(The above graphic, provided by Hearsay Social shows levels of social business maturity.)
Hearsay Social (San Francisco) has debuted its Social Business Maturity model, a scoring and benchmarking methodology designed to enable financial services and insurance firms to assess the progress and success of their social business programs. The Social Business Maturity Model provides what the vendor calls a quantitative metric for companies with large distribution teams to measure how well their enterprise social business programs are doing and how they rank relative to their peers and industry averages. By knowing their Social Business Maturity score, firms gain a comprehensive understanding of where their social business programs currently stand, as well as an actionable roadmap to steer them toward the next level of maturity, according to Hearsay.
“Up until now there was no way for a financial service organization to objectively assess how it’s doing, both to assess itself and see its rank relative to competitors or the industry,” comments Abhay Rajaram, VP, Global Customer Success, Hearsay Social. “There are other methodologies, but the Social Business Maturity Model provides a standardized evaluation scored on the same attributes, enabling firms to identify strengths and areas of opportunity where they can invest for maximum return.”
Equipped with the insights provided by the Social Business Maturity Model’s evaluation and road map, insurers are able to do the following according to Hearsay:
- Learn and prioritize what steps they need to take in order to remain competitive and accelerate their programs to the next level
- Have a benchmark to measure against as they implement these steps and progress along the maturity spectrum
- Generate increased return on investment and value across the business
“We not only analyzed a tremendous amount of information to develop the Social Business Maturity Model, we also took into consideration the challenges unique to the financial services industry, such as compliance and user adoption across large networks of distributed teams,” Rajaram relates. “Ultimately, we hope the Maturity Model will encourage and empower companies to accelerate their social business programs and collectively shift the maturity of the industry as a whole.”
“We believe that engagement in social channels can make a very significant impact on the ability for advisors to grow business and deepen relationships with existing clients,” adds Rajaram.
Organizations Scored on Seven Practice Areas
The Social Business Maturity Model score is a cumulative measurement of how well a firm ranks in seven critical practice areas that Hearsay Social has identified as imperative to social business success, according to a Hearsay statement. These areas are based on the vendors years of experience with major financial services companies with a combined sales force of more than 110,000 advisors and agents. The practice areas include:
- Project team dedicated to the social business program
- Active championship and sponsorship at the C-suite level
- Robust content marketing strategy
- Adoption and penetration across the entire firm and/or field
- Continuing engagement and education at the individual user level
- Integration with other digital initiatives
- Measurement of progress to plan and of value against set key performance indicators
Along with the Social Business Maturity Model, Hearsay Social announced a new assessment aimed at identifing what makes the most significant impact on a company’s social business maturity. Hearsay evaluated the social business programs of more than 100 financial services companies, including seven of the top 10 global firms. Key results reported by the vendor include:
- A dedicated project team is the top indicator of maturity: Organizations that have a dedicated project team have scores more than 43 percent higher than those without a dedicated team.
- Firms need both top-down and bottom-up engagement: Programs with more than 80 percent of users deployed in the field have overall scores that are more than 24 percent higher than those with less than 80 percent roll-out. Additionally, programs with executive sponsorship have average overall scores that are 13 percent higher than those that do not.
- Measuring success begets success: Companies that focus the team on reaching specific, measurable key performance indicators have an average overall score that is 21 percent higher than those who do not.
In the chart below, Hearsay notes the highest contributing factors to social business maturity.