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2/24/2011
05:36 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
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Firm Gets 'ProActive' About Social Media Marketing

A Wall Street veteran, Jeff Ramson saw first-hand how difficult it can be for a small, fledgling company to get noticed. It occurred to him that he could merge his traditional investment expertise with social media to help these emerging operations gain some visibility and, ultimately, traction in the marketplace. That's why he started ProActive Capital Resources Group.

A Wall Street veteran, Jeff Ramson saw first-hand how difficult it can be for a small, fledgling company to get noticed. It occurred to him that he could merge his traditional investment expertise with social media to help these emerging operations gain some visibility and, ultimately, traction in the marketplace. That's why he started ProActive Capital Resources Group.This is how it works: ProActive meets with a potential client to get the back story--what product or service they're selling, their mission statement, capitalization, etc. Once accepted as a customer, the company chooses a package, which determines what services ProActive will be providing.

"The main thing we do for the client is to architect a social media distribution platform," says Ramson, founder and CEO of ProActive. "We set up a landing page for them at our website and use that page as a distribution point. We aggregate content at that landing page and push it off to the big social media sites--Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn."

ProActive also performs a service called "scraping" the Web. That means the company searches the Internet for content that relates to the client or the client's market (blogs or news stories, for example). ProActive then uses that content and creates marketing efforts around it. In addition, ProActive offers traditional investor relations services, including one-on-one consulting.

"The reason I started this business was because I sensed an opportunity to 'democratize' the message for small public companies," Ramson says. "The first step is to raise awareness for them. That leads to raised capital, which is what they need to get further off the ground."

At least half of ProActive's clients are in the pharmaceutical or life sciences space. All have market capitalizations of $300M or less, and most have a market cap somewhere between $50M and $100M. The largest customer has 100 employees; the majority have 20 or fewer.

"We are not stock promoters engaged in 'interruptive' marketing," Ramson says. "This is all about networking. And just as there's a way to engage people at a cocktail party, there's a way to engage them online through social media. We don't say, 'Here's company X. You need to buy their products because they're great.' That kind of promotion would be rejected in the social media community. We're having conversations with people--asking them questions, sharing valuable information."

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