I recently had the opportunity to join Thiago Desouza on his Business Access Podcast. We had an incredibly in-depth conversation across a variety of topics. From passions that have driven my career, technology, and marketing impact post-pandemic, gaming, GenZ, generational gaps, and the future of consumer experience. Timestamps and topics below.
1:25 – Tom Edwards Career Overview
- Smooth Fusion (Microsoft)
- Telligent (Electronic Arts)
- INgage Networks (Chief Marketing Officer)
- Omnicom (Strategy Leader – Red Urban, The Marketing Arm)
- Epsilon (Chief Digital & Innovation Officer)
- Tripleclix (Chief Marketing Officer)
2:50 – Discussing Core Passions
- Star Wars & the droids and how the technology-enabled the adventures
- Gaming in the 1980s
- 90’s Computer Hardware
- Marketing, Technology, Gaming are core passions
4:10 – Where are we today technology wise compared to Star Wars?
- No longer disruption as a new normal
- All about convergence, AI, predictive decisioning, virtual assistant proxies, simulation at scale
6:15 – How does it feel when you create a pathway to success for a client?
- Love to align technology + consumer experience hits a cultural inflection point
- EA Skate example. The first instance of in-game content posted to the web in the mid-2000s
- Discuss Data & AI work while at Epsilon
- Goes well beyond a transaction, it’s about creating value as a partner
8:30 – Discuss Professional Speaking & Innovation to Reality
- How technology will evolve and how we will move from the mobile device to our environment adapting to us through the lens of pop-culture
- Empower – technology that enables consumers
- Exponential – intelligent systems
- Enhance – proxies to full simulation
- Discuss GenZ, gaming, expectations of technology and how experiences are evolving
11:00 – How do you feel technology is going to advance post COVID pandemic?
- Less about a single use case and application, and more about how technology enables work that isn’t in a physical location
- New consumer decision journey… Disruption, Acceptance, What’s next
- Acceleration of work from anywhere, have worked remotely for over 5 years
- Sparks of inspiration occur at different times of the day.
14:33 – What can businesses do and where should they focus post pandemic?
- Focus on core consumer needs
- Reflect & reset corporate strategy, especially digitally
- The role that data plays
- Developing new capabilities
- Forecast demand by geography & audience segments
- Discuss the cycle of demand
- What’s next… How does physical retail compete with online?
18:00 – Communication, Communication, Communication is vital…
- Maintaining communication and connection is key
- 71% of consumers stated if brands put profit over people they would lose faith in the brand forever
- It’s important to communicate, but also how are you easing disruption
- Content strategy, building it around how creating value, balance selling vs. supporting
- Reacting vs. strategically planning
21:30 – How have international businesses been responding?
- US quantity based
- Bolivia case study/hand sanitizer example
23:00 – Across industries, what techniques and methods work well broadly?
- Mapped career against the rising flow of technology & culture
- Mid 2000’s social computing
- Then consumer social strategy
- Data & AI
- Next is gaming…
26:15 – Generational Gap & Gaming
29:00 – Experiences like Pokémon Go prep future adoption
- Training a generation
- GenZ expectations of technology & behaviors such as mixing reality is becoming second nature
30:30 – What happened to Google Glass? What’s next?
- Was an early adopter
- When it initially launched we weren’t in the midst of a creator society
- It was also about form factor… looking at patents and future tech, look and feel will be extensions of style
- Apple, Samsung, and others will move us towards a smart contact
- Ubiquitous tech + constant connectivity via 5G will drive adoption of new form factors
33:30 – If a client/business asks how can I make it happen?
- Not enough time spent on the behavioral side
- Single persona vs. affinity iterations & personality types
- How does that come together and finding the right levers to connect with individuals in a meaningful way
- Easier to look at it from a media perspective vs. using AI as a driver to truly differentiate the experience via structured & unstructured data
- Esports sponsorship… “Marketing with to games is fine, but connecting authentically is a different approach” – Chris Erb.
36:55 – The role of personal branding
- The accelerator of success was my blog… 600 posts later, how you think, what you have done, and having a content repository is key