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And the Innovator Award Winners Are…

One of my favorite things about Hearsay Summit each year is the Hearsay Systems Innovator Awards. Not only is it a chance to recognize and celebrate our customers – indisputable leaders across wealth management and insurance – it’s also a chance to highlight the cutting-edge work they’re doing to inspire the financial services industry as we collectively go through digital transformation.

We get dozens of Innovator Award nominees each year and selecting the winners is never an easy task. Each nominee brings passion and drive to their work. The companies and leaders that stand out are the clear change-makers, setting the pace for their peers. Winners are those who have made significant process transforming the advisor/agent-client experience with a combination of innovation, creativity and execution. They have shown compelling progress harnessing the power of digital and social technology to implement cutting-edge best practices that drive real change within their organizations.

This year’s winners, selected by a panel of industry peers and leaders, were honored today on the Summit main stage, in San Francisco. The 2019 Hearsay Innovator Awards recipients are as follows:

Home Office Categories

Transforming the Enterprise

Winners: Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye, Ashley Mortimer – American Family Insurance

Josh Feyen accepting the Innovator award for the American Family team.

The American Family Insurance social and digital marketing team have a singular focus on increasing agent adoption. Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye and Ashley Mortimer dedicate their time to identifying new ways to engage and support their field. Their innovative digital maturity model, Crawl, Walk, Run and Fly, pioneered in 2010, challenges agents to grow their digital presence, spotlighting those who have been successful in key tracked performance areas.
“Josh Feyen, Jeff Frye and Ashley Mortimer are the backbone to the success of the American Family Field Digital program. Their well rounded and cohesive approach in implementing Hearsay Social, Sites and Relate provide the strong foundation needed to explore new use cases adding to their already transformational program,” said Steve Scanlon, at American Family Mutual Insurance Company.
Look for a blog post next week discussing AmFam’s Blueprint for a Successful Agent Digital Maturity Model (aka the Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly program).

Best Strategies for Driving Adoption

Winners: Stacey King, Sean Carey, Katie Leimkuehler, Katie Pfledderer, Jake Thompson, Nia Copeland – Charles Schwab

Two members of the Schwab SNAP team accepting the award.

Under the watch of the Schwab team, social media adoption has soared. In the past year alone, they grew the number of social post engagements by 333%, increased overall program adoption by 104%, and grew the number of Hearsay “power users” by 67%. In addition, the network size of participants grew from 55,393 at the start of 2017 to 758,796 at the end of 2018. Participants shared nearly 150,000 posts from the Hearsay library in 2018.

“It was only in November of 2016 when Schwab broadened a social media program that allowed more employees to participate in firm–sponsored social media usage and since then the Social Networking and Activation Program (SNAP) team has demonstrated a number of successes,” Amy Heiss, Marketing VP: Social Networking and Activation at Charles Schwab.

Greatest Productivity Gains

Winner: Joanne Koenig, RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

Joanne Koenig accepts her award.

Joanne Koenig, Social Media Program Lead for RBC Wealth Management, has been the force behind the growth of their social media program since it launched in 2014.
“Joanne has been an innovator in the industry being one of the first to launch specific new tools for our advisors, implementing a benchmarking model, and improving our advisors’ social media effectiveness by leveraging some of Hearsay’s prominent features,” said Jen Zimmerman, Field Marketing Digital Channels Manager at RBC Wealth Management – U.S.. “Thanks to Joanne’s efforts, we are seeing real results with our Hearsay program, including one advisor who recently brought in a $10 million account through social media.”

Agent and Advisor

Top Digital Performer

Winner: Renee Corwin-Rey, Farmer’s Insurance

Renee Corwin-Rey accepts her award.

Renee Corwin-Rey, owner of Corwin-Rey Insurance Agency based in Centralia, Washington, has been a Farmer’s Insurance agent for over 15 years. These days, she is taking a more data-driven approach with metrics and can confidently say that 75% of her agency’s new business has found them because of their digital presence.

“Social media has changed the way I work and communicate. Be it by phone, email, texting, social media – my team has to be present everywhere. Social media has also helped with our retention of long-term customers,” said Renee Corwin-Rey. “Even when customers are shopping for value only, they love having a connection with someone via social media. They like to be a part of our lives, and we like to be part of their lives.”

You can learn more about the secrets of these winners in blog posts past and present. Read about the secrets of Renee Corwin-Rey’s success here and stay tuned for blog posts in the weeks to come about the American Family Insurance team’s digital maturity model, the Charles Schwab team and RBC’s social media efforts.