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#HSonAir Podcast: Reflections and Resolutions

shutterstock_377448043As 2016 comes to a close, we reflect on the themes and activities of the year as well as the special guests we’ve had on #HSonAir. 2016 was a tumultuous year with a divisive presidential election, the deaths of notable entertainment and political figures, and the uncertainty of the DOL fiduciary rule that’s expected to be enforced in 2017.
At Hearsay, we continued our focus on modernizing the social and digital experience for our customers and supporting the rise of the omnichannel advisor. We also expanded the conversation on the changing landscape of our industry at our annual Innovation Summit, as well as industry conferences and our regional customer roundtables.
We’d like to thank all of our guests on the show, especially our customers who joined us to share their insights and experiences as well as the many thought leaders and pioneers that are making our industry better each day. I would also like to thank our employees for not only sharing their talents to improve our products and services, but for the ongoing support of the show with the many “asks” that I make throughout the year.
Finally, I’d like to thank you, our listeners, for lending us your ears and taking the time to share the show with others. We wish you all a very happy new year and, as always, invite you to be part of the conversation with us on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an email to We also invite you to “like” our podcast page on Facebook, where we share posts about the podcast, our guests and other fun stuff.


#HSonAir Podcast: Customer Spotlight Series- An Interview with Eric Buchegger of Allstate Canada

DSC_0036-300x197In Episode 86, Eric Buchegger (@ericbuchegger), Digital and Social Media Manager at Allstate Canada joins us to share how they’ve developed and grown their social and digital program for their agents in Canada.  
Driven by agent demand, and the need to remain competitive, Allstate Canada empowers its agents with quality content weekly to position them as trusted advisors with their customers.  In addition, locally sourced content helps agents develop their following in the local communities they serve. As a result the growth of the program has led to positive results and has helped increase advocacy for the social program within Allstate Canada to the point that agents are now on a wait list to get online, and get social.
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   We also invite you to “like” our podcast page on Facebook where we share posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.

#HSonAir Podcast: Interview with Dave Halligan of SalesFocus Solutions

Dave Halligan PhotoIn Episode 67, I interview Dave Halligan, Director, Sales and Account Management at SalesFocus Solutions. I had the good fortune of meeting Dave at an industry conference in Washington D.C earlier this year, and then was invited to present at their customer event in Las Vegas this September. In our interview we talk about MARS, their all-in-one sales and marketing platform for Asset Management firms, Banks, and Insurance Companies, as well as the importance of leveraging technology to be more efficient and productive in financial services.
We invite you to be part of the conversation with @victorgaxiola on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir, and “like” our page on FacebookIf you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to   

#HSonAir Podcast: Introducing Hearsay Messages


In Episode 66, Mark Gilbert (
@markegilbert), VP of Product and Yasmin Zarabi (@yasminzarabi), VP of Legal/Compliance, join me to talk about the release of Hearsay Messages the latest technology in our Predictive Omnichannel Suite. In our discussion we explore the catalyst that led to the creation of Hearsay Messages and how its rollout compliments our existing social, website and email offerings. 
To learn more about Hearsay Messages, check our our latest blog post by Clara Shih (@clarashih) and the press release announcing the launch. You can also learn about all Hearsay Social products and services on our website.
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola on Twitter using hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to   We also invite you to “like” our  page on Facebook where we’ll be posting photos and posts about the podcast, our guests, and other fun stuff.


#HSonAir Podcast- Interview with Terry Golesworthy of the Customer Respect Group

terry400x400The financial services industry is in a constant state of flux, and in Episode 61 we interview Terry Golesworthy (@TerryCRG) President of the Customer Respect Group to get his thoughts on the changing landscape of digital technology and social media in the insurance space and how his organization has been a trusted source for benchmark data and online strategy advice since 2003.  
In our interview we also explore the evolution of social adoption, including the influence of competition both within the industry and outside the industry as well as highlight one of the best industry resources: Social Eyes.  Launched in 2011 in response to the demand for objective data and analysis, Social Eyes is a special newsletter/guide produced by the Customer Respect Group that provides insight on the “Insurer’s View of Social Media”, and an invaluable resource for industry insiders. To learn more about the Customer Respect Group and Social Eyes visit their website at
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @elizelig on Twitter, use hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to  
Remember to “like” our  page on Facebook and find out more about the long westward journey of our good friend Ronny Kerr on Twitter using hashtag #RonnyWalk

#HSonAir Podcast- Employee Spotlight Series: Alissa Dos Santos (Marketing)

IMG_8749Reporting live from San Francisco, this is Hearsay Social On the Air!
In episode 58 we invite Alissa Dos Santos (@alissadossantos) of our Marketing team to talk about her background as a journalist and morning television reporter and how she’s transformed her storytelling skills to the her current role as a product marketing manager at Hearsay Social.
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @elizelig on Twitter, use hashtag #HSonAir. If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to
Remember to “like” our page on Facebook and continue to follow the progress of our good friend Ronny Kerr on Twitter using hashtag #RonnyWalk

#HSonAir Podcast: Customer Spotlight Series- Interview with Cori Schmid from Mutual of Omaha

cori.schmidOn the heels of the LIMRA Social Media Conference for Financial Services (#LLSMC), Cori Schmid, Social Media and Online Marketing Manager at Mutual of Omaha (@mutualofomaha), joins us in our San Francisco studio to talk about social adoption, digital trends in Financial Services, and of course one of my favorite shows- Wild Kingdom. We were thrilled to have Cori as our first customer guest to join us in our San Francisco studio for this recording.
In Episode 57 I also interview Stephanie Tsai (@stephhhtsai) of our Customer Success team. Stephanie works closely with Cori and her team at Mutual of Omaha to grow their program, establish goals, address challenges, and ensure that the program thrives.
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @elizelig on Twitter, use hashtag #HSonAir. If you have a question, comment or suggestion, or would like to be on the show, or know someone who should- please send an e-mail to
Remember to “like” our Hearsay Social On the Air page on Facebook and continue to follow the progress of our good friend Ronny Kerr on Twitter using hashtag #RonnyWalk.

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 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.


#HSonAir Podcast: Introducing the Social Business Maturity Model

Social BUsiness Maturity CurveTo promote the recent launch of our Social Business Maturity Model, Sarah Pedersen (@sarahcpedersen), Director of Customer Success – West / Asia at Hearsay Social, joins us to share how the model was created, how it works, and the key factors for success that we identified after evaluating the maturity of over 100 leading financial services and insurance firms.
In addition, for attendees of the LIMRA Social Media Conference for Financial Services (#LLSMC), we have a bonus interview with Jen Dimaculangan (@whatjeneats) of our Customer Success Team and one of our resident “foodies,”  to share her favorite places for great food, drinks, desserts and fun in San Francisco.
Join the conversation with @victorgaxiola and @elizelig on Twitter, use hashtag #HSonAir.  If you have a question, comment or suggestion, please send an e-mail to  
Remember to “like” our NEW page on Facebook and continue to follow the progress of our good friend Ronny Kerr on Twitter using hashtag #RonnyWalk


#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  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!