Using Big Data and Fundraising Data Analytics for Marketing

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The evolution and growth of big data is transforming the way we market and connect with donors and prospects. But, what does this data mean for commercial non-profit markets, and how can it be leveraged? Let’s explore how big data and fundraising data analytics is influencing our practices, and how we can navigate through this new space effectively.

What is Big Data?

Ask 10 people, and you may get 10 different answers. Big Data can generally be defined as data from multiple sources, combined in ways to make it informative and actionable. By combining data from disparate sets, patterns and insights emerge, and this actually creates more data! As we recognize patterns and trends in the data, these relationships, not previously a part of the data set, become new bits of data ripe for mining and analysis.

As time goes on, bigger data sets are also generated because information is being collected from social media, smart phones, cameras, satellites, remote sensors and other newly emerging technologies. 90% of the world’s data today has been created in the last 2 years alone. Every day, we create an estimate of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That’s 2.5 with 17 zeroes behind it! Needless to say, there’s an enormous amount of data that marketers or fundraisers can take advantage of.

What does Big Data mean to the marketer or fundraiser?

 

To the fundraiser or marketer, Big Data is the ability to see each consumer or prospect in a 360-degree view, and to personalize messages and interactions with that individual to create the ultimate purchasing or donating experience. We all know relationships are the key to successful marketing. Making sure that our prospects have the best experience they can have with our organization, whether it is a luxury brand selling luxury goods, or a nonprofit seeking funding for their mission, will improve their results.

One of the key buzzwords in marketing these days is “relevance.” Companies and organizations are generating content and practicing content marketing, but the key to making content marketing work is to be sure that the content we put forth is relevant to the audience we are targeting. That’s where  fundraising data analytics and big data comes in. Knowing your customers’ likes and dislikes; buying and donating behaviors; relationships with others in your universe; and most importantly, their wealth, and buying or investing power, allows you the ability to make your messages truly relevant on an almost individual basis.

How can I harness the power of Big Data?

So, given the high volume of data points generated, and the barriers to accessing and processing all these points, how can marketing or fundraising professionals reap the benefits of Big Data? To leverage fundraising data analytics, and big data, the fundraiser and marketer must:

  • Capture
  • Curate
  • Transform
  • Normalize
  • Parse
  • Combine
  • Analyze
  • Report, and
  • Visualize

These actions and activities would require more resources than most small to mid-sized businesses have on hand. So how can the small shop leverage  big data? How can the mid-sized nonprofit use fundraising data analytics to continue measuring the relationship between investment and fundraising?  How can this data be utilized without investing inordinate resources on data collection, curation, and analysis?

Selecting the right Big Data Partner

The answer is finding the right partner. Choosing the right Big Data partner can make your marketing and fundraising messages resonate with your unique audiences. When you’re shopping for a data partner, consider the following questions:

Does this partner understand wealth?

While behavior is an important element, wealth is the true driver for both purchasing and donating.  Does this partner have experience curating data?  For all of us who have tried to merge two spreadsheets of different sizes, or import data into an existing structured CRM, or transform text into numeric data, we can begin to glean the many challenges of working with huge data sets that require many steps to massage into a meaningful whole.  It’s beneficial to work with a Big Data partner who routinely works with data sets of all types and sizes.

Is the potential partner willing to work with you to select the data you need to append, and to customize a data solution for your needs?

Too much data can be as bad as not enough data.  Make sure you get the right fit by selecting a partner who can assist by understanding your needs and providing a customized solution. It’s equally important that your partner is leveraging resources that allow you create a wealth search and help you understand a potential or existing donor’s capacity to spend, invest, or give.

Does the partner add value?

Data is the foundation for knowledge and insight, but you need a partner with a robust analytics understanding who can add value to your data with ratings and scores, predictive modeling, clustering analysis and other techniques.  Analysis is where the true value of data is derived.

Will the partner work with your data?

Much of your most valuable data resides in your own CRM or DMS.  By combining the data you have with additional Big Data sets, you can extract the most value. Having a partner who can work with both, and who understands your business needs and challenges will reap the best results.

Does the partner have all the data you need?

Shopping piecemeal for data is time consuming and difficult.  So finding one partner who has wealth, demographic, lifestyle, behavioral, and biographic data at the individual and household levels. This can parse, normalize, and combine all your data points, and saving you hours of aggravation.

 

Organizations of any size and any level of data competency can harness the insights of fundraising data analytics with the right partner. If you’d like to learn more about the power of  fundraising data analytics, contact us to speak with one of our experienced consultants.

5 Benefits of Real-time Wealth Insights Through an API – Infographic

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The key to engaging prospects and rising above the noise is targeting the right people and personalizing your offers and calls to action. In order to do this effectively you need to have access to real-time insights.

We’ve put together this infographic with five suggestions to give your engagement strategies a boost.

To get more information on how you can leverage real-time wealth insights download our full eBook now – 5 Benefits of Real-Time Wealth Insights.

Five Tips for Maintaining Your Data

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Data is only your most important asset (after people, of course!) if it’s clean, consistent, accurate and complete.  If data is not maintained to these standards, any reporting or analytics done on top of it will be less than reliable.  We offer five tips below for keeping your data in top-notch condition so it forms a stable and reliable foundation for your fundraising and decision-making success.

  1. Know what data you intend to collect and enter into your DMS or CRM  This is particularly relevant as you recognize new data points that you want to collect, such as cell phone numbers, marital status, or date of birth.  These new data points should be tied to organizational goals.  For instance, if you have a goal to start a planned giving program, and have little DOB or age data, your strategy should include the collection of DOB’s.  You may need to edit all response mechanisms used in direct response and all web forms used in online engagement to include DOB as an optional or required field.  You may also want to budget for a DOB overlay to get more of this data populated as quickly as possible.  Whatever your tactics, specify in a data policies, procedures and style manual how the data should be entered, e.g., 3-14-72 or March 14, 1972.
     
  2. Limit access to your database to a need-only basis
    Your database should only be accessed by people who need to access it in order to do their job, both for security purposes and to preserve database integrity. Limit the ability to edit data to the few who will be held accountable for its accuracy.  All those with editing capability should be periodically trained in data entry procedures, and should have access to data policies, procedures and style manuals.
     
  3. Back up your DMS on a regular basis
    Your DMS should be backed up on a regular basis (preferably nightly) and the backup routines must be rigorous and tested periodically.  Every organization should test the restoration of their data from their backup to be absolutely sure the system is operating successfully and will serve them when needed.
     
  4. Audit your data periodically to test for:
    1. Completeness: Do all records contain the primary and essential information?  How many are un-solicitable for bad addresses? Is this number growing or shrinking?
    2. Consistency: Are data points entered in the same format?  Are they entered in the same fields in each record?  Are there spelling errors?
    3. Accuracy: Is the information included in each record correct? Are there spelling errors?
      Periodic audits will reveal where training needs to be implemented or improved, where resources need to be deployed to combat inconsistent or missing data and will provide key measures against which to measure progress.
       
  5. Codify data appropriately to ensure that it is useful
    Having thoughtful codes that can be used to segment and sub-segment the constituent population is essential to make the information you are collecting both reportable and queryable.  Having too few codes will prevent you from gleaning all the insight the data has to share; having too many codes will make the results of any analysis too granular and therefore unactionable.

Data is the essential ingredient all nonprofit fundraising programs are built on.  Be sure you are building on a firm foundation by taking the steps necessary to ensure your data is accurate, complete and consistent.  For more tips on data-driven fundraising, plus worksheets and more, check out our Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytical Approach to Data-Driven Success workbook.

Drive 2016 Holiday Strategies with Big Data

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Fall and holiday planning is in full swing and customer-centric brands have an opportunity to drastically improve the consumer experience – with wealth data. Wealth data has become the “must have” data point for brands and retailers who know how to maximize their consumer marketing and create the most relevant and profitable experience for each segment of their database.

The emergence of new structures for rich data allows for the unprecedented ability for brand marketers to truly deliver highly personalized, one-to-one e-commerce experiences. As we know, today’s consumers are pros at ignoring mass media and listening only to what they want to hear. But, with access to and with the effective use of Big Data, brands can enhance consumer experiences with contextual relevance that allows for engagement at precise moments when customers are most persuadable. Applying contextual relevance to digital customer experiences is often overlooked by marketers, yet it can make all the difference in delivering value propositions that get to the heart of a customer’s buying criteria.

In this competitive landscape, it doesn’t matter if marketers are focusing on direct mail, email, mobile, or digital strategies. The focus is the same. It is critical for marketers to pinpoint their prospects in unique and compelling ways. Utilizing wealth, demographic and lifestyle parameters are an effective way to leverage the attributes of your best customers to generate a targeting strategy and a voice that will resonate with that audience.

For more information on prioritizing your buyers and prospects using wealth data check out our webinar Improve Consumer Experiences and Drive Revenue in the 2016 Holiday Season Using Wealth Data.

Business Intelligence vs Predictive Analytics vs Prescriptive Analytics

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You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world.

Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Prescriptive Analytics…

The Big Data revolution’s got all kinds of scientific terms buzzing around today’s boardrooms at warp speed, smashing into each other on the path to becoming enterprise-wide solutions to business success. But what do they really mean? And more specifically, what do they really mean to marketers?

Continue reading “Business Intelligence vs Predictive Analytics vs Prescriptive Analytics”

Predictions for Data-Driven Marketing in 2016

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We know that data-driven marketing is becoming more critical to marketers and fundraisers. One doesn’t need a crystal ball to know it will continue to influence what we build and execute in 2016. Let’s be clear, it’s not about more data, but data that can drive business decisions. Company leaders, especially within the C-suite, are considering how they will define their own vision of a data-driven company, the metrics required and how to adopt predictive prospecting as a strategy.

In a recent webinar, Cool Perspectives about Data-Driven Marketing, three of Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Data-Driven Marketing came together for a panel discussion. Here are some of their predictions of what’s to come in 2016.


“There are three big trends affecting data-driven marketing that will accelerate through 2016. Big data technologies combining open source and commercial advances are making new types of data available at scales and speeds marketers couldn’t imagine a few years ago. As a consequence, marketing itself is able to deliver more and more personalized insights and messages, rather than averaging experiences. And there is a third shift toward synchronous experiences, where what is happening now or in the very recent past can inform things like offers, messages, content, and analytics.”

Martin Kihn, Research Analyst, Co-author of Cool Vendors of Data-Driven Marketing
Gartner

“Taking a data-driven approach starting with pre-engagement will continue to be instrumental. For years, our non-profit customers have been using predictive analytics for fundraising to determine who to ask and what to ask and when to ask. While marketers have used analytics to determine buyer behavior, they’re now incorporating wealth intelligence to determine what offers and upgrades they can present in a very personalized way. The results are pretty outstanding. Marketers are seeing higher conversions and more loyal customers. While privacy around what personal data is collected and how it is used is still a valid concern for consumers, I think we’ll start to see a higher level of trust being earned by the companies who use their data to focus on how they can create an exceptional experience for the customer through smart segmentation and customized messaging.”

Mike Lees, Chief Marketing Officer
WealthEngine

“Google is the modern operating system for digital marketing.  Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce may get the press, but Google dominates in terms of marketer’s mindshare, marketshare, and ultimately execution.  Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics and Google Adwords have created digital marketing’s data layer and the standard analysis engine to understand, optimize and execute on digital marketing investments.  Next up for Google is to help marketers build a truly enterprise marketing data warehouse and analytics engine in the cloud.  

Google Cloud Platform & Google BigQuery deliver on this next piece of marketing infrastructure today, creating the first end-to-end data-centric marketing cloud. It’s clear now that CMOs will own the tech marketing stack and Google will be their go-to provider. Other marketing tech vendors will need to be interoperable with the Google Cloud and deliver their own unique value in this ecosystem.  Only a data-centric company like Google can deliver this new kind of marketing cloud.”

James McDermott, Chief Executive Officer
Lytics

“Few CMOs will argue that they don’t own their brand anymore. We have lots of user data thanks to social media, but social media is changing consumer purchasing behavior far faster than companies are translating social data into useful insights. Businesses must begin to iteratively add data tools if they are to overcome this challenge.

Office cultures don’t change overnight. Many companies fear that data will require a top-to-bottom cultural overhaul, which causes them to hesitate instead of adding new data tools. Fear barriers only begin to lower when people begin to iteratively embrace a new concept. With these iterations, change starts to take hold, and companies begin to find the equilibrium between what’s always worked and what’s necessary to remain competitive as the uncertain future unfolds.

In 2016, I believe the fear barrier around data-driven marketing will finally begin to lower as people recognize that they don’t need to eliminate the old ways of doing things, and instead need merely to augment their existing toolbox with new capabilities. On-demand data-driven marketing tools will give CMOs new options as to what they discard, what they keep, and most importantly how they can better use the tools and processes that their company cultures can handle.”

Malcolm De Leo, Chief Evangelist
Quantifind


Interested in learning more about how data can be the critical element that drives your company’s success? Request a demo now.

Mike Lees’ Week in Review: On LinkedIn about Data Being Everywhere and Datasexuals?

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Are you sick of hearing the words “Big Data” yet? While “Big Data” has quite a history, it’s relatively new to those on marketing teams. And while it might sound repetitive, there’s a reason it’s what CMOs are talking about. Big data is at the core of what we do here at WealthEngine. Last week, I tweeted my first published post on LinkedIn on why Big Data is more than just a buzzword. I hope you’ll read what I had to say and comment.

Also, another word I’m still on the fence about whether or not we’ll hear it a lot is the term datasexual. It’s a provocative term to say the least and I’m sure that Michael Kaushansky meant to be provocative when he wrote “Data Saves the CMO” for MediaPost recently. However, I think those of us that eat, breathe and live data in our daily lives as marketing practitioners probably don’t want to include that in our LinkedIn profiles or resumes. Or do we?

Have ideas for alternative terms to “datasexual” to describe those who use data to drive marketing business decisions? Tweet them to me at @MichaelJLees.

In case you missed it last week, we’re hosting our  #WECMO Series events in San Francisco next week and New York City the following week. Bryan Kramer, CEO at PureMatter and author of the book “Shareology”, and I will be talking about marketing personalization at scale in San Francisco on July 15. Those attending the event will receive a free copy of his book, being released on July 14! On July 21,  Bill Evans, Chief Digital Officer at WPP, will join me in a follow-up from our webinar last week and we’ll be talking about data, digital, wealth and predictive prospecting. If you are a marketing leader, make sure you RSVP to our NY WE CMO Series event and our SF WE CMO Series event as soon as possible as space is limited.

Would love if you would join the conversation

Michael Lees is Chief Marketing Officer at WealthEngine. His “Week in Review” is a weekly round-up of conversations, insights and inspiration he’s discovered around the web. Have something you want him to take a look at and weigh in on? Tweet him @michaeljlees and tag #WECMO.

Want a demo of WealthEngine to see how WE can help you with audience development, marketing personalization and wealth insights? Share your contact information and we’ll be in touch soon.

Big Data = Big Opportunity

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Data-driven marketers need more and better data, but the landscape continues to evolve quickly. Third-party data providers change fast and Big Data is growing exponentially.

Consider a few facts:                                   

  • More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day through a range of activities including social media posts, purchase transaction records, cell phone GPS signals, supply chain and logistics data, and digital videos, pictures, and audio recordings.
  • Individuals generate more than 70% of all data; enterprises store and manage 80% of this data.
  • Global spending on big data is growing at an average annual rate of nearly 30% and is expected to reach $114 billion in 2018.

Now, those are big numbers, but one of the biggest concerns is how companies are going to support and execute strategies with this data. Marketers and fundraisers can execute data driven strategies that can and will change the way they do business.

How?

By using data insights to understand, segment, and speak directly to their highest potential prospects and customers.

So, what type of data is critical? Demographic data, traditionally the king of data types, is diminishing in importance. Other types of data, including behavioral and psychographic data, enable marketers to understand, target, and engage audiences more effectively.

Gartner’s recent Market Guide for Marketing Data Providers acknowledges WealthEngine as a representative vendor for these marketing data offerings. It includes a list of data providers and how they can fit into an organization’s structure and strategy. [Market definition, market direction, market analysis, market recommendations].

In this report, Gartner recommends a simple approach to get started.

As marketers, you must ask yourselves…

  • What are the use cases for which you need data from a third party provider
    • Targeting
    • Lead conversion
    • Market research
  • What are the metrics you’re trying to move?
    • Ad efficiency
    • Conversion rates
    • New product uptake
  • What data provider or providers best support your goal?
  • Is your marketing initiative is long- or short-term?
    • If it’s long-term, you’ll need to develop a multi-year relationship with your data provider. Therefore, the provider’s financial viability and customer references become more important.

We know that managing big data and gleaning the insights you need to really drive strategy is not easy, but it is now a mandate for most companies to sustain growth. Imagine what happens when you target the right people at the right time in the right channel. It leads to better engagement, higher conversion, and increased sales.

Now, that’s big!

What’s your secret to data driven success?

*Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Mike Lees’ Week in Review: CEOs Taking Marketing Seriously, Data-Driven Marketing for Small Business, Personalized Marketing and More

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Marketing is critical to the success of a company, right? You would think that this was a commonly held belief but the true test is if the CEO sees marketing as a high priority. Forbes talks about this in their coverage of the CMO Impact Study I tweeted last week.

Many small business embrace analytics to a degree through their website metrics and their email marketing dashboard and in many cases this is where their data-driven marketing begins and ends because many believe that anything more is for the enterprise. Not so fast. I tweeted a great piece from Business2Community that talks about how small businesses can segment and target their customers and prospects more effectively by tying all of their data points together.

When we think about taking a personalized approach to marketing, it’s important that you have enough insights in order to really be effective, in the CMO.com article I tweeted it talks about how 70% of buyers journeys are already completed before any human contact is made. That’s why personalized marketing is so important. Speaking of Human to Human marketing (H2H), I have also been talking to Bryan Kramer, Author of Shareology and CEO at PureMatter, about the fine line between personalization, privacy and the potential creepiness factor. If you’re not already a part of his #H2HChat on Twitter every week on Mondays, you should consider joining in.

Would love if you would join the conversation.

Michael Lees is Chief Marketing Officer at WealthEngine. His “Week in Review” is a weekly round-up of conversations, insights and inspiration he’s discovered around the web. Have something you want him to take a look at and weigh in on? Tweet him @michaeljlees and tag #WECMO.

Want a demo of WealthEngine to see how WE can help you with audience development, marketing personalization and wealth insights? Share your contact information and we’ll be in touch soon.

Mike Lees’ Week in Review: Being a CMO, Big Data in Retail, Marketing Analytics and More

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Being a CMO means traveling. A lot. Being a 2-continent dad, also means traveling.  A lot. (It also means I write and tweet less!!). Last week was one of those weeks….starting in the UK and then taking me on to the JCK Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, where I hosted a panel “Changing the Game: Big Data in Retail”.  The panel’s message was clear….big data’s biggest impact in retail for the foreseeable future will be to support better prediction around which prospects and customers are buyers and which are not!  

In between traveling across several time zones, I read about why marketing analytics projects end up failing. I loved it because it played so well to the messages we heard from the customers on our panel.  They succeeded in their projects around predictive prospecting because:

  • They were focused (they were clear that they wanted the data to identify the characteristics of their best customers).
  • Their outputs were simple and consumable ( insights need to drive decisions, not more data and too much analysis). 

Why have your projects succeeded? Won’t you join the conversation?

Michael Lees is Chief Marketing Officer at WealthEngine. His “Week in Review” is a weekly round-up of conversations, insights and inspiration he’s discovered around the web. Have something you want him to take a look at and weigh in on? Tweet him @michaeljlees and tag #WECMO.

Want a demo of WealthEngine to see how WE can help you with audience development, marketing personalization and wealth insights? Share your contact information and we’ll be in touch soon.