Tom Erskine

CMO, One Door
Tom Erskine is Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Product for One Door, based in Boston, Massachusetts. One Door serves many of the world’s largest retailers, delivering a new category of software improving in-store merchandising execution, hyper-local assortments, and sophisticated store analytics.

Prior to One Door, he started and grew Pegasystems’ Communications and Media segment into one of its largest businesses, serving 6 of the world’s 10 largest providers. Previously, Tom held senior marketing and product management roles with Convergys Corporation and BCGI.

Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of Campus SIMs, an organization providing affordable mobile services for international students, and has served in an advisory role for successful start-up organizations including BrandNetworks and WHERE.COM.

He holds multiple US and international patents for his innovations in customer experience, networking, and business support systems.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2017

    Big Data is done, put a fork in it

    History repeats itself, and tech is no exception. The rise and fall of the term "big data" is no different from the rise and fall of other terms "cloud," "AI," "Cognitive Computing," "SOA," "Micro-services," et al. Each of these terms describe technical tool or concept with the potential to solve real business problems. Once people find the killer application of the tool or concept, the need to continue to use the term goes away.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Apple opens invisible hangout in Chicago

    Apple continues to push the rest of the tech industry in the direction it needs to go -- positioning their locations as "experience centers" rather than as stores. And they also continue to prove that when you sell an expensive item, creating these experiences doesn't hurt store performance -- it helps. When their sales start to meaningfully decline, I'll worry.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Retailers lack of trust undermines predictive personalization’s potential

    Solution providers need to more effectively package their technology to drive business impact without requiring a complete transformation of the existing shopper and associate experience. For example in physical retail, instead of attempting to personalize the offers made by an associate on the floor, they should focus on creating personalized cross-sell and upsell recommendations at checkout. This approach will greatly reduce the disruption of implementing the solution, while still driving an ROI that can be used to justify additional investment.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    Could retail workers benefit from implanted microchips?

    I don't mean to be dystopian and it is easy to say never -- but imagine that in 10 years an employee has two choices, 1.) install the chip or 2.) lose their job to a robot. It is impossible for us today to make assumptions about how people will make decisions down the road.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Should shorter lines for the iPhone 8 concern Apple?

    Smartphones are no longer revolutionary, just evolutionary. Therefore there is nothing about the iPhone 8 worth waiting in line for. It remains to be seen whether the X can re-kindle excitement in pushing the envelope of what a smartphone "is," but I wouldn't bet on it.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Are fashion trends moving too fast for retail?

    Accelerating the buy process is only a piece of the puzzle. Getting new products into stores and on to shelves is another. Retailers are slowly re-thinking their store supply chain processes, but their efforts lack urgency. It's almost as if they've either given up or don't understand the gravity of the situation.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    The power of Big Data is the ability to find new predictors of customer preference and behavior that were previously invisible to the naked eye. These new predictors enable retailers to make better recommendations, improve product availability and significantly improve the customer experience. Instead of relying on survey responses, gut feel and heuristic approaches, these new systems explore massive amounts of data and help make connections that even consumers might not recognize. The hard part is doing it without being creepy. Just ask Target ...
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    Is agile fulfillment the solution to retail’s renaissance?

    I disagree that retailers will need to focus on agility over scale. They need to do what modern, digital, organizations manage to do -- focus on both. And it isn't something they "will need" to do. If they're not doing this already, it's too late.I know that "digital transformation" is a term that gets overused, but the retail supply chain is a poster-child candidate for the definition of this term. At virtually every step in the retail supply and fulfillment chain today there are incredible opportunities to leverage digital tools to increase agility without limiting scale.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    How much Big Data do retailers really need?

    Big Data is a means to an end, and when companies treat it like an end they are likely to be disappointed. What I've seen in the number of initiatives I've been involved in is that focus on a specific outcome is a critical, clarifying element of any Big Data initiative.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Is e-commerce a job builder or killer?

    Any bump in fulfillment center job growth is likely to be short-lived, as these jobs involve repeatable processes that can be handled using automation. So while it is plausible that e-commerce is creating jobs on a net basis, I wouldn't be hopeful that it will drive long-term retail job growth.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware?

    When you walk in to Ace and ask for a 3/8" whatchamacallit, they always know exactly where it is. Then they recommend an alternative approach. Trusted, knowledgeable service goes a long way.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services?

    Peter - it is the very same! Nice work! As acquisition costs accelerate to woo mainstream users, the LTV of the customer doesn't accelerate as well, leaving the service extremely unprofitable.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services?

    To reinforce the points made above, here is a great analysis of their current subscriber economics -- and it isn't a pretty picture. 72 percent of users that try the service are gone after six months. That is a ticking churn time-bomb that will challenge their long-term chance of survival as they have to spend more on acquiring customers.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2017

    Should brands ditch the slang?

    Whatever tone and voice brands use to reach people, the key is authenticity. If you genuinely speak to customers in the language they expect you can create a tighter bond. If you fake it, it will come across as annoying.This applies to everything, not just slang. As a Massachusetts resident when I hear a radio spot using a bad Boston accent, it's awful. When it's someone that obviously grew up here, it just sounds normal.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2017

    Why did McDonald’s end its Olympic sponsorship?

    I don't mean to sound like an old fogey but, for U.S. audiences, I fear the Olympics peaked with the 1980 USA hockey team and the 1984 L.A. Summer Games. Since then "progress" has chipped away at the "Olympic ideal" that made the games compelling viewing -- amateur athletes that we could relate to getting a moment in the sun. Viewership isn't down because of multi-screen viewing or time zone issues, it's down because the Olympic narrative is now pretty boring.

Contact Tom

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.