Tom “TheBlackFin” Edwards is the Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, Agency for global marketing leader Epsilon (NYSE: ADS) and keynote speaker through BlackFin360™.
For the past 18 years, Tom has focused on the intersection of emerging technology and its impact on consumer behavior and how to bring Innovation to Reality™. He was recently named a 2017 Marketing Technology Trailblazer by Advertising Age.
Tom lives with his wife Cherlyn, three kids Gavin, Audrey and Grant as well as their Maltipoo Daisy in Frisco, Texas.
Tom regularly provides thought leadership and commentary on business and advertising in addition to speaking regularly as a futurist on the topics of data design, artificial intelligence and the evolution of consumer experience through intelligent systems.
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Prior to Epsilon, Tom was EVP, Digital Strategy and Innovation for Omnicom’s The Marketing Arm and SVP, Digital Strategy and Emerging Technology for Red Urban, part of DDB Worldwide. He also previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for cloud-based social solution provider INgage networks.
Tom serves as a formal advisor & board member for multiple technology start-ups.
To view recommendations from brands such as Twitter, GameStop, Microsoft, Hasbro, Dell, American Airlines, MSNBC & Electronic Arts. Please visit my Linkedin Profile.
Below is a recap of Digital Experience [2000-Present]
- Results driven senior marketing strategy and innovation executive with 18 years of digital-centric experience
- Future forward approach has led to proven track record of successfully developing, directing, and executing domestic and international growth and transformation strategies across verticals
- Balanced blend of executive leadership, entrepreneurial experience, new media marketing expertise, technical acumen, ability to lead geographically dispersed teams and develop subject matter experts
- Focused on driving growth by serving as a trusted advisor for key stakeholders to navigate highly competitive industries through education and a proven approach built on data, content, experience, and outcomes
- Ability to create and lead thought leadership initiatives: original content, industry commentary or speaking engagements. http://blackfin360.com/speaking-engagements
Epsilon is a global leader in data, marketing, and technology enablement. As the Chief Digital & Innovation Officer for Epsilon’s agency business, Tom is guiding Epsilon agency clients as a trusted advisor to meet the business needs of today while integrating innovative new technologies and partners to prepare for the next evolution of digital marketing.
He leads various functions including research, brand planning, data design (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Deep Learning), digital/social/CRM strategy, digital experience teams (PM, UX, Developers), media planning & the agency innovation practice.
Tom also oversees digital thought leadership for Epsilon’s agency business and regularly publishes original content and provides media commentary for publications such as Mashable, CNBC, Digiday, Adweek, iMedia, International Business Times, ClickZ, Momentology, and much more.
He regularly speaks on behalf of Epsilon’s agency business at industry events and conferences. Recent speaking engagements include TEDx, MarTech, Path To Purchase Expo, Financial Brand Forum, Ad:Tech, Mobile World Congress (Barcelona), IIeX, Digital Banking Summit, C-Suite TV, Social Media Week, iMedia Breakthrough, Digital Hollywood, Mobile Marketing Summit, Ad Age Data & various MediaPost events.
Tom leads product development for the Agency business with successful products and solutions launched including productizing unstructured data analysis through machine learning, development of a proprietary AI predictive decisioning engine that democratizes access to data and insights as well as various multi-modal prototypes (voice, vision & touch).
As Executive Vice President of Strategy & Innovation, Digital for The Marketing Arm (NYSE: OMC), I oversee, create, and execute digital strategy and programs for the agency’s clients while leading various strategy teams across the United States.
6 areas of responsibility within this role including:
* Group director of digital/social/media strategy teams in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas
* Directly led digital, social and emerging media strategy engagements for Technology, CPG, Retail, Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Energy, Telecommunications, Insurance, Travel
* Led TMA DE Innovation practice focused on application of design thinking methodologies and mapping value of emerging technology within established corporations
* Oversaw strategic partnerships with key publishers, start-ups, and other emerging media providers
* Provided industry POV’s, spoke & represented TMA digitally for media outlets & industry conferences as well as serving as a judge for industry award shows.
* Supported holding company level new business pitches as a digital & innovation subject matter expert
* Clients included: Anheuser-Busch, Bacardi Limited (Dewar’s), Exxon Mobil, Mars (Snickers), GameStop, AT&T, Hilton Worldwide, Frito-Lay, State Farm, American Airlines, Callaway Golf
Previous responsibilities included:
* Led digital, social and emerging media strategy for the Centralized Agency Resources (CAR) division of The Marketing Arm, servicing all business units
* Led the creative/concept team for TMAs social agency, Fanscape
* Lead strategist/architect of TMAs embedded crowdsourcing practice with 2 platforms developed & launched (Flockstar & Crowdsworth)
Red Urban is a progressive Omnicom digital agency providing captivating digital solutions from conception through execution. We leverage the latest tactics that drive through to measurable results grounded in the client’s objectives.
* Partner with client brands & agency partners to define integrated & measurable digital/social/mobile strategies
* Responsible for building innovation practice within The Component Group (Omnicom Group/NYSE: OMC) including creation of the Red Urban Digital Value Index
* Provide insight & recommendations on how to leverage emerging technology (Mobile, Augmented Reality, 3D, Proximity Solutions, etc.) to drive specific results tied to acquisition, engagement & advocacy
* Focused on extending digital into retail settings to drive path to purchase conversion as well as enabling commerce & mobile loyalty
* Responsible for social analytics service offering & analysis
* Provide POV on emerging technologies & trends
* Lead Social Audit & Strategy sessions focused on planning, application, strategy, integration & measurement
* Extensive experience defining & deploying integrated domestic & international social media programs across multiple consumer social channels including Facebook, (Custom Apps/Tabs, Promotions, commerce), YouTube (Custom & Integrated Channels) Twitter (Promotions, Tweet Chats), USTREAM.TV (Live Stream & Integration), Xbox Live (Cross Promotion, Avatars), Gaia Online, MySpace, etc… as well as 100’s of Fortune 1000 deployments of Branded Social solutions from full-scale on-premise or cloud-based communities (Forums, Blogs, Groups, Wiki’s, etc..) as well as mobile web & apps as well as hyper-local proximity solutions in support of integrated campaigns
* Experience identifying & activating blogger networks (Moms, Dads, Tech, Gamers) to drive awareness of programs and to increase unique content creation on behalf of brands
* Clients included: Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Hasbro, VW, Electronic Arts, Neiman Marcus, Topps
INgage Networks f/k/a Neighborhood America is a Social Media SaaS provider focused on comprehensive social solutions
* Marketing Efforts led to growth during an economic downturn
* Efforts opened new market segments while gaining significant traction with industry analysts and capturing market share from competitors
* Analyst outreach program resulted in inclusion in many industry reports as well as delivering the first reference in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
* Led creation of customer acquisition strategy including implementation of lead qualification methodology
* Redefined digital strategy including the creation of a digital marketing department
* Rebranded a 10 yr old company within a 6 week time period with internal resources to better prepare for global expansion
* Created GTM strategies targeting specific vertical market segments (Finance, CPG, Healthcare)
* Executed step function SEO & SMO improvements and drove value definition and MBO’s to secure adequate budget
* Efforts led to record increases in traffic, unique views, and true visibility into logo account visits
* Developed comprehensive GTM strategy aligning with Microsoft outlining joint international expansion
* Incorporated market research and customer strategy focus to drive optimal value position with prospective customers as well as led strategic planning sessions with Fortune 25 organizations
* Drove elements of product innovation including market position, GTM strategies, and product enhancements
Formerly the CMO & VP, Sales. Sales responsibilities included:
* Direct Sales ownership including the development of sales methodology and GTM strategy for a geographically distributed sales force targeting enterprise and public sector accounts.
* Channel/Alliance – Own the programmatic build-out of our channel sales strategy including strategic and programmatic direct partner interaction and enablement.
Telligent is a recognized leader in the enterprise social collaboration space that provides social software & analytics.
During my tenure revenue grew 7x with a 600% increase in revenue generated prior to my arrival. Results led to a $20 Million investment from Intel Capital. http://bit.ly/r4ixQ
Responsible for the sales & marketing as well as client engagement strategy, planning and execution of the various Product, Services and Advertising Sales business units of Telligent Systems. Led interactive/social strategy engagements with our Enterprise client base.
* Built the team from 1 inside rep to a highly functioning Domestic & International sales force that consistently exceeded quota
* Drove profitability and revenue with consistent QoQ growth
* Implemented sales standards & forecasting methodology
* Defined client engagement standards & sales workflow
* Engaged directly with clients & led interactive strategy sessions with a number of Fortune 1000 organizations
* Focused on the development of strategic anchor accounts to drive high volumes of aggregate revenue
* Instrumental in growing strategic partnership with Microsoft including Managed Partner Status & alignment with various industry-specific sales organizations including High Tech Manufacturing, Consumer Packaged Goods, Automotive, Health Care & Chemical.
* Defined Telligent, CodeSmith, SixFires GTM strategy for the various products & services
* Team efforts drove awareness to a co-leadership position in the Q1 2009 Forrester Wave Report for Social Solutions
* Owned Lead Generation & Brand Standards driving record lead throughput which directly contributed to bottom-line revenue
* Defined PR strategy for online & offline outreach, case studies, press releases, analyst relations & media tours
* Conducted competitive, target market & positioning analysis for the various product offerings
Co-Founder & Partner in the creation of Smooth Fusion, Inc. Smooth Fusion specializes in web/mobile/social application development in support of agency (WPP, Interpublic, Omnicom) & client (Microsoft) initiatives.
* Defined strategy for corporate marketing initiatives (Products & Services)
* Defined Account Management process, strategy, and execution
* Responsible for build-out and oversight of the northwest region including staffing and business development
* Managed channel partner and supply chain relationships (E-commerce)
* Managed strategic accounts (Microsoft) and relationships (Agencies – Y&R, Wunderman, DDB Direct)
* Contributed directly to Microsoft Preferred Vendor Status
* Founder/Partner in the formation of Smooth Fusion, Inc.
Fullmoon Interactive was a full-service interactive agency and part of the eMarketplace network of internet properties. Clients included AOL, Dell, Citigroup, Gillette & American Express.
* Managed the professional services of the Texas division of Full Moon Interactive
* Defined strategic direction for professional service teams including analysis of utilization, and profitability
* Built and maintained strategic teams to achieve organizational objectives
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