• September 1, 2009
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

The 2009 Influential Leaders - The Facilitator

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Judging by the rate at which Chris Brogan updates on Twitter, you wonder if he ever sleeps. Officially the president of marketing agency New Marketing Labs, his impact goes far beyond the confines of a single business entity. An avid speaker, blogger, twitterer, and consultant, Brogan has a following that extends from the enterprise to the entrepreneur, and to every social media user looking (hoping) to figure it all out.

"There's a lot of creative destruction in terms of strategies and tactics in social media," says Sam Decker, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice. Amid the chaos, Brogan manages to provide tangible advice in an arena that, for most people, represents very unfamiliar territory."[He] creates gravity around this space because of his profile and ability to facilitate discussion [around] what works,"Decker says.

He's not only a keen observer of the social world-with insight into the successes and mistakes that are defining this emerging space-but an active participant as well. "So much flows through him and [his work],"Decker says. "He sees so much of what's going on."

His accessibility doesn't go unnoticed. In fact, Brogan's "willingness to embrace his network" is one of the characteristics Aaron Strout, chief marketing officer of social marketing platform provider Powered, admires most. He's not "getting caught up in trying to impress those in the ‘social fishbowl,'" Strout says, noting that Brogan's value is high for newbies and experts alike.

Charlene Li, an independent social media consultant, co-author of the best-seller Groundswell, and one of CRM's Influential Leaders last year, commends Brogan for the amount of content he puts out. Being prolific can quickly become excessive, but what Brogan doesn't do, Li says, is simply "regurgitate" industry news. "He puts a lot of thought into every single one of his posts," she says. Let's hope his influence extends to teaching that lesson to companies entering the social space.

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