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Transforming customer relationships with social business: Recap from the 2014 LIMRA Social Media Conference for Financial Services

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Victor Gaxiola and Molly Degnan at the LIMRA Social Media Conference in Boston.

In its fifth year, LIMRA’s 2014 Social Media Conference for Financial Services last week provided financial services teams the strategies they need to build relationships, generate sales and recruit new producers with social media.

This year’s presenters shared more real life success stories and tangible strategies than ever before. In particular, there was a heavier focus on successful use of social media by agents and advisors in the field.

Here are the some of the key topics covered throughout the conference:

Advisor use of social media

In contrast to prior years, where it seemed the conference was primarily focused on brand or corporate use of social media, this year’s conference was much more focused on how advisors in the field successfully leverage social business practices.

MassMutual, New York Life, Sun Life Financial, Guardian Life, and other organizations shared stories of how advisors successfully leveraged social media to maintain customer relationships and grow business. Even Zuckerberg Media founder and CEO Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg), who focused on social media trends,  provided some best-practice examples of advisors using Facebook to connect directly with their customers.

One standout session was a panel discussion, “Winning as a Team @ MassMutual,” moderated by Hearsay Social’s Customer Advocacy Manager, Victor Gaxiola (@victorgaxiola).

In a lively discussion, the cross-functional team from Mass Mutual, including Kathleen Mayko (Director, Brand Marketing, Life Company Marketing, @kathleen_mayko), Doug Morrin (Assistant Vice President & Counsel, Law Department, @DougMorrin), and Corina Roy (Assistant Vice President, Field Digital, Life Company Marketing, @corinaroy), shared the evolution of their social media program.

VictorPanel

In a round robin format, Corina shared how MassMutual has mobilized its field force to embrace social technology to connect with prospects and clients, and Kathleen covered the brand perspective. Both expanded on the the need for interdepartmental collaboration and communication to meet the challenges of adoption early on and through the life of the program.

Victor categorized the challenge facing the industry well: “Social media in financial services is a revolution at an evolutionary pace.”

Representing the legal perspective, Doug was a refreshing surprise illustrating MassMutual’s progressive approach to social media understanding and adoption. He spoke about how he became knowledgeable about social media by actually creating his own social media accounts and using them. (A great tip for other legal and compliance professionals who are looking to better understand the technology.)

From the beginning, he approached social media as a business imperative; instead of being a roadblock, the legal and compliance team would be partners in making social successful at MassMutual.

Mobile

Mobile and social media have always gone hand-in-hand, but this year the mobile conversation was front and center. There was some mention of mobile strategy in almost every presentation.

Randi Zuckerberg, for example, discussed a number of mobile trends. “People want to get everything within one click on their phone,” she said, sharing examples of mobile consumer applications such as Uber and asking, “so how do you give your clients what they need?” A few of the mobile applications from insurance companies that she shared were The Liberty Mutual Home GalleryProgressive Art app, and MetLife Infinity.

There seems to be general consensus that the way people digest information has changed, and therefore firms and relationship managers need to connect with customers, employees, and investors through mobile channels. In their “Social E-Motion” session, Aaron Brickman, Adam Sherman, and Louis Cardello (senior associates at New York Life), shared the statistic that cold calls are ineffective 97% of the time, highlighting the need for other ways to connect with customers and prospects.

Integrated campaigns

As the industry’s use of social media matures, it is only natural that financial services organizations become more sophisticated with their social business programs. Particularly apparent at this year’s LIMRA conference was the number of success stories concerning fully integrated campaigns across other digital channels,  in-person activities, and mobile.
In his session “Plan for the Moment – Twitter and Financial Services Partner,” Dan Greenberg (Senior Account Manager, Twitter, @dangb) shared some impressive examples of integration with Twitter marketing programs, live events and TV broadcasts. Dan highlighted a successful campaign that New York Life ran encouraging customers to share stories.


Dan also shared a variety of examples of Twitter tools available to help bridge Twitter engagement with other marketing programs, such as “Click-to-Call” on mobile and Twitter Cards.


The core day of the LIMRA event concluded with the “Silver Bowl Awards” hosted by Michael Lock (President & COO, Hearsay Social, @michaelhlock) and James Kerley (Chief Member Officer, LIMRA/LOMA). With this second-annual installation of these awards, the conference attendees had a chance to look back at each other’s successes over the past year and learn from some truly creative campaigns.


Can’t wait to see how you all continue to innovate over the coming year!
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Congratulations to JFAM's "20 Rising Stars in Financial Marketing"


Over the past year, the financial services industry has made big strides in how it approaches sales and marketing, reinventing itself in an increasingly social, mobile, and digital world.
That’s why we’re proud to see The Gramercy Institute and JFAM (The Journal of Financial Advertising & Marketing), which specialize in financial services marketing, honoring 20 Rising Stars in Financial Marketing, including some of our customers. From social media directors to CMOs to brand marketers and more, every marketing role has been tasked with adapting to transformations in the digital world.
Thank you to JFAM and the Gramercy Institute for acknowledging the achievements of the best marketers across some of the top insurance and financial services companies in the world. We hope these financial marketing “Rising Stars” will set an example for their peers across the industry.
The Gramercy Institute’s 20 Rising Stars:

  • Seema Alexander, Dir., Transformative Marketing, Retirement, Prudential Financial
  • Berta Aldrich, Head of Channel Marketing Strategy, Vanguard
  • Stefanie Boyk, Acquisition Marketing Manager, Vanguard
  • Abby Cohn, Vice President, Marketing and Advertising, CIT
  • Sueanne Comerford, Social Media Director, MetLife
  • Marty Dauer, Chief Marketing Officer, Duff & Phelps
  • John Davis, Exec. Dir., Corporate Svcs. & Retirement Solutions Marketing & Insights, UBS
  • Meredith Feiner, Associate, Social, Brand Marketing Group, Goldman Sachs
  • Linda Gharib, SVP, Digital Marketing, Head of Cross-Channel Initiatives, Citigroup
  • Kristine Giarrusso, Senior Marketing Manager, Columbia Management
  • Lisa Grossman, Head, Global Investments Mktg & Sales Support, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Ryan Hatfield, VP, Digital Marketing Manager, Chase
  • Michael Kazanjian, Head of Annuity and RPS Marketing, Lincoln Financial
  • Erin Meijer, Social Media Manager, Allianz Global Investors
  • Marc Quintavalle, Social Media Marketing Associate, Putnam Investments
  • Mark Rose, VP Mobile Strategy, Morgan Stanley
  • Kirti Srikant, AVP, Dir. of Brand Marketing & Advertising, OppenheimerFunds
  • Francie Staub, Director of Digital Advertising and eMarketing, TD Ameritrade
  • Michelle Smyth, Director, Social Media, Sun Life Financial
  • Philip Swisher, SVP & Head of Innovation, Brown Brothers Harriman
  • Derek Vest, SVP, Financial Advisor Marketing, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Lauren Walsh, Group Director, Strategy, Sullivan
  • Kathleen Wrynn, Content Strategist, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management