video Marketing
  5. Live Events

For each of these categories, our editorial team sifts through dozens of potential candidates and chooses the influencer who best embodies the spirit of that category’s award and, at the same time, also represents the ideals that drive Callbox’s marketing services.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2019 Callbox Influencer Awards:

Influencer Award for Content Creation

Influencer Award for Content Creation

In a world awash with blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, whitepapers, and what have you, it can be very tough for us marketers to stand out and connect with our audience through content. But a few exceptional content creators do get their message across and generate genuine engagement.

The Influencer Award for Content Creation honors B2B marketers who not only consistently produce engaging material, but also provide inspiration for others to craft quality content. This award recognizes a marketer’s overall body of work and its impact, not just a specific campaign or content piece.

In short, it’s an award for people who help move B2B content marketing (and the rest of us) forward.

This year’s Influencer Award for Content Creation goes to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketingprofs. We choose Ann due to a number of reasons. First, Marketingprofs continues to be a leading resource for marketers the world over (including for us here at Callbox, particularly The Savvy Marketer blog). Under Ann’s leadership, Marketingprofs has produced content pieces that make marketers say “Why didn’t I think of that” out loud.

Even more significant, it’s her advocacy for “good content over good-enough content” that really earns her this distinction. Ann has been waging an unrelenting war against plain, mediocre content for years now, and this campaign has inspired marketers to craft content that’s meaningful and engaging. After all…

Marketing is art plus intent.

– Ann Handley

Influencer Award for Social Media

Influencer Award for Social Media

If you asked marketing thought leaders about social media a decade ago, most of them would have simply dismissed the new channel as pure hype. A rare minority, however, saw past the early excitement and realized the true potential of social media in driving marketing (and even sales) results.

Today, social media is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy. It’s a key channel in the buying process, and it’s the ideal place to engage and interact with potential customers.

Depending on who you ask, anywhere between 50% to 90% of B2B decision makers research a solution via social media, and at least 9 in every 10 B2B marketers include social media in their marketing toolkits.

That’s thanks in large part to influencers like Kim Garst who helped shape how social media evolved into an indispensable marketing tool. It’s for that valuable contribution that we’re awarding the 2019 Influencer Award for Social Media to CEO and social media influencer Kim Garst.

Kim is the founder and CEO of Boom!, a leading personal branding and social media consulting company. She has consistently been named by various sources (including Forbes, Inc., Sendible, etc.) as a highly-influential social media influencer for several years now. But, more importantly, Kim is widely considered as one of the most prominent social media pioneers that drove the development of the channel.

If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.

– Kim Garst

Influencer Award for Book Publishing

Influencer Award for Book Publishing

Books hold the power to change not only our minds but our lives as well—and marketing and sales books are no exception. A good marketing-focused book broadens our perspective while at the same time deepens our understanding of a specific marketing subject. Most of all, a good book makes us more effective marketers and better persons.

Here at the Savvy Marketer, we devour tons of books each year, with topics ranging from overall marketing strategy to specialized areas of interest. We believe that a thought leader also needs to be a good author so that their ideas can have a stronger and longer-lasting impact.

That’s why we’re making the Influencer Award for Book Publishing as a key part of our annual influencer recognition. This award gives distinction to a marketing influencer who demonstrates original insight, in-depth expertise, and far-reaching impact through his or her published books. Simply put, this award recognizes an author’s valuable contribution to the field of marketing.

The 2019 Influencer Award for Book Publishing goes to social media consultant, keynote speaker, and marketing educator Mark Schaefer for his string of highly-influential books tackling social media and modern marketing.

Mark is the author of the best-selling book on Twitter The Tau of Twitter, the first book on influencer marketing Return on Influence, the highly-acclaimed content marketing guide The Content Code, a comprehensive book on branding Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age—among others.

All these titles make Mark Schaefer among the most prolific and widely-cited authors in the marketing world, and an influencer definitely worth a close follow.

Business results on the web don’t come from content; they come from content that moves. Even if your content is great, there’s no guarantee it will rise to the top in an increasingly competitive world.

– Mark Schaefer

Influencer Award for Video Marketing

Influencer Award for Video Marketing

The next great frontier in content marketing is video. That’s because videos increasingly drive purchase decisions, as shown by a recent Forbes and Google study on video consumption in the C-suite.

The report finds that 75% of C-level executives watch work-related videos on business websites weekly, while 52% watch work-related videos on YouTube each week.

We want to highlight and promote the importance of videos by recognizing the people that do excellent work with this medium. That’s what our Influencer Award for Video Marketing aims to achieve.

Like an engaging video clip, a video marketing influencer needs to possess three key qualities to be successful. He or she focuses on storytelling (not just promotion); he or she knows the audience inside-out; and he or she is someone viewers can learn from.

We searched far and wide, and we find VaynerMedia founder and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk to be the best candidate for the 2019 Influencer Award for Video Marketing.

Gary’s marketing career story—from expanding his father’s wine business online during the Web’s early days, to becoming a multi-million-dollar serial entrepreneur with several successful companies under him—is an inspiration to many marketers. His lengthy track record of successful marketing partnerships with various Fortune 500 clients speaks volumes about how well he knows his target audience.

But most important of all, Gary Vaynerchuk teaches us a lot about video marketing. Gary is one of the earliest marketing influencers to predict the rise of video as today’s single most important content marketing strategy, and he continues to evangelize this message to make sure no marketer gets left behind.

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.

– Gary Vaynerchuk

Influencer Award for Live Events

Influencer Award for Live Events

There’s no doubt that live events remain a crucial marketing tactic even in the digital age. The Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report finds that 84% of senior leadership (VP and C-level) in B2B organizations consider live events essential to business success.

But live events aren’t exactly a walk in the park to organize and execute. It takes careful planning and preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly—from making sure attendees respond to invites, to converting and nurturing event prospects.

Some marketers simply seem to have the right touch for live events. Effective event marketers know how to joggle registrations, attendance, engagement, and logistics together to achieve the results they expect. Callbox’s Influencer Award for Live Events is dedicated to recognizing marketers who demonstrate these qualities.

This year, the Influencer Award for Live Events goes to J Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and one of the marketing world’s most in-demand speakers. A Certified Speaking Professional, Jay (together with his team) delivers keynote presentations, conducts training workshops, participates in industry events, and works with other organizations to make the most of their events.

Jay Baer is widely considered as one of the most influential, inspiring, and insightful marketing speakers today.

What if instead of trying to be amazing you just focused on being useful? What if you decided to inform, rather than promote?

– Jay Baer


Congratulations to this year’s big winners. The entire B2B marketing world is a whole lot better because of the work you do.

For the rest of us marketers, let’s all try to follow in their footsteps and stand on the shoulders of giants. We’ll reach and see farther ahead that way.

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