Ted Rubin is a rare kind of marketing leader. With a rare array of experience ranging from CMO and advisor to MC and host of his own event, as well as world-renowned author and speaker, Ted has transformed how marketers around the globe look at relationship building and retail marketing. his #RonR, or Return on Relationship, is an outlook revolutionizing marketing. He’s sharing with you everything he wants marketers to know.

Ted Rubin

Location: Pompano Beach, FL

Current Role: Photofy CMO, MC/Host Brand Innovators Summits… Author / Speaker / Provocateur

One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today: Messed up!

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today:

I’m a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, CMO and Advisor at Photofy, MC/Host Brand Innovators Summits, and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path. In March 2009, I started using and evangelizing the term “ROR,” which stands for Return on Relationship™. #RonR has evolved to a concept I believe is the cornerstone for how I’ve been able to build an engaged multi-million member database and community.

I served as the Chief Marketing Officer for e.l.f. Cosmetics between 2008 and 2010, and Chief Social Marketing Officer at OpenSky until the end of April 2011. i also became Chief Social Marketing Officer for Collective Bias in May 2011 (and joined the Advisory Board in January 2011) during which time I met John Andrews through the blogging community when he was leading Emerging Media at Walmart. I left my position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias on August 31, 2013 but remained a principal shareholder until the November 2016 acquisition by Inmar. I’ve become somewhat known for my active use of Twitter where I have accumulated more than 1,000,000 followers throughout his network… all with deep engagement and interaction. I’m humbled to be the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine and one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, as well as #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers. ROR is the basis of my core philosophy… It’s All About Relationships!

I’ve published several books including: Return on Relationship which was released in January 2013, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally which was released January 2015, and The Age of Influence… Selling to the Digitally Connected Customer, released most recently in 2017.

I’m currently writing my latest book, along with business partner and retail thought leader John Andrews titled Retail Relevancy.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)?

2018 needs to be the year of doing what I call “looking people in the eye digitally.” The last few decades of marketing tactics have made us lazy communicators. Most often, we don’t even pay attention to who we are talking to other than via the data we collect (and even that’s a maybe). In order to fix this and really start to benefit from social relationships (both as individuals and as companies), we need to start “looking people in the eye digitally.” We don’t need to fit our world to digital, we need to fit digital to our world.

twitter “We don’t need to fit our world to digital, we need to fit #digital to our world,” says @TedRubin        CLICK TO TWEET

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today?

Overcoming the fear of empowering their employees and truly embracing user-generated content.

How can they overcome this challenge?

You got me… most just want to do their job, not rock the boat, and go home at 5pm.

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be?

Think more like a consumer… put your consumer hat on when making the most critical marketing decisions.


“If I could tell all marketers just one thing, it would be this: think more like a consumer… put your consumer hat on when making the most critical marketing decisions.”

twitter “Think more like a consumer… put your consumer hat on when making critical #marketing decisions,” says @TedRubin              CLICK TO TWEET

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role?

Well, if the programatic and bot folks have their way… eliminate them.

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers?

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand by Ed Catmull

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to marketers?

It’s time to stop making excuses, and start bringing in-person social skills to the digital world. All of the positive benefits are out there waiting, and it’s up to us to make the effort to realize them. Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.

Connect with Ted at TedRubin.com or @TedRubin.

Ted Rubin

Big thanks to Ted for joining us and sharing what he wants marketers to know. We’ll also be publishing Ted’s Marketer + Machine podcast interview in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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