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Valeria: I apologize for not weighing in - I saw your note on LinkedIn in the midst of some heavy lifting and didn't get back to it.

Whenever we say "of all time" it connotes (on purpose) a sense of timelessness. It's hard to put someone forward from recent times if they haven't stood the test of time.

Of the list above, names like Branson, Jobs, Barnum, Phil Knight and a few others made my mental list. All took "flavorless" categories and made them ownable. The authors listed? Not so much.

The Jobs and Gates issue confused me momentarily. I wouldn't hesitate to put Jobs on the list, but I do with Gates. Perhaps it's because Jobs is so completely the alpha to omega of Apple's look/feel/functionality and Gates is known as the technical guy. Almost like Grove of Intel, I hesitate to say yes to these engineers who have produced world-changing products by calling them "marketers."

Thought-provoking stuff!

Regards -

@Lisa - I've been in meetings with a woman or two who did like to promote herself and did it like an ad you'd want to TiVO before contributing to the meeting. Those have been unfortunate situations. There's a balance, I think, between empty self-promotion (the stuff that makes you cringe) and communicating something of value with marketing tools.

@Peter - more than one person actually said Jesus Christ was a perfect example. "The most influential marketers are those who ideas/actions are now built into you in the way you think and behave." I like this one a lot, there's hope for me, after all.

@Shocked - how are you not even going to mention your name in a post about marketing and with such a good suggestion? I'm shocked!

How are you gonna not mention P. Diddy? In the youth world, he is one of the greatest marketers we've seen in our lifetime.

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