I’ve been working in digital marketing since 1997, and each year I believe more strongly in the power of relationships for effectively connecting brands with consumers.  Back then, I never could have imagined the incredible connection-building possibilities provided by social media, but I am enjoying witnessing the world-wide adoption of social media as a viable business tool!  There’s no place I’d rather be than in the middle of this shift, and am pleased to have the opportunity to share my expertise with and learn from the team at Collective Bias as their Chief Social Marketing Officer. This is very exciting and something John Andrews, Founder and CEO of Collective Bias, and I have talked about for a long time.

I love the blogging community because when it comes down to it, they genuinely want to share useful information, and to connect people to information and products.  That really hit home for me when I wasCMO of e.l.f. Cosmetics (Eyes Lips Face) from 2008-2010. I pioneered a program to develop and utilize blogger relationships to exponentially increase and sustain the e.l.f. brand visibility, and because of the blogger energy, talent, and networks, the program at e.l.f. brand evolved and succeeded with a unique approach toward not just beauty, but also accessibilityinteractivity and consumer engagement.  At that time, the jury was still out on the business value of social media, but the success of this program confirmed for e.l.f. (and other previously skeptical businesses), that building relationships with consumers not only enhances the long-term viability of the brand, but has a direct short-term effect on the bottom line.

This whole experience formed my ROR (Return on Relationships) philosophy – that… It’s All About Relationships, and the key to continued success for any brand/retailer/etailer is building relationships and identifying with the customer. We MUST listen to our consumers and be willing to adjust our message, approach, and product to keep it relevant.  Really, without relevance, no amount of information or attempts at connecting with our consumers will do any good!  It takes time and effort (believe me, with 50,000+ Twitter followers and over 2,200 Facebook friends, I know!), but the short- and long-term ROR are worth it!

After my time at e.l.f., I continued to nurture and build my blogger/influencer network through OpenSky, first on their Board of Advisors, then as their Chief Social Marketing Officer.  With the recent shift in theOpenSky business model, which is no longer in line with my personal brand, I am now stepping into a deeper alliance with Collective Bias to build relationships and work more closely with the blogging community, continuing to add value to what bloggers have to offer retailers and brands – and vice versa. I have put a lot of time and effort into building a strong network of REAL relationships and genuinely want to connect influencers, and their incredibly valuable insights, with retailers and brands in low-cost, high return initiatives. I am excited to join John Andrews, Founder and CEO of Collective Bias, after working closely with him for two years since meeting through the blogging community and joining the Collective Bias Board of Advisors a few months ago.

“Ted wrote the handbook for the socially built brand (with e.l.f) and is the prototype for the social CMO. He is the perfect complement for bridging Collective Bias’ Social Fabric community with our retail and brand relationships,” commented John.

Collective Bias also has a new division underway, that I will be co-founding, which will complement and enhance the existing divisions focusing on interaction, engagement and ROR, while utilizing the unique power of Social Fabric in new and innovative ways.  Stay tuned for more!

Originally posted at Collective Bias

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