If you are a technology start-up in search of strategic insight & resources, Tom Edwards is here to advise early-stage companies by providing strategic guidance, direction, insight & access to investor networks.
Culture is key to any organization. Tom’s approach has always been one of empowerment and encouragement. It’s important to enable team members with the ability for positive career growth. This can come in the form of coaching around personal brand development or allowing for growth in areas that are outside of the core specialty of their day-to-day role.
A Technology Evangelist & Influencer
Tom Edwards started BlackFin360 in 2009 to serve as a thought leadership platform and content repository. With over 600+ marketing/technology-centric posts at BlackFin360.com, millions of views, and 100’s of media placements, Tom is committed to sharing insights and approaches that can benefit all industries for marketing and technology professionals.
Tom speaks regularly as a data-centric marketing technology futurist with hundreds of presentations to some of the world’s largest brands. Tom’s ability to flex across industries, understands how to integrate emerging technology into linear organizations, decode and action data allows him to be an ideal advocate for marketing thought leadership.
This work has recently been recognized nationally as well. Recently, Tom has awarded the 2021, Oncon Icon Top 10 Global Marketer Award. In 2020, he has been recognized as the Digital Marketing Professional of the Year, OnCon Icon
Top 50 Global Marketer Award winner, and the 2020 Professional of the Year for Marketing and Emerging Technology. In 2019, Tom was honored as the Tech Titan Technology Advocate Award winner, 2019 OnCon Marketing Trailblazer Award, and OnCon Marketing Contributor award winner for outstanding marketing and technology thought leadership. In 2017, Edwards was recognized by Advertising Age as a Marketing Technology Trailblazer.
The biggest challenge since founding the org in 2009 has been the pandemic of 2020 for Tom. As a keynote speaker, losing in-person conference events and the opportunities that come with that has shifted focus from in–person to digital and virtual events, masterclasses, and workshops. As an advocate for emerging technology, it was a no-brainer for Tom to shift to more of a 100% digital engagement approach until BlackFin360 is able to resume in-person events.
A Strategic Consultant
Tom has worked across start-up ventures, enterprise technology, and agency holding companies across his career. This has led to thousands of consulting initiatives over 20 years and laid a foundation and focus on driving results and aligning business results, specifically, the top 4 business objectives that Tom has focused on aligning emerging technology & data approaches has been the acquisition, win-back, retention, and growth.
Focused on Future-proofing Business
Tom has worked with various brands leading to improving business results & performance through dimensionalizing data via situational and audience data dimensions as well as aligning data of identity, culture & intent to leverage machine learning & AI to better understand themes, perceptions, occasions, and proxy persons and predictive models to drive business results.
“Innovation is about removing a barrier while building on the familiar.” This is so true in applying emerging technology to linear business. You have to be able to build upon what’s familiar and what has worked in the past, but have an eye towards how an organization can evolve, focuses on Tom.
A Forward Thinker
Tom Edwards’ vision for BlackFin360 over the next five years is to continue to evolve the type of content he writes and speaks about. With so many foundational shifts in technology on the horizon, from the proliferation of AI, 5G connectivity, the shift towards spatial computing, digital twins, virtual proxies, and more, there is a lot that will change in the next five years and Tom wants to continue to cover and decipher what the shifts in consumer behavior and emerging technology will mean for businesses.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely impacted every industry and for marketing and advertising, it emphasizes the need for adaptability. Be it traditional advertising shifting from entertainment to understanding and enablement, to the need to reassess the role of digital and explosive growth tied to e-commerce. It’s critical that organizations continue to ensure business continuity and stability to accelerate through the recovery and retool and rethink strategic priorities to adapt to the post pandemic world.”, puts forward Tom.
A Leader of the Digital Realm
“Never underestimate the importance of personal branding. Build a content repository early, create a voice in the industry and give it time to grow. This content then follows you from job to job and is ownable by you, and serves as a great connection point for future roles,” advises Tom.
The second piece of advice is tied to the importance of developing personal and professional networks. “Find a mentor and a sponsor. Find someone within your industry of interest outside of your current organization who can provide career advice. Then find an individual internal to your organization who can remove barriers and invest in your professional growth.”
Tom has served as an advisory to a number of start-ups, has worked as an adjunct faculty member for universities such as SMU in Dallas, and has served on the advisory board for the National Breast Cancer Foundation for the past two years.
Tom is passionate about giving back to the community be it locally, supporting start-up organizations, education, and charity work.
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