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July 3, 2014

Relationship Science (RelSci) Leverages Professional and Social Networks to Connect Agencies With Decision-Makers [Tech Profile]

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josh_mait_headshotJosh Mait is the chief marketing officer at Relationship Science (RelSci), which raised $90 million to launch a data product that allows companies to map their connections to more than 3 million influential decision-makers and 1 million companies. Since launching in January of 2013, Relationship Science has landed more than 400 clients in a variety of industries.

What is Relationship Science?

Why do organizations underachieve? The reasons are countless, but a universal cause of opportunities missed and mistakes made is the failure of organizations to exploit one crucial asset: relationship capital. This is the web of connections the most accomplished professionals have cultivated and developed throughout their career.

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Whatever the cause — divisional silos, flawed incentive structures, adversarial relationships between departments, poor communication, privacy concerns —most enterprises do not leverage their professional and social networks to find, cultivate, and research that next important client, investor, partner, donor, advisor, or hire.

Relationship Science is a technology solutions company working directly with executive teams to create competitive advantage. The RelSci Platform helps organizations of all sizes leverage their relationship networks with the influential decision-makers that matter to their success. Agencies utilize the platform’s curated set of more than 1 million organizations and the 3 million decision-makers affiliated with them to drive better business outcomes in the following areas:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Capital Raising
  • Idea Generation/Deal Sourcing
  • New Client Acquisition
  • Portfolio/Client Services
  • Executive/Board Team Building
  • Crisis Management
  • Ongoing Client Retention

By turning individual knowledge into institutional knowledge across the enterprise, we help clients be more efficient, collaborative, agile, and opportunistic. We help them build better businesses.

How can the marketing industry use Relationship Science to create better results for its agency or clients?

Any firm, regardless of size, needs to be laser focused on business development. Everyone knows that. Yet often, the approach can be ad-hoc and sporadic. Agencies struggle to identify all of the potential warm access points they have to a prospective new client. Often right in front of them, amongst their senior employees, are connections to target companies.

Often these connections are not realized. And they can make the difference between winning new business or losing it.

What changes in your industry made you realize that Relationship Science would fill a void?

A focus on business development is nothing new. What is new is the ability to combine cloud-based technology with big data to supercharge an agency's business development efforts.

Our proprietary platform profiles on the key decision makers at more than 1 million public, private and financial service companies. This universe is really the key people that agencies want to get to. By allowing them to map themselves to this curated universe, we give them intelligence on their organization's relationship capital that was very hard to get to previously.

What are some of the core features of Relationship Science?

1. Map your senior employees (c-suite, board, senior employees) relationships to over 3.5 million influential decision makers and 1 million organizations to see what connections you have to those targets.

2. Get deep dossiers (not based on user-generated content which is unreliable and inconsistent) from research-driven data that tells you everything you need to know about companies and people of interest.

3. Utilize the relationships of people and companies outside your firm to see how they might help you in new business opportunities. As an example, many of our clients look to existing, long-standing clients for ideas about where they could potentially help with new client acquisition.

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Better than words, these videos give a good sense of the power of the platform:

How do you see your industry evolving in the next few years?

Two trends seem to be happening:

1. Continued reliance and adoption of big data (which has been said a thousand and one times). I think we are only at the beginning. The key in my opinion will be creating interfaces that allow companies and individuals to pull relevant insights out of tremendous amounts of data — and companies like ours must design workflows that actually coincide with the ways agencies work. Without good front-end design and a deep understanding of real day-to-day workflows, big data will be meaningless.

2. The agency/creative business is going to continue to be disrupted and competitiveness is only going to increase. The agencies that look to distinguish themselves in every which way imaginable are those that will survive and thrive. We (obviously) think leveraging relationships are crucial to creating that core distinctiveness.

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