Last year I embarked on a journey with my friend and co-author Kathryn Rose to put into words what Return on Relationship really means. And after months of hard work, I’m very excited that our new book, Return on Relationship: Relationships are the New Currency; Honor Them, Invest in Them, and Start Measuring Your ROR has finally come to fruition, and will be launched January 29th!

Now, you’ve heard me talking about ROR for years, but this is the first time that the concept has been thoroughly discussed from more than just my point of view. Kathryn brings a fresh, practical perspective, and together we explore the depth and breadth of relationship building for businesses.

Why is ROR important, and why now?

Over the past few decades the lure of mass media changed the way we ran our businesses. Getting in front of thousands or millions of people made us a bit lazy—especially if we could hand our marketing to an agency and have them “run with it.” But times have changed. The social media revolution turned the “Mad Men marketing mentality” on its head. People got sick of ads, sick of being “sold” at every opportunity, and sick of not getting personal attention and service. The advent of social media put the customer in the brand perception driver’s seat, and is forcing us as brands to pay attention. We can no longer afford to “hand off” our marketing efforts to someone else, or think purely in terms of ROI.

In fact, Chapter Six of our book is entitled “Get Over Yourself,” and is one of my favorites, because it’s where we discuss ways to put aside some things that aren’t working and conquer our biggest business fears in order to move forward. Many companies cling to the old ways of doing things and let those “what ifs” hold them back in social channels (What if they criticize us? What if it opens a can of worms?).  Figuring out how to build relationships using new media can seem complex, but we have to “get over ourselves” and learn to respect and honor our customers and cherish them by listening and finding ways to add value to their lives.

Luckily, today’s new media offers us a chance to get back to those basics and actually talk to people, ask questions and find out what it is they’re really looking for! Humans build relationships and bonds the same way they always did—through communication. Each of us starts out in life exactly the same way, and each of us craves that human communication experience. You’ve heard me talk about the things I’ve learned from watching my children interact with each other and with other kids—and how that’s made a profound impact on my life and how I view relationships in general. Kathryn recently posted an article about learning from kids too. In our book we teach you how to use some of those same observations in your business.

Are relationships really the “new currency?”

In a word, yes. However, people have been trying to apply traditional ROI formulas to social channels without success. In our book we show you how to connect the dots from ROR to ROI, assign the right metrics to the right media and take a blended approach to measurement that’s flexible.  After all, social is still changing and maturing, and the platforms that are here today may disappear tomorrow for the next set of tools. However, we’ll still be successful if we keep our eye on the prize of building those relationships no matter what new communication tools and mediums come down the pike.

Kathryn and I developed Return on Relationship as a way to help you stay focused on what’s important. We hope that the observations and experiences outlined in the book will help you develop and nurture not only customer relationships, but also those with your peers, partners and employees. Yes, relationships ARE the new currency, so it’s time to honor them, invest in them and start measuring ROR. Find out more and read some of the reviews coming in for Return on Relationship, and tell us what you think!

Order the book from Amazon here: Thank you!

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