On Return on Relationship by Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose

ror-book-coverI have known Ted for years and when I completed reading his new book, it was clear to me that nobody else could have written this book other than Ted. Ted lives the ideas that he and his co-author teach in the book.

I don’t know Kathryn personally but have heard great things about her from Ted.

I asked Ted a few questions surrounding the topic in this quick interview

RS: Ted, let’s get to the bottom – what is the ONE takeaway that you want for people from this book? Why?

TR: ROI is simple dollars and cents, ROR is about people. So here’s your new 4-word mktg strategy for 2013: Guess Less, Ask More… and always start with “How can I serve you?”

RS: What are three things that anyone can do to super charge ROR?


1. Don’t just Listen, but Hear.

Thanks to social media, brands can gather vast amounts of valuable information about consumer preferences… but to build relationships you need to go well beyond data gathering and actually hear, and react to what your consumers are sharing. True listening requires a willingness to place consumers’ opinions above the brand’s own (usually biased) view of itself, and to even make product/service changes based on that feedback.

2. Integrate Customer Service with your social presence.

Use social media for instant and ongoing engagement with your customers. Pay attention to them and address their needs early, often and publicly. Make sure your social team and customer service team are on the same page and communicate regularly and easily.

3. Focus on the relationship before the sale.

When a brand adopts the marketing philosophy that it is all about relationships, they automatically begin paying more attention to the consumer needs and preferences to learn who the consumers really are. Consumers who feel valued by a brand will in turn assign value to the brand by buying the product/service and passing recommendations on to their networks. The sale then becomes a natural part of the ROR instead of a “hard sell” effort.

RS: What are three things to avoid when building long-term relationships?


1. Simply clicking a button and assuming that a friendship has been born.

2. Stop communicating in the middle of a conversation. Just because it is a social platform doesn’t mean it’s ok to simply walk away and not finish.

3. Using social platforms as broadcast mediums and “not being social.”

RS: Tell me a little about Collective Bias.

TR: We are a social shopper media company that weaves organic social content into engaging, real-life stories to create millions of impressions leading to increased share of voice, SEO, and ultimately sales for brands and retailers. Through Social Fabric®, our proprietary community consisting of approximately 1,500 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multichannel reach in excess of 50 million, we connect shoppers with the brands and retailers shoppers use in their daily lives to drive conversations on a wide variety of social media platforms. Their stories build consumer engagement and brand loyalty, ultimately leading to sales conversion.

RS: What are two things you think most important about this new paradigm with regard to the scaling of relationships?


First: Welcome to the ‘Age of Influence,’ where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference.

Second: Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.

About the Authors:

Ted Rubin is the Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias a Social Shopper Media Company that drives retail sales through the coordinated creation of social media stories. He is a leading social marketing strategist and in March 2009 started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship™.

Kathryn Rose is an award-winning, best-selling author, speaker and social media strategist and trainer with clients ranging from multi-million dollar corporations, to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Kathryn has a 20+ year career in sales and marketing that includes successful track record of using a collaborative mindset to increase sales.