DELTA NEWS ON THE GO. Subscribe and follow.

Tim Mapes is among The World's Most Influential CMOs, according to a report out today by Forbes, LinkedIn and Sprinklr. Tim returns to the publication's annual list jumping to No. 26 in 2018.

"We're proud of the fact that no one better connects the world than Delta," Mapes said. "I get to work alongside the most talented and creative minds in our industry as we serve Delta customers, celebrate the dedication of Delta people, and strengthen the communities Delta has the privilege of serving."​

The report says that the CMO role has evolved and expanded over time to influence a company's brand beyond marketing efforts. Mapes is a prime example.

With responsibilities ranging from the airline's digital channels like, the Fly Delta app and @Delta social handles, to developing products like the award-winning Delta One Suite and all-free Delta Studio onboard entertainment, to award-winning community engagement efforts ranging from Junior Achievement to sustainability partnerships, Mapes' teams touch or influence nearly every element of a customer's journey while supporting the communities Delta serves.

According to Forbes, this year's report focused on two key areas that drive business growth: customer experience and digital transformation.

Over the past several years, Delta has led the industry on a number of innovations in the customer experience and digital spaces including replacing ID checks at touch points with fingerprint scanning, redesigning gate and boarding experiencesautomating check-intracking bags in real time via the Fly Delta mobile app, free mobile messaging in flight and more.

Earlier this year Tim shared his perspectives on branding Delta from the inside out and how taking care of and supporting Delta employees is at the core the airline's efforts to take care of customers.

"A brand isn't what a communications program says it is," Mapes said. "A brand is what customers experience. For a service business like ours, that experience is defined by our 80,000 employees and their efforts to connect with our customers on a human level."

Forbes also named Delta CEO Ed Bastian among The World's 50 Greatest Leaders in April.