WealthEngine Acquires BrightContext Adding Real-Time Big Data Capabilities for Marketers and Fundraisers

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WealthEngine announces the acquisition of privately held BrightContext, the leader in massively scalable streaming data analytics. The acquisition, which recognizes the growing need by marketers and fundraisers for data that increases personalization and engagement, creates the industry’s leading platform for customer and prospect intelligence.

WealthEngine is an established leader in the provision of data, analytics and marketing services that allow marketers and fundraisers to get a deep understanding of a customer or prospect’s wealth, lifestyle and spending behavior. The addition of BrightContext’s real-time capabilities will further empower marketers to target not only the right prospects but also to engage them in the right way at the right time.

“We announced earlier this year that this would be a major year of investment for WealthEngine and this acquisition represents a significant step along our journey. The landscape of marketing and fundraising is rapidly changing. There is a growing appetite to utilize data to better understand and engage customers and prospects on a real time basis,” says Tony Glowacki, CEO of WealthEngine. “BrightContext brings the leading edge technology and talent that will extend our portfolio of solutions for marketers and fundraisers and allow us to realize our ambition of being the leading SaaS platform for customer and prospect intelligence.”

“We’re extremely excited to be joining forces with WealthEngine. The more we got to know their technology and solutions, the more we became convinced that there is a unique opportunity to bring together WealthEngine’s proprietary data assets with our real-time big data platform to create an incredibly valuable product for marketers — something that is not yet available in the market,” says John Funge, Co-founder & CEO of BrightContext.

The acquisition allows WealthEngine to truly collaborate with clients and help them answer the three fundamental questions they are facing today – who, how and when to engage. There is competitive pressure for marketers to know their customers more intimately than ever before. WealthEngine empowers them to profile their best customers and engage them based on their economic situation, lifestyle and passions and continuously find others like them to increase their ROI. With the ability to leverage real-time social media, news and engagement data, marketers will now be able to use the additional context to fine tune their engagement strategy. WealthEngine continues to go Beyond Wealth and lead the way in customer and prospect intelligence for marketers. For more information, please visit www.wealthengine.com.

About WealthEngine 
WealthEngine™, Inc. is a leading provider of wealth intelligence and marketing services to nonprofit, luxury goods, retail, and financial organizations. The company’s unique data-driven approach to analytics, prospecting, and marketing has delivered actionable strategies and measurable results to more than four thousand clients. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine serves both the United States and the United Kingdom.

About BrightContext 
BrightContext is a massively scalable, cloud-based data stream processing platform that makes it easy to deliver real-time stream analytics from any data source. Trusted by customers such as The Washington Post and AOL, BrightContext is used for stream analytics, live visualization, monitoring, and generating alerts from high-volume data sources such as: web click and activity data, mobile activity data, social media, audience sentiment data, point-of-sale data, and transactional data.

Media Contact: 
Mitchell Schwenz / Claire Shutt
Peppercomm for WealthEngine
wealthengine@peppercomm.com | +1.212.931.6156 | +1.212.931.6148

Marketing Gets Real (-Time)

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We’re very excited about this one!  This week we announced our acquisition of BrightContext, a company that for the last few years has led the market in helping business people make sense of large volumes of real-time data. Big Data is by no means a new phenomena, but recently it has hit something of a “trough of disillusionment” as companies that were excited by the promise it held, face the realities of garnering real insight and presenting that insight to their employees in ways that make a difference.  And that is why the combination if WealthEngine and BrightContext is so interesting.

Continue reading “Marketing Gets Real (-Time)”

Concierge Marketing – Know Your Customers Before They Are Customers

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I am a marketer, so I have the same priorities and hear the same trends as you ….. “use more data, segment, personalize, optimize”.   But this can all feel a little distant and hard to grasp when we are putting together that next campaign, or go-to-market strategy.   So (as I was taught) I decided to look at this from the consumer perspective….how can we make this notion of data-driven personalization more tangible?

Continue reading “Concierge Marketing – Know Your Customers Before They Are Customers”

Predictive Modeling and Analytics

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Among the top philanthropy buzzwords are “data” and “data scientist”. Certainly the phrases “predictive modeling” and “data analytics” have made their way into the fundraising lexicon. Predictive modeling can have a significant impact as part of a data-driven annual fund in helping to take some of the unknown variables out of the equation. To help explain modeling and analytics further, we spoke with WealthEngine’s Vice President of Analytics, Cong Qian.

Q. How would you describe Predictive Modeling or Predictive Analytics?

Cong: Essentially, predictive modeling is trying to summarize what you have accumulated from the past and apply that knowledge to predict future events. In other words, assuming future events will be relatively similar to the past, then let’s see what the future could be, so if this happened then these things are also likely to happen.

Q. What is the process for creating or building a predictive model?

Cong: Usually, a model is trying to answer a specific question, such as “Which of my donors are most likely to give more than $250?” or “Which of my non-donors are most likely to make an annual fund gift?” Statisticians then try to identify the most predictive data elements that can be grouped into a formula to answer the question. At WealthEngine we leverage not only our client’s important data such as giving history, demographic information, etc., but also data from over 60 sources that we are able to find through our wealth screening process, including Propensity To GiveTM codes (P2G), Estimated Giving Capacity, lifestyle and business information and other additional demographic information. All of these data points are evaluated to determine their relationship to each other and their impact upon the desired behavior.

We then build the model using the appropriate statistical methodology with the data set known as the “training sample”; we also validate the model, to ensure its accuracy and consistency against a subset of the data tested.

Q: How, then, is a model helpful in the context of an annual fund?

Cong: Once the model has been built, the data pool is divided into segments based upon their statistical likelihood to perform the desired behavior. These segments, or “deciles”, are ranked from highest to lowest in terms of likelihood. So, for example, the people in an Annual Fund Model Decile 1 would be most likely to make an annual fund gift at the established gift threshold. The higher the model score, the more likely they are to perform the way we hope they will – make a gift to the annual fund. Figures 1 and 2 represent the percentages of model likelihood in each decile.

Figure 1: Percent of major donors in each model decile compared to average or random sampling (represented by gray line)

Figure 2: Cumulative gains of major donors captured by decile compared to random distribution (represented by green line)

Q. How can this type of information help an organization’s annual fund?

Cong: Modeling is designed to take some of the guess work out of fundraising and therefore target resources more efficiently. By focusing the annual fund on the prospects with a higher likelihood, the response to the solicitation should improve and the return on investment (ROI) should be stronger as well.

Q. Are there other types of modeling?

Cong: There are. The typical models we’ve discussed ask the data a specific question and then predict outcomes based upon the contributing variables. Other types of models are more of an overall analysis of data behavior or a more customized segmentation methodology. At WealthEngine we utilize what we call a Donor 360° model to analyze donor behavior with cluster analysis and group similar types of donors into clusters. We also create what’s called a Look-Alike Model, which we can use to gain insight about the best donors. We measure and evaluate an array of variables from giving history, wealth and capacity ratings, demographic and life styles data, etc., and then cross-reference significant variables onto other donors or prospects to identify potentials that are likely to behave as the best donors for fundraising outreach or acquisition. Modeling can be very flexible and extremely useful in the process of data mining.

WealthEngine Announces WE Analyze as New Strategy for Analytics & Prospecting

Powerful, Affordable, and Actionable Solution Developed to Kick Start Fundraising Initiatives

WealthEngine, the leading provider of wealth intelligence, prospect research and marketing services for nonprofits, officially released today its new integrated analytics solution, WE Analyze, to provide nonprofit clients with a powerful, affordable, and actionable solution to drive fundraising results.

Fundraising continues to be complex and challenging to organizations of all sizes. There’s more competition, an increasing range of fundraising tactics, and most importantly, an evolving donor database that needs strategic segmentation. WE Analyze delivers an easy to execute approach for segmenting existing donors and prospects, aligning tactics to the appropriate segments and delivering high potential new prospects.

The new solution is being launched at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX this week.

“Our goal with WE Analyze was to take away much of the ‘heavy lifting’ typically associated with fundraising analytics and remove some of the barriers that may have prevented some organizations from taking this approach. WE Analyze focuses on delivering an actionable plan rather than just presenting data,” said Tony Glowacki, Former CEO & President of WealthEngine. “By focusing on the highest potential donors and aligning tactics to their segmentation, fundraisers will develop a clear strategy that will yield the highest ROI. We are thrilled by the initial response to WE Analyze and look forward to collaborating with our clients,” added Mr. Glowacki.

About WealthEngine 
WealthEngine™, Inc. is a leading provider of wealth intelligence and marketing services to nonprofit, luxury goods, retail, and financial organizations. The company’s unique data-driven approach to analytics, prospecting, and marketing has delivered actionable strategies and measurable results to more than four thousand clients. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine serves both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.wealthengine.com.

Prepare to Be Patient if You Aim to Serve Wealthy Business Owners

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The nation’s business owners are an affluent bunch and they require a broad swath of services from a financial adviser — but the potential pay-off to advisers may be many years down the road. About one-third of the nation’s wealthy investors, those who have $1.5 million or more to invest, are business owners, and that proportion jumps dramatically as wealth level rises, a new study finds.

Business Ownership and Entrepreneurship – The Keys to Extreme Wealth for the Next Generation

Shift in Wealth Concentration Changing the Future of the Client-Financial Advisor Relationship

As the last members of the Baby Boomer generation turn 50 this year, financial advisors need to prepare for attracting and serving a new wave of wealthy clients whose goals and backgrounds are dramatically different from previous generations. According to the annual State of the Affluent 2014 industry intelligence report released today, an entrepreneurial spirit and business ownership are two key traits for extreme wealth creation in the coming years.

The report was produced by CEG Worldwide, a research and coaching firm for financial advisors, and developed in partnership with WealthEngine, a leader in wealth intelligence and marketing services.

There is a clear connection between business ownership and an individual’s ability to attain a level of wealth that makes him or her part of the affluent, super affluent and ultra-affluent communities – defined in the report as investable assets between $1 million and $5 million, $5 million and $25 million and $25 million and over, respectively.

According to the report, 33% of affluent, 74.5% of super affluent and nearly 90% of ultra-affluent individuals own a business.

Commenting on this trend, John Bowen, CEO and founder of CEG Worldwide, said: “This report demonstrates that entrepreneurs are the next generation of the ultra-high-net-worth community, a fact that is greatly changing the way that financial advisors serve their affluent, super affluent and ultra-affluent clients. Entrepreneurs have different needs, personalities and desires from their Baby Boomer counterparts. We are seeing a shift in the advisor community toward adopting a client-centric model that goes beyond just offering traditional investment management services, and more toward providing a complete wealth management experience.”

However, not all business ownership is creating wealth equally. Revealed in the report’s research is a dramatic difference in the level of wealth depending on the business’ average annual revenue. Specifically, the report says that the average annual revenue of a business owned by an affluent individual is just over $750,000; whereas a business owned by a super affluent individual has average annual business revenues of over $22 million, compared with over $370 million in average annual revenues for businesses owned by an ultra-affluent individual.

The translation of equity into individual wealth is also lopsided for the ultra-wealthy. According to the report, a business with $750,000 in annual revenue creates approximately $138,000 median equity for an affluent person, whereas a business with $22 million in annual average business revenue creates $5.7 million in median equity for a super affluent individual, compared with a business of $370 million in average annual revenues creating $49 million in median equity for an ultra-wealthy business owner.

“Our data highlights the growing trend that wealth is created through business ownership and entrepreneurship, and less and less through traditional salary, pension or social security wages,” explained James Dean, Senior Vice President at WealthEngine “This is important because it changes the ways in which financial advisors communicate with prospective clients, especially as unhappy individuals seek financial advisors who place a premium on long-term relationships. This trend presents an opportunity for advisors to capture a growing segment of the market,” noted Dean.

For more information or to receive the full report, please contact James Dean at: jdean@wealthengine.com.

Media Contacts: 
John Bowen
CEG Worldwide
john.bowen@cegworldwide.com
+1.866.560.8820

Mitchell Schwenz / Claire Shutt
Peppercomm for WealthEngine
wealthengine@peppercomm.com
+1.212.931.6156 / +1.212.931.6148

About CEG Worldwide 
CEG Worldwide is the #1 coaching organization for the financial services industry. We coach financial advisors to achieve breakthrough results in their careers by substantially increasing assets under management, accelerating affluent client acquisition and growing personal net income—all while serving their clients well. We deliver insights garnered from empirical research on industry best practices and coach financial advisors to implement these practices in their businesses. The result: focused, energized and enriched financial advisors who build substantial economic value in their practices, deliver a world-class experience to their clients and ensure a high quality of life for themselves.

CEG Worldwide also works collaboratively with leaders of financial institutions to grow new net assets under management and the loyalty of their top financial advisors while attracting new top financial advisors. We provide insights, developed from empirical research, into what motivates top financial advisors, how to help them stay fully engaged and how to accelerate the achievement of their professional goals. Our services secure the long-term success and allegiance of top financial advisors who generate significant income for financial institutions.

For more information, visit www.cegworldwide.com.

About WealthEngine 
WealthEngine™, Inc. is a leading provider of wealth intelligence and marketing services to nonprofit, luxury goods, retail, and financial organizations. The company’s unique data-driven approach to analytics, prospecting, and marketing has delivered actionable strategies and measurable results to more than four thousand clients. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine serves both the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.wealthengine.com.

Ralph Lauren Centralizes Luxury Business with New Hire

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U.S. apparel brand Ralph Lauren has created a new position, president of Ralph Lauren Luxury Collections, to oversee the global expansion of its luxury business.

The brand hired Valérie Hermann, the former CEO of French label Saint Laurent Paris and handbag brand Reed Krakoff, to the new role, which she will begin April 7. With this new hire, Ralph Lauren is able to centralize the strategy for all of its luxury portfolio, as well as focus on growing its luxury brands.

Organizations Investing in Business Intelligence Will Out-Compete Others for Funding from Public and Private Investors

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Over the past several years, Big Data, Data Analytics and Data Visualization have become some of the noisiest buzzwords in the nonprofit lexicon.   Data, analytics, and reporting together form the basis of business intelligence, and while many nonprofits are developing core competencies in one or the other of these key functions, it takes a true organization-wide commitment and approach to achieve the benefits of BI and data-driven decision making.

This year promises to be the year that many of the Business Intelligence puzzle pieces come together for nonprofits, as

  • new kinds of data including demographic, lifestyle, political, and behavioral become available to supplement existing information, including ever more accurate estimates of wealth and assets;
  • technology providers are seeing the potential in creating cost-effective and user-friendly tools for conducting and utilizing business intelligence in all areas of nonprofit management;
  • pressures from trustees, funders, and donors converge  to demand greater transparency and demonstrable outcomes; and,
  • sophisticated data analytics practitioners from higher education, health care, and national nonprofits are forming business intelligence teams and modeling the potential and value of true BI.

Recent research by WealthEngine shows that there are five distinct stages of nonprofit data maturity, from oblivious, through aware, emerging, and investing to optimizing.  Based on a study of these different levels of maturity, we identified the following five key areas that differentiate those who are practicing data-informed decision making from those who are less data-informed:

  1. Data:  Data informed organizations are more likely to enrich their data with appended data from a variety of sources, including screening data, subscription data, internet sources, analytics, surveys, and others.  78% of optimizing organizations append data regularly, while less than 50% of oblivious organizations enhance their data on a regular basis.
  2. Technical Support:  Optimizing organizations are by far more satisfied with the technical support they receive than are oblivious organizations, with 50% of optimizing being very satisfied, while 50% of oblivious reported being very dissatisfied.
  3. Technical Planning:  62% of Optimizing organizations have a well-crafted technology strategic plan, while 68% of oblivious organizations have no technology strategic plan and have not included technology in any strategic planning.
  4. Reporting:  Mature organizations are more likely to have real-time dashboard reporting, while over 20% of those lowest on the maturity scale indicated they are “too busy to pull reports.”
  5. Analytics: High maturity organizations are much more likely to have an individual or department dedicated to analytics than lower maturity organizations.  In addition, over 60% of optimizing organizations are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with analytic outputs, while only about 20% of oblivious and emerging organizations feel that way.

With competition for funding heightening, and the demand for efficiency, effectiveness and evidence-based investments in social change ever-increasing, it is incumbent on nonprofits of all types and sizes to develop the infrastructure and skills necessary to develop and leverage business intelligence.  Organizations that are combining their data with analytics and meaningful, impactful reporting to provide decision-support organization-wide will be three steps ahead of the competition.