Spotlight: Over 30 Hearsay customers take the stage at 2024 Summit

Spotlight: Over 30 Hearsay customers take the stage at 2024 Summit

Nothing makes an event more powerful than learning from your peers. At this year's Summit, more than thirty Hearsay customers—representing leaders from every financial services business vertical—shared stories, advice, best practices, and incredible insights. Presenters tackled a variety of topics, from compliance to content and website strategy to lead follow-up. 

Read on for the most memorable takeaways and customer quotes—those that received vigorous head nods and sparked ‘a ha’ moments at 2024 Hearsay Summit.

What workouts and agent marketing have in common

‍During the opening session, Alex Falls, Hearsay’s Chief Product Officer, and Amy Hu, Chief Marketing Officer at New York Life, talked about the relationship between sales and marketing. Amy gave a great analogy about why marketers don’t necessarily act like great salespeople and vice versa. She said, “Marketing and sales go together like peanut butter and jelly. They're very complimentary, but peanut butter isn't jelly, and jelly isn't peanut butter.” She continued on to explain that this is okay and that executives should play to each team’s strengths, breaking down silos and encouraging marketing and sales to work closely together.

Amy explained that in interviewing agents, she found that most of them consider marketing a chore—much in the same way that working out affects her. She wants to do the bare minimum but still be effective. By acknowledging this, she’s able to get more buy-in: “It’s simplicity that they're looking for at the end of the day because they want to spend their time talking to people, not generating marketing leads.” 

Clara Shih and David Chubak talk compliance, change, and career advice

Hearsay Founder and Executive Chairperson, and CEO of Salesforce AI, Clara Shih, sat down with David Chubak, the Head of Branch Development and U.S. Business Unit at Edward Jones, to talk about the state of the industry, what’s changed, and how firms can come out on top in a digital world. First, Clara asked how firms should navigate the regulatory environment at a time when enforcement action is high. David said, “It’s easy to hide behind it, but the power of technology used responsibly can’t be understated.” He explained that while some firms either chalk up regulatory fines as a cost of doing business or avoid getting involved in activities, like texting, altogether—firms that embrace digital outreach and do it the right way become incredibly powerful. He added, “In an industry where trust is the fundamental product, the power of what large firms can do is incredible. The power magnifies even further with AI—which still feels like magic to me—when we apply it responsibly.”

Clara asked how firms can adapt to technology changes and effectively empower agents and advisors to thrive in an ever-growing technology-driven landscape. David reminisced about the days of “physical door knocking, which have now been replaced with digital door knocking” Potential customers are using internet searches and social networks to find financial advisors now. They stumble onto websites as they scroll on their phone before bed. 
never to
To bring everything together, Clara asked David what career advice he’d give to everyone in the room. He encouraged the audience to stay humble, put family first, work with people who challenge you but have your back, and try never to be the smartest person in the room. He also repeated a favorite saying of Edward Jones' founder: Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all.

Four marketing experts walked into a room…

Nalika Nanayakkara, Managing Partner for Financial Services Consulting at EY, spoke with three powerhouse female leaders: Lauren Gerstner, Head of Marketing at MassMutual Financial Advisors; Meghan McCartan, Chief Marketing Officer, Hightower Advisors; Laura Hajducek, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Marketing, New York Life.

On the main stage, Nalika asked what it means to be customer-centric in today’s digital world. Lauren from MassMutual said their advisors are their customers first. She explained, “Our marketing and GTM strategy is a mix of art and science. The art is crafting a great brand story and coming up with compelling messages. The science is defining who your target is, where they are, and how you find them. Helping our agents do both is being both client and customer-centric.” Meghan from Hightower said making marketing and outreach really personal makes all the difference. She says, “This new generation of advisors can't build businesses the same way they did in the past. They personalize connecting not just on finances but on outside interests as well.” She reiterated the importance of authenticity in building trust and relationships.

Breakout sessions revealed powerful business growth insights
Mike Bruno, the AVP of Digital Transformation at Co-Operators shared what he’s learned by helping his team optimize their Hearsay Social and Sites programs. After seeing the growth potential of combining social selling lead generation with conversion-optimized advisor websites, Mike set out to build a scalable, repeatable business growth engine. Mike said, “Any lead contacted within 24 hrs has at least a 40% shot at turning into a quote, but we’re converting a lot of those into sales as well.”

Understanding the importance of urgency and speed to lead, Mike is leading a pilot that will leverage a third-party contact team to ensure follow-up within a 24-hour period. Being able to identify any missed opportunities will encourage advisors to follow up faster.

AI was a pervasive topic of conversation

From opening session to closing session, AI came up again and again. Some recurring questions included: What’s AI’s role in financial services? Is it practical to use in its current state? Is it valuable enough to be helpful? How do we use it safely and responsibly?

During our keynote, Hearsay CEO Mike Boese shared how Hearsay Social, Relate, and Sites utilize baked-in AI tools powered by our compliance engine to give firms the opportunity to test this new technology in a safe and responsible way. From content creation to publishing at the optimal time, AI brings many benefits to the Hearsay platform.

Laura Hadjucek from New York Life is especially excited about AI’s potential to support more authentic, personalized engagement between advisors and their prospects and clients. She said, “All agents want to do things slightly differently when it comes to personalization, and we’re really excited that gen AI will be a big catalyst to help with personalization at scale.

The New York skyline provided the perfect celebratory backdrop

On Tuesday evening, Summit attendees and Hearsay’ers gathered at the Empire Hotel to take over their rooftop lounge. Guests were greeted by an impressive ice sculpture emblazoned with the Hearsay logo flanked by two stunning floral arrangements. Perfect weather, fun New York tote bag souvenirs, and a local acoustic singer-songwriter completed the vibe.

As the sun set over the iconic New York skyline, guests caught up with old friends and forged new connections—trading stories about life, work, and everything in between. Our customer speakers got to know and exchanged ideas with other customers. Everyone left feeling connected and charged up for the final day of learning, workshops, and strategic 1:1 sessions.

Jessica Cates
Jessica is a content creator and strategist dedicated to publishing engaging content across Hearsay's corporate channels. The Gilbert, Arizona-based mom of two loves to tackle a blinking cursor on a blank page – and as a former Nebraskan, is totally down with the southwest's interpretation of winter.

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