LinkedIn recently updated their platform to better showcase company’s specialties.  These updates do not include any new features but rather improve company page appearance, navigation, and promotion.  Outlined below are three (3) simple steps to stay current.

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The Twitter Buzz was so great for #SchwabIMPACT and #RIAS4U during Schwab’s annual IMPACT conference this year, it reached Twitter’s trending list!!  The Keynot by EVP Bernard J. Clark, unveiling enhancements to “RIA Stands for You” campaign propelled the buzz.

Below are a selection of tweets as well as some highlights of a related webcast next week.

In next week’s webcast John Stone will be discussing five strategies for using the #RIAS4U campaign:
  • Website Hub – Use RIAS4U to enhance your website content and value
  • RIAS4U Branding – Gain from program’s “halo effect” by using the brand and content
  • 1:1 Targeting – Use new tools to filter and focus on 1:1 engagement using RIAS4U
  • Social Media – Expand your reach and influence with social media engagement
  • Campaigns – Combine RIAS4U elements into your custom campaigns.


RIA Stands for You: Tips to Get Started! –

Are RIA Firms Using CRM Effectively? –

Bernie Clark at Schwab Impact: RIAs’ Competitors ‘Want What You Have’ –

Check out our #RiAS4Y blog post and download our Revenue Performance Healthcheck –

Check out all of the news on the Schwab Talk blog –

Don’t forget to support your local small businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2012.  The annual event, founded by American Express, encourages shopping at local, independent small businesses on the day after Black Friday.

According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released November 8th by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, 46 percent of independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy, and the majority (67 percent) of them say they will offer discounts on November 24th.

In order to get customers to “shop small,” the majority (67 percent) plan to offer special discounts on Small Business Saturday. In addition, 46 percent will offer coupons for future discounts; 25 percent will offer free gift wrapping; 23 percent will give away prizes or host contests; and 20 percent will give away free gifts with a purchase.

What do you say we get out there and support our local small businesses this weekend?



At the FutureM/IMS Keynote – “Advice from a CMO: How to Avoid Digital Fads and Focus on Things That Work“, Marty St. George, SVP of Marketing and Commercial Strategy at JetBlue shared a top-10 list.  How does this apply to your business?

1.Know what you stand for and how the program fits in
2.It has to fit the logo (e.g. could not swap the logo with a competitor logo and have it work)
3.If it has been done before, it’s not that special
4. If it doesn’t shape culture and conversation, we are not interested
5. If it fits in a standard TV spot ad or banner ad, it doesn’t fit
6. Must work across all media
7.  We want ideas that leverage multiple channels simultaneously and sequentially
8. Ideas of the future don’t fit into containers of the past
9. Ideas must be customer centric
10. Fix your problem while also solving my problem (for the agency).
#futurem  #ims12

Since the private equity business is dependent on relationships with a finite number of LPs, executives and entrepreneurs, you need to be sure you can identify every potential opportunity to engage with your target audience.  With 3 out of 4 Americans using social media, various platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have become an extremely cost-effective way for a firm to broaden its reach and strengthen its corporate relationships.  Surprisingly, however, when BackBay Communications surveyed the private equity market for its Private Equity Brand Equity II report, published last fall, only 7 percent of responding professionals said their firms were using social media regularly.

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Judy Gern, Senior Client Partner with Revenue Architects, recently posted an article on the Vocus blog that deserves some further sharing. The key message is that by using symbols creatively in emails, open rates can see dramatic results.

Click on the image below to visit the original post on the Vocus Blog.


Vocus Blog Post

It is great to be kicking off the Revenue Grader development project working with our partners Icicle Technologies.

Revenue Grader will be an entertaining yet informative way for business leaders to quickly and easily measure their potential for revenue performance. By self-scoring maturity levels across three main domains of a revenue architecture (Revenue Strategy, Revenue Systems and Revenue Programs), leaders  can rate maturity levels, identify gaps and map priorities for a marketing plan.

We decided to test drive the Revenue Grader with a set of B2B mid-market companies working with the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC).





About the SACC:

“The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce plays a vital and active role in assisting Swiss companies in the United States and U.S. companies in Switzerland to expand their business. The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization.”

About the Workshop

The workshop for the SACC will explore the opportunities and challenges for small and medium sized B2B companies seeking to develop strategies to leverage social media and digital marketing to expand their businesses. This will be an interactive 6-hour workshop and will be limited to 8 companies and will include:

  • An overview and key principles of social media and digital marketing
  • Group discussion of lessons learned, best practices, and challenges
  • Working sessions to develop specific strategies for each participating company


Social media is not just for reconnecting with former classmates and sharing photos from this year’s family reunion; websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and now Google+ can be valuable professional tools when you develop your social media presence with certain relationship building goals in mind. Taking advantage of the possible connections that social media provides and working to develop relationships with potential clients, peers, and competitors can benefit your business in ways that were not possible prior to the age of social media.

Rather than using social media for direct marketing, which is more likely to turn people away, it is most effective to indirectly promote your firm by developing your own individual online presence. Regularly publishing, posting and tweeting on related issues shows that you are active and engaged within the business community, which will in turn reflects positively on your firm.  The two dimensions for measuring social media impact are reach and influence. With regular, if not frequent, substantive updates and a large network of followers will help drive the velocity of your practice and give you the benefit of positive name recognition.

One of the most effective ways that you can take advantage of social media’s networking opportunities is to collaborate with both peers and competitors in order to learn from their business practices. Join an industry group on LinkedIn and start a discussion to share tips on anything from best investment practices to which software to use. Collaborating with peers online also allows you to gain a better understanding of what they deal with, which will help you to be better prepared to work with them offline.

You can also use social media to your advantage by developing closer personal relationships with clients. Friend clients on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. You will develop a better understanding of your client as a person, which will allow you to plan better for them and therefore increase their overall satisfaction. In browsing their profile you might discover a mutual interest that could influence investment plans, and responding to their posts will show that you are engaged and attentive. Conversely, your clients will get to know you better by following your updates, allowing for a more personal and natural relationship. Advisory firms that want to draw in younger clients and investors will need to tap into social media. Of course, you must weigh your own public persona and determine how visible and transparent you want to be. Each channel has unique characteristics which may make it more suitable for personal use rather than business use. Compliance considerations are always there – but increasingly managable with a combination of tools and policies.

There are certain limitations to keep in mind when diving into the social media world. Posts are typically best kept brief – mandatory on Twitter – and nuance is easily lost, so tread carefully. There are also certain rules that regulate advisers’ public communications in order to protect investors. The SEC has not yet established any rules or guidelines specific to social media, which has allowed advisers working at small firms more room to move when working with social media. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), however, has issued rules for the use of social media, requiring broker-dealers to be more formal and deliberate in their social media communications.

Provided that these rules and limitations are managed, social media networks can be a highly effective tool to benefit your business through relationship building. Be active and engaged in the online community and your growing online network will benefit your business offline, too.

If you are using Rapportive or Gist or Xobni, you know what I mean. At the tip of your fingertips, you now can see the online profile and presence of the contacts you are engaging with day-to-day on email.

We often say “have you Googled yourself?” and it is a good question because so much of our personal lives are displayed on the web. Of course, with search, one must take a proactive step to search for me … with Rapportive, the information is displayed automatically when I open an email or type an email address. At a glance, I can get a sense of whether you are a crazy, a connoisseur or a content expert.

I am working on a project with one of our expert network consultants, Laurent ( @opinionwatch ), and he suggested I try Rapportive in my Gmail (Google Apps) account. I had used Xobni with Outlook, but I switched to the cloud completely a few months back (and have not looked back.)

Social intelligence tools are useful and quite revealing. There are exciting new tools coming down the pike – including my colleague’s company Data Hug that promises to intelligently mine relationships from email. Give these tools a try and definitely Rapportive-ize yourself –  and see how you shape up in this increasingly transparent social web.

Today I received this nice letter from Reid Hoffman recognizing me for being an early adopter. Too bad I wasn’t an early investor!! I remember while at PA Consulting Group in 2003, I wrote an article and started working with clients around the concept of using “relationship intelligence” for business (sales) advantage. The ideas stemmed in part from my excitement over the early stage company and service called ” LinkedIn” and my work building digital businesses at Viant. I have been a user ever since.

Here is the letter I received today.. I guess I was user number 104,302 on LinkedIn and now they have reached the 100M user mark.


Fast forward. Today we work with relationship-centric clients like Blackrock, Putnam, MFS, HighMark Funds and Wasatch Funds, ConRes, The First Group along with a range of mid-market clients, financial advisors and RIAs to develop personalized revenue strategies that use social media.

Why do we social tools are so valuable for business?

To me it boils down to TRUST and TIME. With so many people jumping on board and in many cases “gaming” the SEO system with content marketing strategies, buyers like you and me increasingly rely on our HUMAN network to get our answers. Our human network IS our social network. Our social network is our business network, we buy from people we know and trust.

Two recent examples:

Just yesterday, I networked in and met with my former colleague, Pierre Loic Assayag, at Traackr and gained lots of good advice on potential partners, tools and systems. He also shared with how the culture in California – where they are moving – is very much about human social network that drives business success. Perhaps we in Boston-Cambridge need to learn a lesson here and get out into the cold and network more so we can keep up. I trust Pierre to give me good input. Nothing has changed. What has changes is that I can in seconds search my LinkedIn network for people I know that can help our business.

A month ago, I was going to share Emily Guertin’s LinkedIn profile with a business colleague… but the profile did not say “Registered Dietitian” so I had her add that in. Within a week, she was contacted by another former Viant colleague and offered a fantastic new position. The hiring manager was looking for a “Registered Dietitian” within his personal LinkedIn network. She was right there. Now, Emily, there is a lot more you still need to do on your profile, so let’s talk. 🙂

Soon we will be starting with our human network first and using tools like LinkedIn and other social and business networks to support most every business and personal buying decision. I know I already do. Perhaps it is time I dust off and re-launch one of our projects – Goodasitgets – the social ranking system to support buying experiences. Thanks, LinkedIn for making a good product and also for reminding us how impactful social media has become.