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#HSonAir Podcast: Summer Jam 2016

Untitled design (3)In Episode 83, we take a short summer break in our schedule to reflect on the first half of the year and our content contributions and industry conference participation during the the 1st and 2nd Quarter.  We also explore some of the upcoming events in the 3rd quarter with a specific emphasis on our participation at the LIMRA/LOMA Social Business Conference for Financial Services (#LLSBC) taking place in Boston on August 17-19th, that will include a recording of Hearsay Social On the Air in front of a live audience.  We hope you are all enjoying your summer and look forward to providing new programming soon.
Be part of the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @alissadossantos on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an  e-mail to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com.   We also invite you to “like” our podcast page on Facebook where we share posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.
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#HSonAir Podcast: An Interview with Mike Byrnes of Byrnes Consulting

mikebyrnesIn Episode 77, Mike Byrnes (@byrnesconsultin), National Speaker, Founder and President of Byrnes Consulting, joins us to talk about the state of digital technology in Financial Services including our review of the recent SIFMA Social Media Summit in San Francisco.
With over 25 years’ of industry experience, Mike specializes in helping companies with business planning, marketing strategy and business development including PR, social media, event planning and  marketing.  Mike also give presentations, workshops, webinars and 1-on-1 consultations to advisors across the country and industry events.  We hope you enjoy this informative conversation.
We invite you to be part of the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @alissadossantos on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an  e-mail to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com.   We also invite you to “like” our podcast page on Facebook where we share posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.

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#HSonAir Podcast: Highlights from the Grace Hopper Celebration with Joyce Jang and Kristin Thompson

IMG_9573In Episode 65, Joyce Jang (@_joycejang) and Kristin Thompson (@kmthompson) of our Engineering team, share the highlights and key takeaways from the Grace Hopper Celebration (#GHC15) that drew over 12,000 attendees this year. The podcast builds on their recent blog post Women In Tech: The Power of Support, Resilience, and Celebrating Our Successes” and explores the themes of: diversity, negotiations, the power of personal branding, and the importance of empowering women to support each other and celebrate successes. We hope you enjoy this engaging conversation!
We invite you to be part of the conversation with @victorgaxiola on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com. We also invite you to “like” our  page on Facebook where we share posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.

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The Rise of Social Recruitment, Early Adoption, and Other Insights from LIMRA's 2015 Social Media Conference

IMG_8578Last year, when Stephen Selby, Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Services for LIMRA, announced that the LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference for Financial Services (#LLSMC) was coming to San Francisco, no one was more excited about the news than I was. You could hear the enthusiasm in what at the time was only our third Hearsay Social On the Air podcast.  
As many of you know, Hearsay Social is based in San Francisco, and having the conference in our hometown was going to provide us an opportunity to show off our beloved city to all the social professionals in attendance and “paint the town red.” Our keycard photo competition was built to get people out of the hotel, explore our city and have some fun at the same time. 
I’ve been lucky to attend #LLSMC for the past four years in a row, providing me an opportunity to observe just how far the financial services industry has evolved in a very short amount of time. Changing consumer expectations and the growth of the internet of things has certainly forced this industry to adapt. Well, I am happy to report that the financial services industry is not only evolving, it is thriving. I hope my ongoing optimism isn’t clouding my objectivity.
As you can imagine, wrapping up three days of conference activity isn’t easy, so after careful reflection, here are my four key takeaways from this year’s conference:

1. Social recruitment is on the rise

A new and welcomed addition to the conference was a Hackathon session on day one that was led by Greg Bailey (@gbaileyco), Partner at Insure.VC. and known industry veteran. Greg rarely needs an introduction amongst these circles and we had the privilege of interviewing him on or podcast a few months ago about his latest venture. Popular in these parts, hackathons are created for educational or social purposes to encourage and create new ideas and actionable solutions. In our case, we were asked to focus first on some of the biggest problems facing the financial services industry and then make recommendations on how to solve them. The key takeaway from the assembled group? We need to do more to recruit and retain talent, and social networking and digital technology should be part of the solution.

This is not the first time this has come up. As a facilitator of multiple customer roundtable events, and as a participant at industry conferences, this has become a recurring theme. However, the appetite to leverage social media as a solution to address this challenge has been gaining ground. I anticipate that as more and more distributed teams have access to social to manage relationships and connections with clients and prospects, the next stage of development will be to use social as a way to recruit and retain talent.

2. Early adopters of social media moving ahead of the competition

It has been nearly five years since FINRA released its guidance on the use of social media by the financial services industry. Organizations that mobilized a social strategy and implemented a solution shortly thereafter are now leading the industry and charging ahead. It’s as if all of us were at the same starting gate of a long race five years ago and today it’s become much easier to identify which organizations are pulling ahead and lapping the competition. I attended two sessions that illustrated the evolving growth of social, the first was a fireside chat between Corina Roy (@corinaroy), Assistant Vice President, Digital and Customer Experience at MassMutual and Abhay Rajaram, VP of Customer Success at Hearsay Social.   The other was a session facilitated by New York Life by Phyllis Tozzi (@phyllistozzi), Corporate VP, Social Media Marketing, Aaron Brickman (@aaron_MMA) and Louis Cardello (@louiswcardello), both Senior Associates, Social Media Marketing. In both sessions the keys to success and their social evolution closely matched the key findings from our own Social Business Maturity Model released last week, namely that organizations that succeed and progress in their maturity typically have a collaborative team to move the social project forward, and the support and buy-in from and senior leadership. There are many other factors that contributed to the evolution of the programs at Mass Mutual and New York Life including the need for constant evaluation and training, course corrections based on feedback, and ongoing communications across all levels of management from the home office to the field and back. What both of these organizations illustrated was that the entire endeavor is a process that will take time and some occasional set backs for it to grow and mature.

3. Want to win? Fight for attention with creativity and authenticity

IMG_8589One of the advantages of attending a conference like this one is the opportunity to hear from outstanding speakers, and this year was no exception. We heard from the likes of Chris Brogan, Clara Shih, Scott Klososky, Debra Jasper, Betsy Hubbard and Julian Aldridge, and many others. The overlying theme of all the presentations was that today’s consumer expects more, and that earning their attention is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. A challenge that is being met by creativity, and then supported via an authentic voice. People want realness. People want to feel that you care. It reminds me of something we used to say when I worked as a financial advisor, “people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” Let that sink in.
At no time was this more evident than during the announcing of the annual Silver Bowl Awards.  As a judge for the second year in a row, I got to review multiple entries across categories and was impressed by the level of creativity and thought that went into the development of multiple campaigns. Even more impressive was how much of the work was driven internally and developed organically without the use of an agency.  
If you’d like to win the award next year, my suggestions is that you get creative and stay authentic. It’s a formula that works and apparently wins awards.

4. Although still an important and critical component of social business, compliance is no longer the main focus

IMG_8602This last observation did not come to me until well after the conclusion of the conference as I was reflecting. Almost as an afterthought, I realized how little talk there was around compliance. I assure you that this was not the case just a few years ago when it seemed it was the only focus. Mind you, this is not to say that compliance doesn’t matter anymore, it does, it’s just not the main conversation anymore. In my opinion, this is a very positive sign that the industry has evolved and we are much further along in embracing social as a business tool embedded in the DNA of our marketing and sales process.
Addressing compliance concerns will continue to be a pre-requisite to any social program, and our continued participation at FINRA events and relationships with the regulatory bodies will ensure we are abreast of how their decisions and guidance affects our customers and their business.
In conclusion, the industry continues to move forward and we are seeing some encouraging and creative approaches that businesses are taking to further their evolution to connect with clients, prospects and recruit new talent.  Knowing that it would be a challenge to encapsulate three days worth of a conference material in a blog post, we released an entire podcast (see below) devoted to exploring the themes of the conference. I encourage you to not only listen to it, but to also be a part of the conversation by sending us your questions, comments and suggestions to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com or via Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.
If you attended the conference in person, or followed along on the conference hashtag #LLSMC, what did you think?  I’d love to hear from you.

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#HSonAir Podcast: 7 Key Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit

IMG_7728In episode 46 we invite Sanjiv Baxi (@sanjivbaxi), Manager of Strategic Alliances to talk about the seven key takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (#DMFSToronto) in Toronto. In our discussion we explore how consumer driven expectations for simplicity are changing the financial services experience, and the impact on mobile, social and digital tools.
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @elizelig on Twiter using hashtag #HSonAir. If you have a question, comment or suggestion please send us an e-mail to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com.  Like our NEW page on Facebook and follow the progress of our good friend Ronny Kerr or follow on Twitter using hashtag #RonnyWalk
Thanks for listening!

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#HSonAir Podcast: On the Road Again

ontheroadIn episode 34 we discuss the themes of my recent road trip that included panel participation at the Mutual Fund Marketing and Sales Summit in Boston, a visit to Zappos.com in Las Vegas, and the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar in Phoenix.   We also provide an update on the whereabouts of our old friend @RonnyKerr as he continues on his #RonnyWalk across America
For more details on the Mary Jo White comments at the SIFMA event, check out this piece by ThinkAdvisor and this one by Investment News (may require registration). To download The Advisor of the Future Executive Report- Click Here
Be part of the conversation on Twitter with @VictorGaxiola and @EliZelig using hashtag #HSonAir. You can also ask a question, make a suggestion or comment via e-mail at OnAir@HearsayCorp.com or LIKE our NEW page on Facebook.

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Embracing and Applying New Digital Tech Emerges as Top Theme at 2015 LIMRA Distribution Conference

At the LIMRA Distribution Conference for Financial Services last week, technology took center stage and book-ended the 2-½ day conference.  Kicking off the conference, James W. Kerley, Chief Membership Officer of LIMRA and LOMA, focused heavily on technology and challenged distribution leaders to embrace social media and digital technology to enable producers to excel in today’s digital world. Jim echoed thoughts he shared at the 2014 conference: sales is changing, and it’s changing faster than ever before. “To be a leader in the digital age,” Jim said, “you must be a digital savvy leader.”


Jim set two key takeaways for the conference attendees:

  1. The need for growth.
  2. The requirement to not only “Think Differently” but to “Act Differently”


The Future of Client Acquisition
The first outside speaker was Greg Bailey, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Athene USA, who covered The Future of Client Acquisition. It seems notable to have a marketing leader on the main stage at a distribution-focused conference, something I imagine that would have been much less likely a decade or more ago when customers where less influenced by digital channels throughout the buying process.


According to Greg, the future growth of this industry relies on a new and innovative approach to distribution. Greg shared, “4 opportunities to shape the future of customer acquisition and realize your potential”: 1. Mobile Technology, 2. Social Technology, 3. Big Data, and 4. Wearable Technology.
Here’s his recap via Twitter:


Finding, Keeping and Managing Clients: How Technology is Changing the Business of Sales


Another technology-focused session was the closing panel moderated by Knut Olson, SVP of Mission Advancement for Thrivent Financial. Knut is so passionate about technology-enabled distribution teams that he said he believes good distribution leaders should act essentially as CTOs.  For this reason, it makes sense that he brought together Michael Lock, President & COO, Hearsay Social with Jaymie Brill who leads Financial Services, for LinkedIn Sales Solutions and Simon Mulcahy who leads Financial Services for Salesforce.  In leading the discussion, Knut shared his the “dream” of a completely integrated content strategy, to empower distribution at Thrivent Financial.


Much of the discussion on the panel was around how technologies like Hearsay Social, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Salesforce will continue to evolve, and work together for a seamless customer experience.


Evidence that Distribution Leaders are Embracing Change
This was the third LIMRA Distribution conference that I have attended, and it has been amazing to witness the changing conversation.  Just a few years ago, there was still a focus on “proving ROI” for social and digital initiatives in distribution for financial services.  The focus on technology and evolution at the 2015 conference shows how the industry and its sales leaders recognize that the time to change is now. And, embracing and applying technology is critical for advisors and agents to reach today’s and tomorrow’s customer.
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Highlights from the SIFMA Social Media Seminar and LIMRA Distribution Conference (Podcast)

IMG_6785In episode 31 we review the highlights from the SIFMA Social Media Seminar in San Francisco (#SIFMASocial) and the LIMRA Distribution Conference (#DistConf) that took place in Orlando, FL.  Nicole Johnson (@nicjohnmedia), Yasmin Zarabi (@yasminzarabi), and Meagan Hency (@mherf), join Victor Gaxiola (@VictorGaxiola) to talk about the key themes from the two events and explore how much has changed in social media adoption and digital transformation.
Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir. We also invite you to ask questions, make comments and suggestions on line or by sending an email to OnAir@HearsayCorp.com
Want to connect in person? Visit our events page on our website, or check out this list of events in the 1st Quarter where our team will be presenting or participating.

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Powerful women in the boardroom: Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih and other leaders speak at Fortune's inaugural Next Gen conference

What an an honor it was seeing our CEO Clara Shih take the stage at this week’s inaugural Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference, a meeting of esteemed women leaders across business, government, the arts and other sectors.

Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih at Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit Next Gen
From left to right: Fortune Senior Editor at Large Pattie Sellers, former Microsoft executive Gerri Elliott, Flickr founder Caterina Fake and Hearsay Social CEO and founder Clara Shih.

In a unique session focused on women board members, Pattie Sellers (Senior Editor at Large at Fortune and Co-founder of Fortune MPW, @pattiesellers) spoke with Gerri Elliott (board member of Whirlpool, Bed Bath and Beyond and Charlotte Russe, @gerri_elliott), Caterina Fake (Chairman of the Board of Etsy and board director of Creative Commons, @Caterina), and Clara Shih (board member of Starbucks and Hearsay Social, @clarashih).

Each shared her unique journey to the boardroom and the individual challenges they had to overcome to get there. Of course, earning a seat in the boardroom is not the end of the journey–it’s the beginning.

To hear unique insights from Gerri, Caterina, and Clara, watch a video of the session and see some tweets below, and then check out Fortune’s piece on How to land a coveted corporate board seat.


https://twitter.com/ShaleneGupta/status/540201496957448192
https://twitter.com/ShaleneGupta/status/540200723636445184


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#HSonAir Employee Spotlight Series: Interview with Meagan Herfkens Hency of Hearsay Social

meagan herfkens hencyIn lucky episode 13 of Hearsay Social On the Air we continue our employee spotlight series by introducing Meagan Herfkens Hency (Director of Product Marketing, @mherf) to discuss how we position Hearsay Social products and services in the market to connect with new customers and to enrich the relationships with our existing clients.
We also discuss our participation in industry events with a review of the SIFMA Social Conference in New York City. Listen to the podcast below and don’t forget to join @VictorGaxiola and @ronnykerr on Twitter to be a part of the conversation using hashtag #HSonAir!
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