Retail Marketing: Using Technology to Drive Personalization at Scale

retail marketing

We’ve heard that personalization should be at the core of retail marketing strategy. Does this mean that you send discounts on jeans to previous customers who bought jeans? Yes, that’s a part of it, but there is so much more. Every touchpoint needs to make the customer feel like they are having a one-on-one conversation with you. However, from a business standpoint, your strategy needs to be scalable as well. The question then becomes about balancing scalability with that personal touch.

Bob Ghafouri, Senior Managing Director, Founder, Bloom by Accenture recently addressed this question and others at WE Prosper Summit.

How Can You Scale Personalization?

Platforms are disrupting every industry. Retail marketing is no different. In fact, platforms can enable you to achieve personalization at scale. They are able to do this by focusing on three elements:

  1. Experience Disruption- creating a frictionless customer experience that makes everyone pivot. Eg: AirBnB made it so convenient to find the comfort of home in a new city that people started to prefer them to hotels for certain types of trips.
  2. Business Model Disruption- changing the value chain or existing business models to find an advantage. Eg: Dollar Shave Club cut out other players in the value chain and went direct to consumer. By doing this, they were able to keep costs very low and provide value and convenience to their customers.
  3. Technological Disruption- when technology enables you to take leaps, speed up innovation or benefit from convenience. Eg: Amazon’s Redshift platform- a new business could use this to launch themselves into the market in a matter of days

These disruptions all allow retail marketers to personalize their offerings. For instance, experiences can be curated to meet customer preferences. Similarly, value and/or convenience can be factored in based on what is most important to each customer segment. With the help of technology, these offerings can remain customized but can be scaled as businesses grow.

What do Retail Customers Want?

When it comes to retail, customers know what they want. They want personalization & control. This means that they don’t just want to be offered a multitude of choices. Options generated by retail marketing should cater to their preferences. Furthermore, they want to be in control of their journey and the information you hold about them. The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 45% of consumers left a website due to being overwhelmed by too many options
  • 82% of customers are willing to share data- as long as there is transparency, control, and service
  • 79% of consumers have never felt a brand was too personal or invasive
  • 81% of consumers will shop more if you recognize, remember, and make relevant recommendations
  • 75% of consumers want to control their journey

If you’re in retail marketing, the data above shows you that listening to your customers is a large part of the exercise. Let them educate you on how best to serve them.

How can Retail Marketing Address Customer Wants and Needs?

Think service design: a dynamic service experience is critical to getting 1:1 personalization. Customer experience should be designed in such a way that every touchpoint must feel personal. Focus on three elements to develop this design:

personalization

Personalized Shopping: Stalking is Not Personalization

You have several kinds of data at your organization. You don’t have to track your customer’s every move or stalk them in order to get insights. Personalized shopping can be driven by combining different types of data- both your own and that acquired from third parties.

You can use transactional or historical data + shared intent by the customer + insights from machine learning that can provide inferred intent. These three combined can provide actionable insights and be powerful to drive personalization. Further, your communication can be more proactive through these.

For example, your customer may have bought entry-level luxury handbags before. You then notice that they add a high-end luxury bag to their cart and abandon it there for some time. This shows you their intent or preparedness to spend on a big-ticket item. Using data science, you can analyze similar patterns among other customers to predict the value of their next purchase or even predict the likelihood of a big-ticket purchase on their next transaction.

When you have this kind of insight, you can send them tailored offers- maybe a personalized shopping experience in-store or a promotion offered specifically around high-end handbags.

Personalized Merchandising: Profiling is Not Personalization

Data and machine learning are powerful tools in retail marketing, of course. Data-driven segmentation can also help you refine personalization. However, even the best algorithm may not be enough to create something highly personalized. Applying human intuition on a digital platform is what will get you there.

For instance, let’s consider the previous example. Your predictive model indicated that the customer is ready for a luxury purchase in their next transaction. However, as a seasoned retail marketing professional, you may realize that the bag remaining in their cart is a sign. Your instinct can take you from prediction to anticipation. Prediction is about retailers being in control, but anticipation puts the control back in the hands of the customer.  In this case, your experience tells you that the customer is hesitant about making such a big decision.

Knowing how likely they are to make a purchase empowers you to approach them with personalized merchandising. You may send them a video about craftsmanship on the brand of handbags they are interested in. Thus, you showcase the value of the product to them. On the other hand, you may realize that they are ready to make a luxury purchase but maybe the handbag is a bigger commitment than they are ready for. In this instance, personalization could be in the form of promotions on belts, wallets or other smaller items from the same brand.

Personalized Advisor: Chatbots are Not Personalization

Retail consumers seek experts just like anybody else. They are looking for personalization in the form of advice. While chatbots are a nifty solution to interact with customers at scale, they cannot replace real advice.

In the spectrum of virtual to real experts, there are three archetypes that are typically used in retail marketing.

Retail marketers are pivoting towards 1:1 personalized orchestration engines. These are not just about sharing advice but also listening to your consumers.

For instance, when a customer is shopping online your recommendation engine may be showing them similar products. However, customers seek advice more than recommendations. You can drive personalization by showing them how to pair the item they are looking at with others or how to style it for different occasions based on their lifestyle.

You could also offer advice in the form of answering frequently asked questions about the product. This can go beyond product specs to show how the product functions in different settings, how durable it can be, etc.

Thus, you can build personalization into the entire customer journey. By listening as much as recommending, retail marketers can ensure that customers control their own journeys.

Top 4 Retail Marketing Takeaways:

Here are four top takeaways from Bob’s talk on personalization in retail marketing.

  1. Consumers don’t mind that you have data on them. In fact, they preferred to be recognized and offered relevant offers. But, they want transparency and control over the data.
  2. Combine your knowledge of your customers with data science to gain insights.
  3. Become proactive in your communications, open yourself up to listening to your customers. Go from predicting customer behavior to anticipating it.
  4. Retail experiences need to be personalized in every step of the customer journey. In order to achieve this in a meaningful way, you need to combine technology and human instinct.

Catch a Recap of Making it Personal

Watch the full recap of Making it Personal, presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

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Donor-Advised Funds: How Your Nonprofit Can Gain Untapped Gifts

Donor Advised Funds

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) may seem out of reach, but reports show that they are growing at a rapid rate. Furthermore, DAFs have been making a significant impact on giving. For instance, a donor recently found out that his DAF had the ability to support early education impacting 80 children. The fund that went out to support this cause was in the ballpark of $170,000. This was possible through appreciated securities and growth of the fund in their portfolio.

If your nonprofit has not been leveraging Donor-Advised Funds to supplement your fundraising strategies, following our recommended best practices can help you get started. Make sure you get a copy of our best practices guide at the end of this article.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is a Donor-Advised Fund?

Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing, Fidelity Charitable says, “A donor advised fund is like having a set-aside investment account just for your charitable giving.”

DAFs are a way for donors to make a charitable contribution and get their tax deduction immediately. However, funds, securities, and assets are held by a public charity. The donor can then recommend grants to go out to charities from these assets.

Three Key Benefits of Using DAFs

  1. The nature of these funds allows donors to be more thoughtful about how they allocate resources to charities. It takes the time pressure off when they have had a financial windfall. They can establish the DAF right away and receive a tax deduction. But, they still have time to think about how best to use these funds.
    In the words of a current DAF donor, these funds allow you to put 98% of the focus on giving and 2% on the implementation/technicalities of it.
  2. Assets can appreciate over time allowing charities to benefit from a higher value contribution.
  3. DAFs are also growing at an exponential rate when compared to the growth of overall giving. For example, giving overall grew 5% in 2017 vs DAFs that grew by 20% in the same period.

Profile of a Typical Donor

  1. The median age is 65. However, giving can begin as early as 55.
  2. 79% of them also volunteer their time with their money
  3. 68% have said that DAF is right for them because they have the money now but haven’t thought about how/where to give yet
  4. 76% give appreciated assets (privately held assets or publically traded stock)
  5. 76% give because it is an investment growth of charitable assets
  6. 27% give because they had a financial windfall

Before we get to our best practice recommendations, let’s understand some commonly held misconceptions about Donor-Advised Funds.

Donor-Advised Fund Myths- What is actually true?

 

Myth

Fact

DAF donors are typically wealthy The average DAF donor has a bank balance of $17,000
DAF contributions are always major gifts Gifts have a wide range, but the average is about $4000
Money doesn’t move when it ends up in a Donor-Advised Fund On average 37% of funds go to charities in year 1, 74% within 5 years and 88% within 10 years
DAFs are limited in number Over 1000 charities have DAF programs

 

5 Best Practices for Nonprofits to Get These Funds

Learn how best to fish in your own pond. Identify prospects for DAF giving from within your donor base.

Download our best practices guide here–>

Top 5 Giving Tuesday Ideas to Boost Your Fundraising Efforts

giving tuesday ideas

As Giving Tuesday approaches, it’s important to have a game plan. This will help you procure as many major gifts as possible and connect with donors on a deeper level. So, by identifying what to do on Giving Tuesday, you’ll be able to fundraise with ease. Let’s explore the top 5  Giving Tuesday ideas to make your fundraiser a success. And, be sure to get the ultimate Giving Tuesday checklist at the end of the article to ensure that you’re on track to meet your fundraising goals now, and at the end of the year.

1. Establish a Specific Giving Tuesday Fundraising Need

One Giving Tuesday idea is to focus your fundraising efforts on a specific need. A common mistake that organizations fall into is using Giving Tuesday to fundraise in general, instead of focusing their efforts on a specific goal.

By not articulating what your fundraiser will help create, specifically, donors aren’t able to gauge where and how they’ll be able to create change. Creating a specific project to funnel contributions into, allows donors to visualize the end result and feel more involved in the process.

2. Create an Attainable Fundraising Goal for Giving Tuesday

Of all Giving Tuesday ideas, it is important to create a monetary goal that is feasible and attainable.  Organizations can fall into the trap of setting fundraising goals that are beyond their reach. During Giving Tuesday, it’s important that your organization set up one that is reasonable. If the set goal is too high, donors are unable to contextualize their gift and decide if their actions will actually help create change. This could dissuade potential donors from contributing all they can to your goal.

By creating a goal that you’re bound to reach, or even surpass, that will attract new donors to your cause. They’ll feel like they’re making a difference with their contributions knowing that you’ve been able to achieve a goal collectively. The donor needs to be the hero of your giving story, and the best way to do that is to provide them with gratification– they took steps in the right direction and now their actions have resulted in a win that exists beyond the goal.

3. Make Sure Your Website is Compatible with Mobile Devices

One Giving Tuesday idea that most organizations neglect is creating webpages that are compatible on other devices, especially mobile. The donation space is becoming increasingly digitized as time goes on. In order to accommodate your donors, it’s imperative that your website is compatible with various screens.

Mobile giving is becoming more and more popular. About 25% of donors complete their donations on mobile devices. And about 17% of Giving Tuesday donations in 2018 came through smartphones. Mobile giving enables your existing and prospective donors to give from anywhere at any time. By making sure your website is responsive or compatible, you can procure more and more donations.

4. Screen and Model Your Existing Donor Base

More often than not, organizations request donations from everyone and then determine which donors have the ability to give more. But, what if you were to cut out the guesswork on who would be most likely to give, and you could speak to them directly? This all starts with screening and modeling.

So, it’s a good idea to screen and model your donors for Giving Tuesday. By conducting a wealth screening, you can see which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. Once you’ve compiled this information, you can implement focused and effective engagement techniques. Not only are you reaching donors who are likely to give during Giving Tuesday, but now you’re also communicating with people who are willing to give again and again.

Once you’ve screened all the donors in your database, you can use WealthEngine’s modeling solution to find donors just like your best. By modeling your best donors, you are able to generate a core donor persona. You can identify overlaps in demographic data, preferences, and giving history among donors who are already in your database. This will give you an impression of what your ideal donors look like. That is to say, you’ll get a sense of what their traits are and how they communicate. This impression will help you find people like those.

5. Create and Send Personalized Messages

When it comes to receipts, emails or thank-yous, a good Giving Tuesday idea is to personalize and tailor your outreach. Generating hyper-personalized Giving Tuesday emails and thank you letters allow you to personally name and acknowledge your donors. This shows them, not only are you invested in your goal, but you are also invested in them and the change they’re committed to making. This is the first step in actively cultivating and nurturing relationships with your existing and prospective donors.

Focusing on an individual’s contributions allows you to highlight how their personal interests, values, or actions help incite great change. Each of them, individually, is at the core of the positive impact you want to make. Not only will this help you during Giving Tuesday, but it’ll also help you create a loyal donor base that’s likely to give to your organization in the future.

Download Your Ultimate Giving Tuesday Checklist

These Giving Tuesday ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are many other items to mark off your checklist. Wondering where to start? Download our ultimate Giving Tuesday checklist here. See what to do and how best to strengthen your fundraising ventures as your year comes to a close.

Identity Resolution For Best Match Rates & Unique Pre-Built Profiles

identity resolution

As the proliferation of data continues, identity resolution or entity resolution becomes a topic of greater importance. You may be wondering how such a specific technicality may affect your business. Our in-house expert, Glen Ireland actually answers that question and more on our podcast. Let’s begin with the basics.

Listen to the full podcast here:

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is the process of matching data from multiple sources with one entity. It can also be referred to more generally as entity
resolution. Basically, when several data points are matched with a person and the association is confirmed, it is identity resolution.

For example, let’s say there’s a contact named Eric Smith in your database. You may find out from another data source that Eric Smith has a net worth of $10M. The problem is that there could be ten different people with the name Eric Smith among your contacts. Identity resolution comes in when you need to find the right one to associate the net worth with.

Businesses Can Also Face Identity Loss

Not only does entity resolution affect people, but it also affects organizations. Even if your organization deals with other businesses, identity resolution could become important for you.

For example, your system may have stored IBM as IBM, International Business Machine, and as IBM Corp. When you add new data, you may add each data point to a different entity. In this case, your data will not be able to paint a holistic picture of the entity for you.

In these instances, computers cannot make judgment calls. Human intervention may be needed. Of course, when you try to achieve entity resolution at scale, you can do this through algorithms.

Entity Resolution & Wealth Data Analytics

When it comes to your wealth data analytics, identity resolution becomes paramount. Let’s consider the case of WealthEngine. Identity resolution enables us to pre-form profiles about every adult in the US. These pre-
formed profiles allow WealthEngine to offer solutions like WE Prospect, and WE Analyze.

Furthermore, with entity resolution, you can perform a nationwide quick search. This means you can look up any individual adult in the US or create segments in the WealthEngine database.

Identity resolution lets WealthEngine procure data from several different data sources. So, each data source has its own unique identifier for each person. WealthEngine can then match all these data sources through entity resolution. This helps us build pre-formed profiles and to update and enrich them over time.

WealthEngine invests millions in acquiring high-quality data from different sources. This means you can learn more and more about Eric Smith on your contacts list with WealthEngine. This includes demographics, lifestyle, behavior, interests, and affinities. Our algorithms and data science help make sure that you have up to date and extensive information to work with.

Identity Resolution to Match Vendor & Customer Data

So, how do you match data from different sources and vendors? Although this is a complex process, two basic techniques can be used. For instance, the main attributes we use to match entities are their name and primary address.

A best practice for identity resolution is standardizing the format for names. To illustrate, turn nicknames into formal names, remove any punctuation from names, etc. You may also want to standardize addresses by reformatting them. The format should match deliverable USPS addresses. Those are two basic things that can be done to enable entity resolution.

There are also other sophisticated techniques to accommodate misspellings. We use some of these advanced practices at WealthEngine. For example, a vendor might send a record with a name that’s missing one character. Similarly, there could be a street name that’s missing two characters. In these instances, we use something called edit distance algorithms. We may also use this and similar techniques to accommodate misspellings in first names, last names, or street names when ingesting vendor data.

Advanced Technology for Higher Match Rates

The above were general best practices, but the process becomes complex at scale. Furthermore, as you ingest data from more sources, you need more sophisticated data science to ensure accuracy. WealthEngine’s industry-leading technology means that our clients can enjoy up to 90% match rates.

In fact, clients have confirmed that other analytics solutions offer about 30-60% while WealthEngine can get them to 90%. This is because WealthEngine has spent 20 years coming up with sophisticated techniques beyond the basics.  For example, we can also use attributes like spouse name or business name to increase that metric.

This is important because both husband and wife can make a decision on something. If you’re targeting a specific individual, you may want to bear in mind that the spouse might actually be the decision-maker. These could be decisions about a donation, about buying a particular product, or using a certain financial services firm. With this being the case, it’s very important to have identity resolution be as accurate as possible.

What Happens When There Is No Match

If a record from a vendor cannot be matched to a profile, WealthEngine has to decide whether or not to create a new profile. If the record coming in from the vendor is complete enough, and it seems like a person that is not already in the database, we create a new profile. For instance, there are something like 10,000 17-year-olds turning 18 every day. They would all be eligible for being loaded into the WealthEngine database.

In other situations, a customer record may match multiple profiles. In this instance of entity resolution, let’s say you add some extra pieces of information to WealthEngine. This may cause one customer record to match multiple WealthEngine profiles. Then, WealthEngine appends information from all matching profiles to the customer record to enrich it as much as possible.

Does this work?

Yes, because  WealthEngine sometimes has more than one profile per person. The reason behind this is that we want to shy away from over-merging. This means, you never want to use identity resolution to combine two different people.  WealthEngine tends to err on the side of what’s called under-merging, where one person is represented by multiple profiles in the WealthEngine database. In fact, competing solutions may have greater inaccuracy because of this.

How You Can Benefit From Identity Resolution

Identity resolution ultimately increases the accuracy of information for customers. This means you can simply search for a person and see all their information compiled into a profile. These profiles are built using data from several different sources. Thus, this presents itself as a convenience for you.

Secondly, having reliable entity resolution in place means you get higher match rates. For instance, WealthEngine match rates are very high, at about 90%. So, when you find out that Eric Smith’s net worth is $10M, you can be sure that it is the right person.

Furthermore, you can keep on enriching your contacts’ profiles with more information. With WealthEngine, the enrichment is automated in most cases. There is a small percentage of data that WealthEngine cannot match. However, with a feature called Find More in WealthEngine9, even this has a solution.

If your customer record does not match a WealthEngine profile, we will still store that record in your My Profiles tab. You can then click into the profile and do a manual identity resolution. First, use Quick Search to find what you believe is a match. Then use Find More to merge it into the uploaded record. Doing this, you can increase the match rate up to 100%. No other wealth intelligence solution can help you do this.

Increase Your Match Rate to 100% Starting Today

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Black Friday Marketing Campaigns for Luxury Retail

black friday marketing campaign

The holiday season is fast approaching. Now is the optimal time for luxury retailers to gear up for the busiest season of the year. Your Black Friday marketing campaigns need to be data-driven in order to ensure success. Before we analyze the holiday season and provide recommendations, let’s address a question that might be on your mind:

Do luxury brands do Black Friday?

The holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday, can be the biggest time of the year for retail. With this being the case, luxury retail stands to benefit from the general willingness to spend.

Of course, there is the question of whether offering luxury goods on sale dilutes your brand. But, when it comes to your Black Friday marketing campaigns, there are ways for you to participate without affecting your overall brand image. Many high-fashion labels such as Prada and Fendi participate in Black Friday, as Bloomberg reports. 

Now, let’s explore the ways brands approach Black Friday internet marketing or digital marketing strategy.

Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

There are several ways for luxury retailers to get involved during the holiday shopping season. In general, all retail categories see an uptick during this time of year, including luxury.

Even luxury buyers enjoy scoring a great deal or an exclusive find. Thus, as a luxury retailer, you can create excitement around Black Friday without tarnishing your brand.

Your digital campaigns can be focused on value-adds that are specific to the season. These don’t necessarily mean offering unreasonable discounts on large volumes of products. A well-timed marketing campaign can promote your holiday idea in a way that is reflective of your brand. The promotion can generate both buzz around the season and the exclusivity of a certain deal.

How best can you do this? Let’s consider a few examples from past holiday seasons.

Black Friday Marketing Examples for Luxury Retail

Many luxury retailers have taken advantage of Black Friday in the past. For instance, although Louis Vuitton’s flagship store did not feature any discounts, according to Business of Fashion, they did open their store earlier to encourage Black Friday shoppers to come in.

Another example is Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday marketing strategy. They offered Saint Laurent handbags at 40% off. Even though this is a significant discount, they limited it by offering it on a specific item. Other labels and products were sold at regular prices.

Masstige brands such as Michael Kors or Ralph Lauren have offered deep discounts of up to 75% off during this season. They can bounce back to regular prices after Black Friday without altering the value of their products or their overall brand.

Black Friday Marketing Ideas: In-Store and Online

Let’s consider some Black Friday marketing campaign ideas that you can implement and promote:

1. Deep discounts on limited pieces:

Whether in-store or online, you can manage the number or types of discounts you have. For instance, you can offer 75% off on fur coats, but limit the number of coats. Let’s say you offer 10 pieces per retail store and 50 online. Similarly, you can offer a discount on very specific items and maintain regular prices for all other products.

2. Longer store hours:

Black Friday excitement can also be created by opening your store early or keeping it open for longer hours. By doing this, you can attract shoppers who are out early or late without needing to offer major discounts.

3. Limited edition Black Friday collectibles:

Your Black Friday offer could be on a new collection or limited edition line of luxury products at full price. You can offer an early and exclusive preview of next season’s goods to Black Friday shoppers. This offers you another alternative to make the most of the season.

4. Discounted shopping during a short window: 

When you do offer a traditional Black Friday sale, you can do so in a short window of time. For instance, if your sale prices are only available 6 am to 9 am, early birds will get in to enjoy the deals.  This also motivates and gives other shoppers incentive to shop earlier. The buzz from your campaign will last the rest of the day even when you roll back to full price.

5. Curate and exclusive experience:

Other alternatives revolve around creating a memorable customer experience for in-store shoppers. For instance, you can offer free personal shopper service on this day. Similarly, you could serve champagne in-store, offer double reward points, or free personalization on products.

This could also be held as an exclusive, invite-only experience for your most loyal customers.

6. Discounts in partner retail stores: 

As a luxury brand, you may not want to reduce prices in your flagship store or your own retail store. However, you can choose to offer discounts through your partner retailers or similar channels. For instance, luxury department stores or even off-retail stores can offer selective discounts on your products.

How to Use Data to Implement Your Marketing Campaigns

As we noted earlier, data-driven Black Friday campaigns tend to see more success. Learn more about wealth data implementation for Black Friday success by reading our article.

Essentially, when you conduct wealth screening on your contacts, you learn more about them. Analyzing your screening data can tell you what makes your audience unique. You can then use these insights to deliver personalized and effective campaigns.

Personalize Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

Use wealth screening and analytics to personalize your campaigns.

Learn More About Millionaire Buyers

Download a free copy of our 2019 U.S Millionaire Report today.

Financial Advisor: Prospecting Ideas Using Data Modeling

financial advisor prospecting ideas

If you are a financial advisor or a wealth manager, then you know that the financial services landscape is highly dynamic. Financial services trends and regulations change frequently.  Marketing in financial services generally has a long conversion process due to the sensitive nature of the information that clients have to share with their wealth managers. Financial advisor prospecting ideas and activities, therefore, have to constantly be refreshed.

Data-Driven Prospecting Ideas for Financial Advisors & Wealth Managers

Think about how you typically market a financial services company. Prospecting ideas for financial advisors generally means cold calling or relying on referrals. These approaches are not without their challenges or issues. Referrals, of course, can be an effective way to find new clients. However, even your referral strategy can become more precise when driven by data.

In fact, it can be even more beneficial to begin with data. You may already have plenty of it. But, it may be fragmented and uninsightful in its present state.

Wealth Profiles

Your data needs to be housed in a centralized database, collected and organized into wealth profiles. Even if you are an individual financial advisor or wealth manager, organizing your data can be the first step in gaining actionable insights.

prospecting ideas for financial advisors

Wealth Indicators

Take wealth indicators for example. They can be a great starting point in understanding where the greatest potential lies in your database. Furthermore, you can combine wealth indicators with demographic, lifestyle, interest, and affinity data. Doing this gives you a holistic picture of who your contacts are.

For instance, you may find two contacts who are both 55 and have a net worth of $8M. When you perform a wealth screening, you might see that prospect A is interested in golf, whereas prospect B is interested in opera. Imagine you now approach them with a richer image of who they are. You will be more likely to have an engaging conversation with them.

Other data-driven,  prospecting activities for financial services involve deeper analysis. Analysis and modeling can further elevate your prospecting ideas. Let’s explore how.

Data & Modeling: Using Deeper Analysis to Drive Prospecting Activities for Financial Advisors

Leverage Your Current Customers

 1. A Look-Alike Model

You can leverage your existing contacts through modeling. A look-alike model can analyze your best customers and look for patterns among them. These patterns can then drive your prospecting activities.

For example, the model may tell you that all your top clients have a net worth between $1-3M. That a large majority of them do not have children and that they prefer adventure travel. Geared with this persona of an ideal customer,  you can tailor your prospecting ideas to really speak to someone like this.

2. Inner Circle

Although this technically is not a model, WealthEngine’s inner circle feature can make a big difference to your referral marketing. Basing your financial services prospecting on data from this feature can give you a sharper focus. Your current customers can again be a great source for you to meet great new customers. A warm introduction from your client to his colleague or HNW friend can automatically generate trust.

Let Your Prospecting Ideas Get Predictive With Modeling

You can use wealth models to predict specific outcomes. Predictive models build a specific formula for your client base. The model then uses this formula to analyze your database. Everyone on it will be scored against the formula and divided into segments. These segments will, therefore, help you prioritize your prospecting activities. A formulaic analysis, like this, can help you with the following:

1.  Customer Acquisition

This model can help you identify a completely new customer group. The group will be a high-potential segment as it will have properties that are similar to your existing customers.

2. Conversion

In this case, you can identify customers who were successfully converted to higher spending. We will build a model that can understand these customers. The model can then pick out other customers who can be upgraded.

3. Upsell

The upsell model builds a formula to predict upgrades or complimentary services. Through this, you can identify customers who can be approached with other offers.

4. Retention

For any financial advisor or wealth manager, customer churn can be a major concern. Using the retention model helps you predict whether a customer will churn or not.

5. Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

This model can predict the lifetime value of your customers. This way, you can focus your attention on those relationships that have long-term potential. How does this work?

The model uses your customers’ transaction history. Doing this enables it to predict churn. Further, you can also forecast the number of future transactions, the value of future transactions and even the next transaction amount. This type of analysis is possible using the latest machine learning techniques.

Therefore, data-driven, financial advisor prospecting ideas lead to more efficient prospecting activities.

Put Your Prospecting Ideas in Practice Today

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How to Market a Financial Services Company- Strategy for CEOs & CMOs

How to market a financial services company

Marketing a financial services business can often be complex due to the nature of the products and services. Customer decision cycles tend to be longer than other retail products. Moreover, a customer needs a high degree of trust to engage with a brand or organization. With this being the case, personalization becomes key. If you have wondered how to market a financial services company, the answer lies in building long-term relationships.

If you have your own firm or are a high-level executive at your financial services company, keep reading to learn more.

As a leader in financial services, you may not be concerned about marketing on a granular level. You may have a team that implements financial services marketing for you. However, knowing the overarching strategy of how to market a financial services company could prove beneficial in two ways: Firstly, you will weave marketing into your overall business strategy. Second, you will be able to collaborate more closely with your CMO and marketing team.

The next step seems simple- find wealthy clients. To do this, however, you need to start with the right kind of data. Furthermore, you will need the right strategy to build trust and establish long-term relationships with these individuals. You’ll also need to stand out from your competition. Let’s examine what challenges might stand in your way.

Challenges in the Marketing of Financial Services

In a dynamic industry such as yours, trends are constantly shifting. Keeping up with them can pose several issues:

1. Digitization disrupts the industry, threatening customer lifetime value (LTV).

2.  FinTech companies are set to outrun traditional companies in the sector.

3. The volume of data has grown exponentially, posing challenges for analysts.

4. Data is stored on unsecured platforms and there rise is a marked rise of cyberattacks.

5. The growth of AI/ML adds pressure to balance automation and the human touch.

If you’re interested in learning more about these financial services issues, read our article on the subject.

Marketing a Financial Services Business

Before you think about how to market financial products and services, it is important to understand how to market your financial services business as a whole.

This begins with having the right brand strategy.  Let’s examine how you can build an effective brand for your financial services company. Follow these 5 steps:

1. Understand Your Audience:

In the financial services sector, your customers and their needs can be quite varied. When you analyze your database, you can understand who your customers are. For instance, WE Analyze can study your database and identify patterns among your customers. You could find out, for example, that you primarily have two types of customers- baby boomer men and millennial women. With this insight, you can create a brand that speaks strongly to both customers. You might even decide to create different product lines with different identities to serve these two diverse groups.

2. Talk to Your Customers:

Conduct a survey among major groups that you have identified. This survey should tell you more about your customers’ needs and preferences. This primary research, combined with other industry reports, can tell you how to position yourself best.

3. Build Awareness:

You have created a brand identity that best suits your story and your audience. Now, it is time to ensure that the right people become aware of your story. You need to curate imagery, typeface, language, and media channels that all reflect your identity. Use owned and paid media channels to promote your story to your audience. Ensure that your brand’s personality stands out from your competitors. You may, for instance, need to adopt a luxurious and business-like image to appeal to major corporate clients/executives. On the contrary, your tone and imagery may need to be more personal and relatable if you are appealing primarily to millennial women.

4. Refine Your Message:

As your awareness campaigns see results, you will learn more about which aspects worked well and what didn’t. As you analyze, you can continue to refine your messaging until you ensure that it resonates with your audience.

5. Find More Customers Like Your Best Ones: 

When you know what kind of person engages with your brand and your story, it becomes easier for you to find more people like them. In fact, WE Analyze can generate a look-alike model. The model can help you go through your database and find your best customers.

Segmentation of the Financial Services Market

Building your brand is the first step. But it is not a one and done kind of activity.  The process is ongoing. So, the next step in the how to market a financial services company guide is refined segmentation. This is especially important as your audience’s life stages change or your market segments shift. Here are 3 steps for effective segmentation:

1. Identify Your Company’s Strengths:

Your story is always unique to you. This is a strength that your brand can leverage. Ensure that your brand is authentic to your company’s story and its culture. Study the market to see where you best fit in. For example, maybe most advisory services are directed at older customers. Your niche could be offering a tech-savvy, relatable wealth management solution for millennial millionaires. Furthermore, this may be a great fit for you as your company has a lot of younger executives and wealth managers.

2. Segment Customers Based on Interests:

You will segment your audience based on demographics. This is definitely a great foundational step in how to market your financial services company. You can go further by segmenting them based on their interests. You may find needs that are similar across different demographic groups. This type of segmentation can help you expand your business into various financial services sectors such as retail banking, home loans, advisory, risk management, etc.

Wealth screening can help you gain great insights into your customers’ lifestyle and interests. Screening your database regularly helps you stay up to date as customer life stages change.

3. Address Gaps in the Financial Services Market

You cannot be everything to everyone. This is usually true of most businesses. But in the financial services products and services, you may find that you have more leeway. Because trust is a major factor when choosing a financial services company, you may find that customers are willing to stick with you for all their needs.

This may trickle down further into their sphere of influence or as we like to call it, their inner circle. You need to begin with a strong brand identity and an authentic story. With this as a solid foundation, you can then grow your business to offer a variety of financial services products and services. These can cater to generations of customers.

Your expansion strategy can rely on identifying gaps in the market. Find niches of services that are unavailable for certain groups or segments. This may be microloans in large metro areas for example.

How to Market Financial Services Products & Services

Segmentation and identifying gaps can serve as your guide for expanding your business.

When it comes to the marketing of financial services products and services, trust is key. Before you try to expand your business, you need to ensure that your brand has a solid foundation. When you offer a minimal range of products and services, but your customer experience is par excellence, you are working on building long-term relationships with your customers.

These customers who trust you and expect to be served well by you will rely on you for more services with time. By screening and analyzing your audience regularly, you keep up with changes in their needs and preferences. Doing so can help you offer personalized products and services to them.

Furthermore, you can use wealth data ratings and scores to identify the right customers for the right set of products. For instance, WealthEngine’s Propensity to Spend (P2S) score can help you understand a person’s likelihood to spend or save.

how to market financial services products and services

Additionally, you can also run wealth models to answer specific marketing questions. For instance, you could build a model to find out who among your customers is most likely to invest in a holiday home. The model can automatically scan your entire database and identify the top 10% of people who are most likely to do this.

Thus, when you are looking to expand into a new product or service, a model can indicate whether this would be a prudent path to growth.

How to Grow Your Book of Business

Finally, we’ll leave you with 3 tools that can help you grow your financial services company:

1. Use wealth signals to personalize your offerings:

2. Leverage Inner Circle:

Identify connections of your current or most influential clients to build a referral business. The tool identifies prospective clients with a connection already to your firm. Thus, you can increase the conversion rate of new clients. Relying on your referral pipeline with prospective clients already connected to your firm.

3. Integrate Through API:

API integration can not only bring you wealth insights right to your CRM, but also provide you with real-time insights.

Take advantage of all these tools within one convenient platform to market your financial services business.

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4 Elements to Include in Your Capital Campaign Thank You Letter

capital campaign thank you letter

As you collect gifts to meet your capital campaign goal, it’s integral to express your gratitude for your donors. The best way to do this in your fundraising strategy is by writing thank you letters to your donors. Not only will their contributions enable you to reach your goals now, but if you nurture those relationships, they’ll help you reach your future goals as well. Let’s explore the 4 necessary elements to integrate into your capital campaign thank you letters

Hyper-Personalization

No matter where your donors fall on the donor pyramid, it’s important to personalize your outreach when giving thanks. A hyper-personalized capital campaign thank you letter creates a solid foundation for you to cultivate and nurture relationships with donors. When thanking your donors, it’s important to express gratitude in individualized ways. By honing in on an individual donor’s contribution, you are expressing to them that their actions, specifically, are inciting great change. 

This is an opportunity for you to show your donors that not only do their values align with your organization’s, but they are amplifying your goal. Naming and acknowledging what your donors do shows them that they are an integral part of your success now and in the future. 

Storytelling

The primary goal of your capital campaign thank you letter an opportunity to express your gratitude. The secondary goal is to discuss successes you’ve reached because of your donors. This can be done through storytelling. Not in terms of the vision or mission of your cause, but in terms of case studies. The core of gratitude is an emotional connection. 

So, to engage with your donors through your letters, it’s important to show how your campaign is helping specific individuals and communities. This helps the audience envision who it is they’re helping, in ways that are recognizable and relatable. Not only will these testimonials from community members show how your donors are making a difference now, but it will highlight how your organization is taking actionable steps with the contributions you’re receiving. It will also inspire donors to continue contributing over time.  

Creating Messaging with a Topical Spin

Depending on what your campaign goal is, it may be important to create messaging that is tied into current events. Especially if you’re part of an advocacy group, it’s necessary to express your gratitude on a macro level.

Storytelling allows you to thank donors in personalized and individual ways, because you’re forging a connection through a narrative. But, by tying topical issues into your messaging (that may affect more communities than the ones you serve), you’re showing donors that their gifts reach far beyond the campaign goal. 

Not only is the goal influencing a single community, but it’s representative of widespread change. So, in the capital campaign thank you letter, you’re able to highlight how each donor’s actions are helping positively influencing individuals and communities beyond their own. 

Discussing Your Upcoming Events

As is the case with most nonprofit organizations, your messaging should highlight what you will be celebrating next with donors. Yes, they have given and your organization is appreciative of that, but it’s important to continue deepening the relationship. By inviting donors to celebrate campaign milestones or attend events, you’re showing them they are valued members of your community. 

You are also creating opportunities to diversify your shows of appreciation. Since you are able to meet your donors in person through these events, you can express what future projects your organization intends to act on, and gain support in new ways. This also gives you an opportunity to create events that speak to the interests and values of your donors. If they’re invited to an event that they would choose to go (outside the fundraising space), they’re more likely to attend. This all starts with planting that seed in writing, in your capital campaign thank you letters. 

As you can see, capital campaign thank you letters are a great opportunity to forge lasting relationships with donors. Not only can it help you increase your donations for your fundraising campaign, but it’s also an excellent way to combat donor fatigue. These are just a few elements to help you to generate relatable and actionable interactions.

Capital Campaign Thank You Letter Templates

Download our capital campaign thank you letter templates here to express your gratitude for your donors’ gifts. And, to help nurture your donor relationships, explore WE9. WealthEngine9 or WE9, our newest release, is transforming the nonprofit and commercial prospecting landscape. Explore how our Engagement Science™ speeds up the way you screen, analyze, find insights, and predict outcomes through modeling.

Top 5 Financial Services Issues Affecting the Industry

financial services issues

As new tech-centered business models are adopted by more firms, the financial services industry must change to meet their clients’ needs. The question is: what issues are causing the industry to change? And, how can players in the industry seamlessly navigate those changes? Let’s explore the top 5 financial services issues, and how best you can approach them as the landscape evolve.

Top 5 Financial Services Issues

1. Digitization Disrupts The Industry Threatening Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

The single biggest financial services issue that most institutions face is the inability to actively engage customers. Now,  retail banking customers, for example, are reliant on digital services to meet their needs. There’s less of a need for them to visit brick and mortar branches.

For example, PwC‘s 2017 Digital Banking Survey found that 46% of customers skipped banking branches altogether. They instead primarily used their smartphones, tablets, and other online applications. So, customers are flocking more towards direct-to-consumer channels. If financial institutions fail to adopt a digital structure, their customer retention could drop significantly.

This begs the question: what is the best way to understand your consumers’ evolving needs? By implementing an API, firms can learn more about their customers, in real-time. With WealthEngine’s API, you can receive real-time updates on consumer activity. Not only will you be able to understand your consumers’ individual needs, but you’ll also be able to personalize your outreach. For instance, when a new prospect fills out an inquiry form for a personal loan, you can immediately access their wealth, demographic, lifestyle and affinity data. So, your offer to them can be highly personalized and relevant.

2.  FinTech Companies Are Set to Outrun Traditional Companies in the Sector

In the same vein, another significant financial services issue is the emergence of FinTech. Unlike traditional financial services, FinTech addresses the growing customer need for direct-to-consumer services. So, when customers seek advice or information, robo-advisors or tech-savvy companies can provide answers instantly. This can take business away from financial services companies that have remained traditional.

A FICO Report on Millennials stated that nearly a quarter of millennials listed that the lack of mobile banking apps were their main deterrents in engaging with banks. Additionally, millennials are three times more likely than other generations to manage their bank account through their smartphone. So, since more customers want to manage their money online, it’s important to adopt an omnichannel marketing approach. Regardless of channel or device, it’s important that consumers feel that their experience is seamless. For example, although Bank of America experienced a 28% drop in their number of physical branches in 2018, their mobile banking users increased by 11% to 25.3 million that year.

So, by creating an easy-to-use platform for users, you can engage customers in ways that are most convenient for them. This isn’t to say that you should get rid of your physical branches. You should just adapt to the needs of your consumers, and identify what works best for which people. Using WealthEngine’s Analyze tool, you can understand your prospects and clients on a deeper level. You can evaluate past successes and use those insights to score your customers. You can then use these scores to inform your prospecting and help you see which of your clients have the greatest propensity and capacity to spend. See what makes your audience tick, and harness this knowledge to create relatable outreach.

3. Volume of Data Increases, Posing Challenges for Analysts

The scope of Big Data is also presenting itself as a potential financial services issue. Both retail and commercial financial institutions have more data on their customers than in any other industry. However, some still struggle to extract meaningful information from it. This makes it harder to make subsequent business decisions that would have been informed by this data.

For example, according to PwC, businesses only use 0.5% of available data. But, 37% of respondents believe that internal data will drive their next big decision. So, with the volume and speed of newly available data escalating, firms need new ways to store, classify, and use data. This client data needs to be accessible across departments. Your wealth management team must interact with the same database as your home loans department. With one centralized database, everyone has a complete picture of your customer before interacting with them.

By using WealthEngine’s screening tool, you can sift through client data seamlessly. You can upload lists of contacts and look through high volumes of data. Not only will you be able to go through demographic information, but you’ll also be able to find, segment, and prioritize prospects and existing clients. Screening helps you deal with large volumes of data efficiently. WE Insights can also help you find key patterns in your screening files. This means that your team will not have to spend hours trying to extract meaning from your data. Screening data helps you find relevant client information, which will help you personalize your outreach, and engage your clients effectively.

4. Data Stored on Unsecure Platforms and the Rise of Cyberattacks

Another financial services issue that many firms face is the rise of cyberattacks. Since financial services firms are in the midst of digitizing their services, using open banking platforms, they are at increased risk of attack. In 2018, fraud (both offline and online) increased by more than 130%. This resulted in significant monetary losses. Due to the monetary loss, firms were seen as less secure, which would deter individuals from using their services.

It’s necessary for firms to recognize what their potential vulnerabilities are. So, to manage these risks, it’s important to have a savvy security team. In addition, it’s also just as important to train other members of your firm, along with your leadership team. It’s also important to store your data in external platforms that are even more secure.

For example, WealthEngine goes through regular security updates and rigorous audits by third-party evaluators. Furthermore, we have a SOC Type II security certification, which goes over and above industry standard requirements. This helps us ensure data security and privacy for ourselves and our clients.

5. The Growth of AI/ML Adds Pressure to Balance Automation and The Human Touch

The last financial services issue that most firms are facing is the growing complexity of solving business problems.  This includes tax planning, product design, surveillance to manage financial crime, tailoring outreach for individual customers and prospects, and more. This can all be managed and regulated using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Although 30% of financial consumers are on their way to adopting robotic process automation, they need to invest more in those areas. It’s also important to notice which parts of your business would benefit from AI/ML and which would benefit from human touch. For example, AI/ML may be able to help bypass data issues you may face. However, if you want to improve customer service, that is a human-centered service that should be handled by and for people. So, businesses primarily use AI/ML for data management, where insights are derived from analytics.  However, when it comes to customer service, a human touch makes all the difference.

WealthEngine uses AI to analyze our database and build predictive models. This can help you identify your next prospects. Additionally, with ML, you can receive refined and personalized insights. So, the more you use the platform, the more it adapts to your needs.

Check Out Profiles On the New WealthEngine9 Platform

WealthEngine9 or WE9, our newest release, is transforming the prospecting landscape. Explore how our Engagement Science™ speeds up the way you screen, analyze, find insights, and predict outcomes through modeling.

Request Demo

Marketing Strategy For Luxury Real Estate: Find Your Next HNWI Buyer

marketing strategy for luxury real estate

Luxury real estate is a growing niche in an uncertain market according to Coldwell Banker and WealthEngine’s State of Luxury report. Marketing strategy for luxury real estate needs to be as diversified as your clientele.  Understand market trends and leverage data to refine your strategy. In doing so, you can increase your conversion rate while lowering costs.

Who is Your Next Millionaire Buyer?

Your next millionaire buyer could already be in your database. Understand UHNWIs and HNWIs who are interested in their next luxury real estate investment. Look for these signs in order to deliver results:

  1. Luxury today is defined by hyper-personalizaton. HNWIs are investing in properties that now feature everything from personal recording studios to in-house art galleries.
  2. Interest rates and price stabilization make luxury real estate less appealing to investors.
  3. Finally, UHNWIs decide based on value, not price. So even when the market indicates a downturn, offerings that are unique and personalized can be seen as highly valuable.

How Your Marketing Strategy For Luxury Real Estate Can Mold Itself to These UNHWIs

The trends described above mean that you need to offer a unique property to each prospect. Further, it also means that you need a clear understanding of what they value. Here is how you can shape your marketing accordingly.

Find Specific Buyers for Unique Homes

Now that you have understood the importance of personalization, you need to do a deep-dive into your database. This should show you what features and specifications each prospect values.

In other words, no two luxury home buyers are the same. You can reduce your time prospecting for your next sale by segmenting your audience. Customer segmentation needs to go beyond demographics. WealthEngine can segment your lead list based on lifestyle, interests, and affinities.

For instance, you can target yacht owners to lead them to their next waterfront beach home. Similarly, your marketing strategy could focus on investors who are looking to expand their portfolio. You can then reach them via a direct mail or email campaign based on their preferences.

Match Buyers With the Right Locations

Location is critical in luxury real estate selling. Therefore, you can use the geographic characteristics of your listing to identify new qualified prospects. These prospects should be the top segment to target in your marketing efforts.

To illustrate, WealthEngine can help you identify key million-dollar neighborhoods.

US richest zipcodes

You can go a step further to learn where your specific top segments live. Then, you can use this data to create brand recognition through marketing efforts in these areas.

Take Out the Guesswork- Use Data to Drive Your Marketing Strategy

Your lead list is long, and your time is short. Imagine, for instance, if you didn’t have to guess someone’s net worth based on their zipcode or car?

Understanding real estate buyers beyond their zip code is important. A holistic prospect list should show you exactly who to focus on through key wealth indicators. You would then be able to use this data to find the right potential buyers for your next luxury property.

WealthEngine data includes 250+ attributes that paint a descriptive picture of your prospects.  These indicators include estimated net worth, total assets, investments, and cash on hand. Moreover, wealth indicators are combined with lifestyle, interest, and affinity data to create a 360-degree view of prospects.

Wealth Insights for Luxury Real Estate Marketing

Use wealth and lifestyle insights to discover more about your potential buyers. You can then leverage these insights to personalize your marketing and sales efforts. Highly personalized campaigns drive engagement and increase customer lifetime value (LTV).

How WealthEngine Empowers Marketing Strategies for Luxury Real Estate.

1. Screen customers and prospects- Learn more about your existing customers and your leads. WE profiles can provide a rich canvas of information to help you fill the gaps. Get access to data on net worth, income, assets, real estate, stock holding. Further, data includes charitable contributions and actual business and personal contact information.

2. Analyze your database- WE Analyze can create a descriptive, look-alike model. This means that you have the means to understand what makes your customers unique. You may find that luxury homebuyers in Miami differ from those in LA. This will help you understand what makes them tick. You can then create campaigns that resonate in each market.

3. Model your data for actionable insights- Go beyond a descriptive image of your customers with data modeling. WealthEngine’s models can segment your leads through Big Data analytics. This means the model can segment your pipeline to show you the top 10% of leads. The model helps you answer a specific sales or marketing question. For example, you could identify the top 10% of leads for vacation home purchases. It could be the top 10% of leads for something specific such as water-front property in Long Island City, etc.

4. Find new prospects– Your customers are a treasure trove of insights. WealthEngine’s analysis can help you understand what makes them unique in each market. You can use these insights to find new leads who look just like them. The greater the similarity, the more likely they are to exhibit the same behavior.

Plan Your Personalized Luxury Campaign

WealthEngine houses 250M WE Profiles and 125M households. This helps you create ultra- segmented audiences. When you look for new prospects, you can add various filters to refine your segmentation. Niche segmentation then enables personalized communications. Personalization is what will lead to long-term engagement and increased LTV.

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