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Interview with Ted Rubin

by | Sep 27, 2019 | Interviews,

Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

CMO and Advisory Board of Photofy, and top influencer in Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Customer Experience.

Key Topics:Social Marketing, Content Marketing, Customer Experience, Future of Retail
Location:Pompano Beach

Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Photofy CMO, Author/Speaker/Provocateur. Ted was Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bia and a principal shareholder until the November 2016 acquisition by Inmar. In the words of Collective Bias Co-Founder, and content marketing thought-leader, John Andrews "Ted, you were the vision, heartbeat and soul of Collective Bias, thank you for building a great company. From innovations like cb.Socially to the amazing relationships you built with the blogger/ influencer community, clients and employees, you drove the epic growth." Return on Relationship, ROR, #RonR, a term Ted started using and evangelizing in March 2009, is the basis of Ted's philosophy… It’s All About Relationships!

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

My personal philosophy and a quote I do my best to live by is “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” In March 2009 I started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship™, hashtag #RonR…. a concept I believe is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database and engaged community, many of whom are vocal advocates for the brand.

I built these for e.l.f. Cosmetics as the Chief Marketing Officer between 2008 and 2010, OpenSky where I was Chief Social Marketing Officer until the end of April 2011, and for Collective Bias (whose Advisory Board I joined in January 2011) where I became Chief Social Marketing Officer, and an equity partner, May 1st 2011. I worked closely with Collective Bias since it was founded by John Andrews who I met through the blogging community when he was leading Emerging Media at Walmart. With e.l.f. Cosmetics from 2008-2010, OpenSky from 2009-2011 and Collective Bias, I became known for my active use of Twitter where I have in excess of 1,000,000 followers throughout his network, and grew 100,000+ followers for e.l.f. Twitter handles in 2009, over 200,000 for OpenSky in 2010, and well in excess of 2MM for Collective Bias in 2013… all with deep engagement and interaction.

Many people in the social media world know me for my enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. I am the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #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.

Return on Relationship, ROR, #RonR, is the basis of my philosophy… It’s All About Relationships! My book, Return on Relationship, was released January 2013, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally was released January 2015 and The Age of Influence… Selling to the Digitally Connected Customer in 2017. I am currently writing my latest book, along with business partner and Retail Thought Leader John Andrews titled Retail Relevancy.

At e.l.f., my responsibilities included communicating with and building e.l.f.’s client base (membership increased from 600k to in excess of 2.4MM during my tenure), leveraging brand equity through strategic marketing programs (with many major brands and publishers), and creating/developing/managing a major thrust into social media initiatives and partnerships and building the most highly respected social media presence in the cosmetics industry at the time. In addition, the merging of traditional PR and the ability of social media to create/spread PR opportunities was leveraged to full effect under my tenure… a first for many companies and something which many are yet to understand.

I believe the key to continued success for any brand/retailer/e-tailer is identifying with the customer. Listening is finally getting the respect it deserves through Social Media… listen and adjust your message to make it relevant to your consumer. Brand loyalty declines due to lack of relevance… a direct result of not listening. Number one is always try to understand who your customer is and pay attention. And in that vein you batter start to understand that SIMPLICITY is the new EDLP! Make it easy for them… and they will buy from you again and again and again. Frictionless fulfillment is the retail of the future. Your Brand/Business is what you do; your Reputation is what people Remember and Share.

I have a deep online background beginning in 1997 working with best selling author, entrepreneur and agent of change Seth Godin at Yoyodyne, which was acquired in Q4 1998 by Yahoo! I served as a Social Marketing and Engagement Advisor to Big Fuel Communications until they were acquired in May 2011 by Publicis Groupe, Aptaris until they were acquired by dunnhumby in May 2018, GoodXChange until they were acquired by 5th Element in June 2018, OpenSky until they were acquired by Alibaba in September 2018, and is an Advisor to Brand Innovators, Dynamic Signal, Photofy, SheSpeaks, and Spaceback.

A native New Yorker, I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics from Cornell University. I am divorced, have two daughters in Law School and Grad School at Harvard Law School and Columbia University, and I live in Pompano Beach, FL. I feel very strongly that relationships are like muscle tissue; the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become. AND that A Network gives you Reach, but a Community gives you Power! There is #NoLetUp! in life.

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about Return on Relationship, Looking People in the Eye Digitally, and that a Network gives you Reach, but a Community gives you Power. And all fold into the fact that Everyone Influences Someone and affects Customer/Personal Experience.

Which influencers influence you within those key topics?

Seth Godin, John Andrews, Scott Galloway, Adam Grant

Outside of your key topics who else influences you?

Madeleine Albright, Christiane Amanpour, Barack Obama, Nicholas Kristof

What are your passions outside of work?

My passions outside of work include the beach/ocean, boating, water skiing, snow skiing, working out, hiking, traveling, golf… basically being outdoors.

How would you describe your offline influence?

I have authored 3 books, with the 4th on the way. I MC/Hosted 50+ Brand Innovators Summits for the past 6 years, Keynote 10-12 times per year domestically and internationally. I am currently a consultant/advisor to 4 companies, do influencer work occasionally for major B2C and B2B brands, am an equity partner in a content marketing company based in Raleigh, NC, and am a frequent podcast guest.

If a brand wanted to work with you, what offline / online activities would you be most interested in?

Hosting or panel member for Webinars, and Speaking Opportunities… at conferences and internally (large and small groups).

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

Provide a quote for a piece of content or news article, participate in a podcast or webinar. Maybe Participate in online chat.

What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story?

I am active on social media every day, read extensively, and always have one news channel or another playing in the background.

What brands have you worked with?

AT&T, SAP, Progressive Insurance, Mastercard, censhare AG, Westergaard, SDL, Hertz, Body Glove, Cox, Mary Kay, Mozaic, Sbarro, IBM, Microsoft, etc.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Feel free to email, call, or text anytime… and 516-270-5511.