In this series of articles we go backstage with a marketing rockstar. We sit at their feet while they share with us what made them rockstars, what excites them and what we might learn on our journey to marketing rockstardom.

How do we define a rockstar? Well, being the most followed CMO on Twitter is a pretty good start. Ted Rubin fulfils the industry rockstar brief, 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. This guy tops the charts… 

Hello Ted!

What would be top of your rider for your next marketing gig? 

Continue doing what I do. Writing, MC/keynoting and advising. Basically speaking my mind in whatever way suits me, and leaving the political bullshit to those who care. 

What or who are your marketing influencers? 

Seth Godin who I worked for 1997-98 taught me about ‘permission’ and ‘ideas’. 

Dale Carnegie… the best social media ever written was written in 1936 and is more relevant today than the day it was written: How to Win Friends and Influence People

If I was Spotify, what would I play for you first thing Monday morning to get you going?

James Taylor, ‘Shower the People’. It inspires me. 

The curtain pulls back, you step out on the stage of your new marketing gig – what do you open with? 

‘Return on Relationship’ is the key. Relationships are like muscle tissue, the more you engage them, the stronger and more valuable they become. 

The audience are dancing in the aisles, they love that track, what keeps the house jumping?

A network gives you reach, but a community gives you power. Networks connect… communities care. #NoLetUp!

You are playing a huge stadium; how do you know the audience can hear your tune? 

A brand is what a business/person does, a reputation is what people remember and share. Think Net Promoter Score… how likely is a customer, colleague, or friend likely to recommend you and/or your product? 

If there was a billboard chart for marketing trends, what would be your number 1? 


Simplicity is the new EDLP… you make her life easier and she will buy from you again, and again, and again. 

What’s the marketing song you are tired of hearing? 

Retargeting. In my eyes, for the most part, retargeting does more harm than good. Ask a room full of marketers how many like to be retargeted and no hands go up. Then ask how many retarget their customers and every hand goes up. See a disconnect there? Marketers need to put their consumer hats on more often. 

What’s got you rocking today? 

Shopping behaviour is changing from a world where consumers go to stores to get products (walking around and finding what they need) to one where products come to consumers. Stores aren’t going away tomorrow, but the fundamental role of a retailer is going to change overtime from a physical location to a service that fits the product needs of a consumer, whenever and wherever she chooses, including product discovery.

What’s more, much of a future consumer’s product needs will be anticipated and automated, moving towards a friction-free experience. The challenge for retailers and brands alike will be remaining relevant in a consumer’s mind. The combination of the decline of the store shelf coupled with the end of push advertising’s effectiveness will eliminate some brands and retailers while others will thrive like never before.

Retail relevancy will become all about simplicity. Frictionless buying is the future of retail. Figuring this out, and how to navigate the retail of the future is exciting. #RetailRelevancy

If there was a marketing hall of fame, who would you induct? 

Seth Godin, John Andrews (full disclosure, he’s my business partner), and Craig Dubitsky. 

Any final words before you drop the mike? 

Old marketing was dictation. New marketing is communication. Change from ‘Convince & Convert’ to ‘Converse & Convert’!

You can learn more about Ted and read his regular articles here.

Ready to rock?

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