Testimonial – James Riley

James Riley

I serve as Chief Marketing Officer for a brand with a footprint that extends into 28 states as well as international territories, and have turned to Tom countless times to make sense of a rapidly evolving digital marketing sphere.  Tom’s experience in “moving big ships in small spaces” has given him insights into how to get things done at scale, which has been extraordinarily helpful to me.

One of our first engagements with Tom was when we enlisted his help in developing a sound website strategy.  This was in the early days of the World Wide Web, and we, like many companies, were struggling to understand how best to utilize this platform.

His thinking around digital strategy has largely been the focus of our recent collaborations.  His article, “Two Questions To Land Your Digital Strategy,” poses two questions:  (1) “Who is doing the work?” and (2) “How are the people doing the work spending their time?”  As is typical of Tom, he has managed to boil down what can be a complicated need (digital strategy & execution) into two simple questions.

As we’ve worked together to build a structure that’s a combination of both internal and external capabilities, these two questions have helped us focus both on digital strategy and also on how that strategy can be executed.

Tom has an incredible and unique background as a marketer and thought leader.

He’s also a visionary and always seems to be 6 or 7 steps ahead, particularly when it comes to technology and how advances in the digital realm might impact brands.  Tom is able to articulate complex subjects in ways that people who might not be familiar with a particular topic can easily grasp.

Tom’s a gifted collaborator. I think that starts with his ability to listen – he’s a great listener.  He is also a rigorous thinker, yet he has an intuitive feel for creative solutions to difficult problems.  That intuition is actually a combination of experience, intellect and determination to find solutions.  He’s a problem-solver extraordinaire.

Tom is ahead of the curve but has the intellectual disciplin to know what’s right for a brand – and not just what the latest new app or new technology might be.  He doesn’t just ask a lot of questions, he asks the right questions.  Many trends in our industry get their start outside the US, someone with Tom’s global point of view and international experience is indispensable, especially when coupled with his strategic vision.

While Tom is a visionary in the digital world, he combines that with his experience in traditional marketing so that he thinks holistically about brands. Today’s marketers are bombarded with so many options that it can become overwhelming.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who can be knowledgeable about all of those options or who has the answers to all the questions leadership within the organization is posing.  Tom condenses the overwhelming into easy-to-understand strategies that build confidence for making key decisions.