Digiday Video Platform Commentary

I recently provided commentary to Digiday outlining which video platform is ideal for brands.

Digiday - Tom Edwards - 2

From my perspective it really comes down to the individual use case. Instead of saying one platform is the best overall, marketers should identify their specific audiences, how they’re looking to deliver the message and then determine the video platform that best meets their needs.  For example, Snapchat is a great platform to connect with millennial audiences tied to events while Instagram offers marketers a way to extend visual storytelling.  Meanwhile, Vine can be used for very specific uses cases like a do-it-yourself video in six seconds or less.  
 
The more traditional platforms like YouTube have their positives as well.  For YouTube, it’s all about organic discovery as it’s the second largest search engine.  The recent addition of Cards is a key addition to the platform.  These Cards provide marketers with the ability to deliver sequential storytelling through interactivity – which makes videos more dynamic. 
 
Tom Edwards, Chief Digital Officer, Agency, Epsilon

 

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UTA Guest Lecture and Career Advice

Academia has played an important role for me over the past 13 years. During that time I have been an adjunct faculty member and had the pleasure to instruct thousands of students across many disciplines of marketing.

This week I had an opportunity to guest lecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. The course was focused on social media/digital strategy and the students were attentive and sharp.

Tom Edwards Guest Lecture

I enjoy courses that focus on current best practices and push students to develop skills that can assist them immediately upon graduation.

Some of the key areas of focus and advice were:

  1. Focus on developing your network through Linkedin – It really is about who you know. I have seen this come to fruition throughout my career. It is important for new grads to start growing their network early in order to fully leverage it in the future.
  2. Have a point of view and develop original content – In order to stand out it is important to have a definitive point of view that is expressed through original content. This can be perspective on a given topic or simply industry commentary. The point is to showcase how you think to prospective employers. I strongly consider this when hiring against various strategy positions.
  3. It is important to find a mentor and a sponsor – In order to fully maximize your potential, it is important to have both a mentor who will invest in your personal and professional growth, as well as an internal sponsor, someone who will champion your progression within an organization.

It is always a pleasure speaking to individuals about to embark on their careers. 

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BlackFin360

SXSW 2016 Voting Has Begun!

Now through September 4th, 2015 is the time to vote on panels & presentations for SXSW Interactive 2016. This time around I have submitted two presentations.

Vote-PanelPicker-Idea-2016-FB

The first panel is Unleashing Innovation. This will be a fire side chat format with Jeff Donaldson of the GameStop Technology Institute as we discuss how to integrate innovation into an existing organization.

SXSW 2016 - Innovation

The second is a solo topic discussing the Uselessness of Data which dives into how data without the right context is essentially useless. By itself data doesn’t move the customer engagement needle. People search out and connect with compelling stories, solutions or insights – that create friction along the path-to-purchase – not raw data or numbers.

data

 

I would greatly appreciate your support with a vote.  The first step to vote is to create an account at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com

Then you can simply search for Tom Edwards or Epsilon and give thumbs up to submit your vote.

Epsilon

Thank you in advance for your support! It is much appreciated.

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Hero 6 Final

Momentology – Loyalty Marketing Strategy

I was recently asked by Momentology to provide commentary about why loyalty marketing is enjoying renewed focus and how companies can benefit now.

Momentology - Tom Edwards - cropped

Retention is a key component to maximizing the lifetime value of a consumer. Loyalty programs focused on retention can reduce customer churn and strengthen the preference for the brand.

From a brand marketing perspective, there is a significant amount of time and energy spent on acquisition and awareness based initiatives. This is represented by the recent shift toward consumer-centric content marketing.

Digital businesses that understand the role that content plays at all phases of the customer journey can create value and loyalty while maximizing retention. The key is to enable the consumer to highlight memorable interactions and provide a platform for sharing or by leveraging social interactions to create social currency. These interactions then become a part of the awareness and discovery cycle decreasing the cost of customer acquisition and increasing the probability of customer retention.

There are five qualities that should be considered when creating advocacy programs to sustain loyalty:

  • Authenticity is critical in a highly transparent digital world.
  • Creating excellent customer experiences creates opportunities for advocacy.
  • Reciprocity with consumers is key and can come in the form of surprise and delight triggers to show appreciation.
  • Empowering the consumer to truly carry and own the brand identity digitally is essential to building strong brand loyalty.
  • Finally, recognition is a powerful tool that can quickly transform a loyal consumer into a vocal brand advocate.

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Media Post IOT Shopping Panel

I had the opportunity to speak on a MediaPost panel this morning discussing end-to-end beacon solutions and how to leverage the data gathered to create authentic and relevant connections with consumers.

Tom Edwards

It was a lively discussion touching on a number topics. The panel kicked off with a discussion about  what the low hanging fruit is for organizations to capitalize on beacon based initiatives. Then we discussed the type of data collected and how to append value. We then outlined challenges around gathering IOT data and more importantly create actionable insights in real time.

We also explored who will own the central repository of data in an IOT world. I outlined that an arms race is currently underway with the likes of Apple, IBM, Facebook and Google vying to convince partners of the value of their platforms.  

Finally, we spent a lot of time diving into our approaches to privacy and the role that data scientists will play in the near future.
I will post the stream of the panel once it’s live.

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