Why relationship is the new currency for marketing

Popular global CMO, Ted Rubin, outlines the 'return on relationship' marketers need to achieve in the the age of social media and digital interaction during ADMA Global Forum

Relationship is the new currency for marketers looking to build success in an age where consumers control the brand, according to one of the world’s most followed CMOs, Ted Rubin.

Speaking at the recent Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) Global Forum in Sydney, the chief social marketing officer at Collective Bias said marketers today must “stop being lazy” and relying on annual marketing cycles, and instead build dynamic, ongoing relationships with consumers based on authenticity and trust.

“Relationships have always been at the heart of our business, but what’s different today is that you can scale these relationships from your bedroom thanks to social media platforms and digital communication,” Rubin told the audience.

One big mistake marketers make is to view social media followers as an audience. For Rubin, every follower is an asset that needs to be nurtured, and a relationship that must continually evolve.

Video: ADMA Global Forum 2013 round-up

“As marketers, we are used to broadcasting and speaking in one direction, and we have a real fear of communication,” he said. In addition, marketers continue to do what they did last year, rather than embrace new ways of connection and experiment, he claimed. “If you don’t change your framework, the future will be very difficult. We have to do things very differently. We don’t control our brands anymore; consumers do.”

Rubin advocated reaching out to people on social channels one by one, and calling them by name.

“Communicate with those that want to communicate with you individually and allow them to share that communication,” he explained. “I engage with those that want to engage with me and let the rest participate vicariously. I want the listeners - they are the people hearing what I want to say.

“Most people on social platforms are not participating. Twitter is actually the third-largest search engine in the world behind YouTube and Google, because people are going there for information. I want those people to pay attention.

“What we have to realise is the social platforms are facilitators of our relationships, not the relationship itself.”

For Rubin, social media drives engagement, engagement drives loyalty and loyalty drives incremental sales. He coined this approach ‘return on relationship’ (ROR).

To build relationships, the first and most important step is trust, Rubin said. This wasn’t achievable before the introduction of social platforms that gave us the ability to reach more people immediately, he claimed.

“If you focus on interaction, consistency, being true to your word, authenticity and being genuine, it will pay off,” he said. “You have to figure out a way to tap into those moments in time where we can connect with consumers.”

Rubin also advised marketers to focus on reputation, not ranking. “A brand is about what you do, reputation is what you remember,” he said.

“Think connection, not network. A network is a series of nodes – you’re down at one end, connected to one person but not connected to the people on top. You want to build communities for your companies.”

Rubin’s steps towards building better marketing relationships

  • Start by listening. Read what people are writing, look at the people who like your Facebook page and go to their pages to find out more. CEOs and CMOs also need to get on platforms and experience them. “You have to understand them for this to work,” Rubin said.

  • Make it about them. You have to learn who they are and know the people in your audience. “Don’t assume you know all about the passions of your consumers,” he added.

  • Ask ‘how can I serve you?' For Rubin, it’s about tapping into the traditional ‘small establishment mindset’ where you get to know people one by one. “Relationships are like muscle tissue; the more you engage them, the stronger and more valuable they become,” he claimed.

  • Aim for ongoing engagement; don’t just focus on who ‘likes’ you then walk away. “Starting a conversation on social and then just walking away when someone else comes along is like hanging up in the middle of the phone conversation,” he said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Are you sure they wont start a platform that the cheese is white, pretty sure that is racist

Hite

New brand name for Coon Cheese revealed

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in