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An increasing number of women and minorities are starting their own companies, ascending to upper management levels, becoming more savvy consumers and taking more control of household finances. Gerry Myers and Taunee Besson founded Advisory Link to help corporations recruit, retain, promote, market and sell to this growing demographic.

 

Women start new companies at twice the rate of any other group and control the lion’s share of individual wealth in the US. They are in a position to substantially impact companies’ bottom lines. Selecting the best approach to reach these desirable markets has been challenging for many corporations who recognize the need, but have pursued ineffective or expensive tactics with disappointing results. Advisory Link, Myers’ consulting firm, helps companies recruit and market to these important segments of the population through innovative programs that take advantage of already-established connections among highly-respected people who know and trust each other.

 

Myers has more than 25 years of experience as a business owners prior to creating Advisory Link, Inc., aimed at the 21st century needs of corporations and business owners. For the last quarter century, she has worked in public relations, advertising, marketing, consulting, training and public speaking with thousands of entrepreneurs and corporate executives. She has been president of numerous professional organizations and served on the boards of many more. Quoted in scores of business publications, Myers is a global authority on marketing and selling to women.

Advisory Link, which serves Fortune 100 corporations, smaller companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals, was formed in mid 2000. Because of the success its clients have experienced, the firm consults coast-to-coast and is looking at international markets. Currently Advisory Link offers two products are Women’s Advisory Boards (WABs) and Exec-U-Link peer coaching groups.

Women’s Advisory Boards

Women’s Advisory Boards (WABs) focus on the needs of two of the most important demographics in today’s marketplace and workplace: women and minorities. Advisory Link’s clients find WABs to be their most cutting-edge, results-oriented and cost effective means for staying abreast of the latest employment and marketing trends. By participating in the Women’s Advisory Board program, companies focus their resources and allocate funds to effectively address the needs of today’s changing workforce and rising customer expectations. 

A WAB serves as a catalyst for top executives and managers to tap into the networks and perspectives of successful, diverse women. These external boards are comprised of high-powered, influential women, who assist Advisory Link’s (AL) clients to increase their visibility and connect with opinion leaders in targeted product and recruitment markets. As a result, their sponsoring companies:

  • Market and sell more effectively to women and minorities

  • Recruit, retain and promote more women and minorities

  • Enhance their corporate cultures

  • Create more family-friendly workplaces

  • Develop strategic altruistic programs to benefit their national and local communities.

Women’s Advisory Boards provide specific results tailored to the needs of their clients. For instance, they can assist with:

  • Penetration of specific target markets such as ethnic populations the company has been unable to reach in the past

  • Introductions to key opinion leaders in the community

  • Referrals of quality employees and customers

  • Strategic community outreach and philanthropic programs

  • Recognition through nominations for and acceptance of prestigious awards

  • A public relations campaign based upon an initiative designed to level the playing field and better serve women and minority employees and customers.

To establish a WAB, Advisory Link selects the chair, assists in the board’s structuring, provides ongoing consulting and attends the Women's Advisory Board meetings its first year. This approach gives new WABs the best of all worlds—a local chair to spearhead their efforts, influential members who are active in the community and expertise from an Advisory Link consultant to ensure the board stays focused on its mission and pre-determined, measurable results.

In developing National Advisory Boards, Advisory Link collaborates with its client to identify board members around the country who are opinion leaders in selected recruitment populations and target markets. The firm’s consultants solicit these individuals’ membership on the board, work with the client to put together agendas and facilitate meetings and consult on diversity issues throughout the course of the contract.

Exec-U-Links

Advisory Link forms Exec-U-Link groups for individuals with common roles or issues. Once selected, the members come together for confidential day-and-a-half meetings three times a year to access each others’ collective expertise. A professional facilitator and the participants predetermine the agenda ensure that members receive maximum value for their time and dollars. At meetings, members may:

  • Share best practices and insights

  • Discuss important industry issues and trends

  • Develop or critique marketing, operations or other strategic plans

  • Assess new systems and/or validate existing ones

  • Encourage networking and exchanging contacts

  • Improve or cope with relationships with employees, supervisors and clients

  • Plot career paths and encourage out-of-the-box thinking.

The Women Executive/Business Owner Exec-U-Link comprised of high-level corporate executives and owners of large or fast-growing businesses, focuses on:

  • Expanding entrepreneurial businesses, i.e. databases, additional capital, staffing needs

  • Changing corporate cultures

  • Managing issues with employees and supervisors

  • Growing revenue and profits

  • Solving challenging issues and brainstorming potential strategies

  • Forming alliances with other companies

  • Marketing products and services

  • Recruiting, retaining, mentoring and promoting employees

  • Developing an employee-friendly workplace

  • Working on the business rather than in it

  • Having a life!

MassMutual Financial Group’s (MMFG) Women’s Focus Exec-U-Link offers a safe, creative atmosphere where corporate executives come together with field/sales management to collaborate on strategies for improving the company’s products, services and profits. This group focuses on:

  • Improving General Agents’ (GAs) and corporate results in recruiting, retaining, promoting and marketing to women

  • Facilitating better communication between the corporate office and the field

  • Raising visibility and the importance of the women’s market

  • Supporting MMFG’s Corporate Women’s Initiatives

  • Sharing best practices and innovative concepts among the field offices via hosting an annual meeting of GAs, their chairs and corporate representatives to build on the work being done in local communities

  • Serving as a resource for corporate to pilot ideas and programs before national rollouts.

In summary, Advisory Link connects people and companies who can be mutually beneficial to each other through peer coaching groups and external advisory boards. Both types of groups use collective experiences and networks to achieve targeted, tangible results for everyone involved.

For more information, contact Gerry Myers  817-379-0956 website: www.advisorylink.com

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