AI for Retail: Supercharge Every Stage of the Customer Journey

AI for Retail

Does AI sound like it’s all hype? For the retail sector, it turns out that AI can have many applications. Similarly, it can help you integrate processes across the value chain.

Why AI for Retail?

84% of customers say that experience is as important as products or services themselves. Furthermore, customer expectations are at an all-time high. Besides, these expectations are true for all touchpoints that your brand interacts with them on.

In order to deliver great customer experience, you have to be everywhere they are. Furthermore, you have to anticipate where they will be next. For instance, when retailers realized that Instagram was a great platform for sales, they improvised and found ways to sell even before the platform released its official feature.

The Future of Retail

Platforms are getting more fragmented. As a result, there are more new channels for customers to interact with you every day. This means that the competitive advantage you enjoy as a brand must translate to every touchpoint. Here are some retail statistics that give you an indication of where the future is headed:

  • 55% of all orders are now on mobile
  • There is an almost 70% increase in orders through social media
  • 26% of revenue comes from AI-driven product recommendations

Now that we understand where retail is headed in the near future, let’s look at how AI fits into the picture.

AI can help you in every step of the customer journey, right from your value chain to pre and post-purchase stages.

AI for the Retail Value Chain

  1. Efficient Order Management: From the time a customer places an order, your automated system can take all the steps to ensure that the fulfillment center has all the information they need in a matter of seconds.
  2. Better Inventory Planning: AI can help you automate your inventory planning. This means it can check, fulfill and restock goods so that you save time and money.

Pre-Purchase Experience

  1. AI for Retail Marketing: Programmatic advertising can save you time and make your ad budget more efficient. The automated system can also optimize bids for your campaigns within micro-seconds.
  2. Loyalty Programs: AI can help you collect, store and analyze vast amounts of data that stems from your loyalty programs. This means that you can automate customer upgrades, reward redemptions and more.
  3. AI-Powered Email Marketing: AI can help you refine your email marketing over time. As a result, you can enjoy increased open rates and engagement on emails.

Interested in learning how to practically implement AI in your email marketing efforts? Download our guide to learn more.

Storefront or Purchase Stage

  1. Data-Driven Personalization: Data generated through AI-powered retail systems can help you drive personalization. AI systems can hence process several data points on the fly and offer an experience that is tailored to the shopper’s interests.
  2. Real-Time Customization: Customer experience can be tailored in real-time through API. For example, as soon as a customer visits your website, you can show them products based on their browsing history. Furthermore, you can show them products in price ranges based on their wealth signals, etc.
  3. Increased Cross & Upselling: AI for retail recommendation engines can make a significant difference to the cart value of your customers. Making useful recommendations in a relevant and timely manner increases the possibility of upselling and cross-selling.

Post-Purchase Service

  1. 24/7 Customer Service: With AI for retail customer support, it is possible to take care of clients’ needs round the clock. Chatbots, automated phone, and email service take the pressure off of customer support teams. Further, they help reduce costs by answering common queries. Hence, you can only direct more complex needs to a representative.
  2. Better Insights for Continuous Improvement: With AI integrating into your CRM, your loyalty programs and customer support channels, you can get integrated data. Moreover, this data can deliver actionable insights that can help you refine the customer experience across every touchpoint.

Supercharge Your Retail Process Now

Interested in learning more about how technology can help you scale personalization?

Catch a recap of Accenture’s talk Making it Personal at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Watch Bob Ghafouri’s Session Now–>

Financial Services Planning and Budgeting: Get in Gear for the Next Year

financial services planning and budgeting

Are you still in the middle of your planning and budgeting for next year? Don’t panic. We have pulled together top tips for financial services planning and budgeting. ‘Tis the season not only for holiday cheer but also for pressure on planning ahead for the next year. Planning will set you up in order to start the new year off strong.

Some financial services companies may begin their planning and budgeting activities as early as Q3. Others begin with a few weeks left until the holidays.

If you’re in the latter group, here are the top 5 best practice tips to guide your planning and budgeting activities:

1. Start with Your Organization’s Goals

When it comes to financial services planning and budgeting, it is easy to over-complicate the process. You may find that you are planning for several contingencies and taking several factors into consideration.

Before you do this, you have to take a step back and analyze how many of these factors actually fit with your business goals. You need to be able to pare down to the basics and focus on the big picture.

For instance, let’s say your goal is to reduce customer churn over the next year. In order to do this, your plan and budget need to enable your client engagement team to offer personalized services to those clients who are most at risk.

2. Leverage Learnings from the Previous Year

Financial services planning and budgeting can seem especially tedious in comparison to other sectors. It needn’t actually be this way. When you begin from your business goal and then apply learnings, you will find that you are already several steps ahead.

In fact, you can use your previous year’s budget as a blueprint for this one. Gather your team to analyze what worked for them and where they found deficits. In doing so, you can rebalance your budget to areas that are most in need. Further, by validating these areas against your business goal, you can ensure that your budget is being allocated in the most efficient way.

3. Use Data-Modeling to Predict Outcomes

If you had a way to predict how much each department needs, you might think that this solves a significant portion of your planning and budgeting challenges.

You can, in fact, predict allocation by predicting customer behavior. Imagine if you could understand which customers will need extra attention in the following year. Similarly, if you could identify which ones are most likely to invest more with you. You could then actually plan your activities efficiently around these predictions.

This is possible through data-modeling. Models can help you identify customers based on steps in their journey. The predictive nature of these models can provide a lot of structure to your financial services planning and budgeting activities.

Want to know more about how models can benefit the financial services sector?

4. Plan with Foresight but Leave Room for Iteration

The power of prediction gives you a fair bit of foresight into your planning and budgeting. The more certainty you can have, the better it is for your plan. Having an air-tight plan can set you up for great success in the coming year.

However, most financial services professionals may overlook the need for iteration. While predictions can give you foresight, there are always unforeseen circumstances such as macro-economic instability. Due to this, it is better to include room in your plan for alterations as you go through the year.

5. Empower Your Marketing Team

Financial marketers may find that they are at loggerheads when it comes time for financial services planning and budgeting. As someone in charge of your budget, it will help you to set aside marketing dollars for campaigns and promotions.

Marketing goals need to align clearly with business goals. When this is the case, empowering your marketing team can help you ensure that you closer to achieving your goals. Over time, more marketing efforts have become measurable. This means that the marketing team can present results from their activities in the previous year and your allocation can be driven by this data.

Kick Your Plan into High Gear

By using a collaborative approach, you can make sure that you have received input from all relevant teams. Doing this also helps you speed things up as you have more contributors to the process. Secondly, having a flexible plan reduces the pressure on you to have every detail figured out. Doing this also gives you the ability to iterate as you go.

Planned Giving Tools: Screen & Model to Pinpoint Donors

planned giving tools

Now that you know about the basics of planned giving, it’s only natural to wonder: how do I know who to approach? And once I’ve figured out who to approach, how do I know they’ll want to give? Let’s explore which planned giving tools you can use to identify your best donors and prospects for planned giving.

Identifying Donors for Planned Giving

No matter how big or small your database is, there are segments of donors within it who may be thinking about planned giving. So, it’s important to understand who in your database you should begin approaching for planned giving. All of this information can be gathered using two planned giving tools: wealth screenings and modeling.

Planned Giving Tool 1: Screening

The first planned giving tool in your arsenal is a wealth screening. By conducting a wealth screening, you can see which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. Not only can you segment your audience based on basic demographic information such as age, but you can also append your database with wealth attributes. So, you can easily understand an individual’s giving history (what/how much they’ve donated in the past) and estimated giving capacity (what/how much they’re likely to give in the future). This will help you understand how to spark their interest and, as a result, expand your reach to donors just like them. For example, for planned giving, you could screen your donors for 3 key qualities:

1. Donor Age

When it comes to planned giving, it’s necessary to reach donors at the right time. Not only based on the average age most donors get approached for planned giving, but also based on the age the donors you’ve approached in the past. It’s important to ask yourself: what is the average age most of our existing donors we have approached about planned giving? For most nonprofits interested in boosting their planned giving base, they begin approaching donors in their 40s.

2. Giving History

Tracking individual giving history in your wealth screening can also be an advantageous planned giving tool. Bequests may not come from individuals who have given large gifts in the past. If anything, donors who have given on a recurring basis over many years may be the most likely to be interested in contributing a legacy gift. It’s these donors, who have forged a long-standing relationship with your organization, who will feel inclined to create change with your cause beyond their lifetime. So, it’s important to ask yourself: how often does this individual give to our organization? Have they attended our events? And, have they volunteered with in the past?

3. Propensity and Capacity to Give

As important as it is to identify individuals who have given in the past and who are receptive to discussing planned giving, the big question is: will they feel inclined to give? And even if they do, will they be able to contribute as much as they can?

But, wealth screening is just the first planned giving tool in your arsenal. If you want to expand your reach and initiate conversations with prospective donors, you can create a prospect profile. In short, by creating a planned giving model, you can identify prospects who look just like your best donors.

Planned Giving Tool 2: Planned Giving Model

The next planned giving tool in your arsenal is a planned giving model. Now that you understand the commonalities among your planned giving donors, you have a clearer impression of who to target.  For example, you may find that donors in your database who have decided to make legacy gifts are men over the age of 50 who have dogs. These are what your best planned giving donors look like. So, what if you want to reach prospective donors? But, not just any prospects. Prospects who will be just as likely as your existing donors to give.

By using predictive modeling, our data scientists employ WealthEngine data along with your data to create a unique, custom algorithm. Using this algorithm, we can predict who’s most likely to include your organization in their planned gifts. This model can help you score prospects to see how they fare against your best donors. You can then rank your prospect lists by order of similarity to your best. Essentially, with the planned giving model,  you can easily evaluate who, within your database (and beyond) are likely to contribute planned gifts. Not just in general, but to your organization specifically.

Using planned giving tools like screening and modeling allow you to gain greater insights into what makes your planned giving donors unique. You’ll be able to personalize your outreach and forge lasting connections with donors that inspire them to give.

Driving the Donor Journey: Guide to Descriptive Modeling

Boost your fundraising using WealthEngine’s modeling tool. Discover your next best donors you have yet to connect with.

Stay tuned to our planned giving series as we explore more related topics beyond planned giving tools. Next, we will explore the best ways to discuss planned giving with your donors.

Financial Advisor Marketing Ideas to Find Your Next Best HNW Customer

financial advisor marketing ideas

Are you a financial advisor or wealth manager who has wondered how to foray into marketing? Or maybe you have wondered if marketing is the right thing for your business. If so, we have the answer. You are looking for your next best prospects and financial advisor marketing ideas can help you find them.

As you know, the financial services industry has its own brand of challenges. Issues may stem from increasing competition. Similarly, there could be pressure from building a high degree of trust with customers. Whether you’re in retail banking or in wealth management, these issues may ring true for everyone.

What can you do to grow your customer base?

Financial Advisor Marketing Ideas

Before we begin to talk about ideas, it is first important to consider your financial services marketing strategy. Your strategy should fit with your overall business goals. For example, as a wealth manager or financial advisor, let’s say your goal is to have a personalized and niche luxury consulting business. This means that your marketing strategy will have to focus on HNWIs and UHNWIs. Your tone of voice must be personalized. Moreover, your advice must be tailored to customer needs. Your plan must take on a more concierge marketing type of approach.

Interested in learning more about marketing strategy in the financial sector?

Now, let’s talk about financial advisor marketing ideas. There is a lot you can do both online and offline.

Traditional Marketing Ideas

Here are three effective offline techniques you could use to encourage customer growth:

  1. Create curated events for customers. These events could educate them on financial topics. Alternatively, they could give your customers the opportunity to network with other business owners. Creating exclusive events that add value beyond your services will help build a lasting relationship with customers.
  2. Use direct mail in conjunction with other marketing efforts. Direct mail can have a great visual and tactile impact. Well-designed pieces of direct mail can be used as event invitations or sending thoughtful seasonal gifts. Doing this can help you remain top of mind with your customers. Further, sending them an interesting item that they can see in their everyday space could trigger conversations between them and their network about your company.
  3. Additionally, you can leverage your peer network’s inner circle to gain warm introductions to new prospects. When you receive a peer-to-peer introduction, there is a built-in sense of trust which shortens the lead time for customer acquisition.

Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors or Wealth Managers

You should complement your offline techniques with online ones. This brings us to digital marketing for financial advisors. Here are the top five digital marketing ideas for wealth managers:

  1. Leverage LinkedIn– when it comes to social media, you may choose to have a presence on channels such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. These might be good for you to widen your outreach, however, the most effective medium for you is LinkedIn. You can build professional credibility, seek recommendations from clients, grow your network and enjoy those peer-to-peer connections through this platform.
  2. Modernize your website- your website is your chance to make a digital first impression. Make sure that it is well-designed, optimized for different devices and most importantly optimized for search engines. Doing this allows you to rank highly on searches about wealth management, financial advisory and other relevant terms that could bring you leads.
  3. Feature testimonials & success stories- a proven track record inspires trust in customers and makes them more open to taking risks. Showcasing testimonials and success stories on your social media channels as well as your website helps you inspire trust among your customers.
  4. Use email marketing best practices- when it comes to reaching your customers via email, you may find that there are several different approaches. However, using email marketing best practices can make a difference. This means that your communication not only reaches your customers but also resonates with them.
  5. Leverage existing customers- most importantly, you must leverage your existing customers to help you find new ones.

How can you do this?

Follow our three-step financial advisor marketing plan.

Financial Advisor Marketing Plan- Find New Prospects Like Your Top Customers

  1. Screen your current customers- wealth screening allows you to add a breadth of information on customers. Understand their wealth, demographics, lifestyle, affinities and interests. With this, you can have more meaningful exchanges with them.
  2. Run a Look-Alike Model- Screening not only gives you rich insights but also provides a basis for analysis. Running a look-alike model helps you identify the top common traits among your best customers. These patterns can help you create more meaningful events.
  3. Find more prospects like them- You have now understood what your top customers are like. Hence, you can use these patterns as filters in your prospecting. This means that you will find new prospects who closely resemble your top customers. Thus, they are also likely to make decisions like your top customers.

You now have a much more targeted marketing plan to grow your customer base. You can now apply your financial advisor marketing ideas towards this base. In doing so you can enjoy a higher conversion rate on your campaigns while lowering your costs.

Find New Prospects Now

We can help you with every step of your financial advisor marketing plan. Request a demo today to see how you can kick off your three-step plan.

Request Demo

Close 2019 Strong! WealthEngine 9.1 is Live with Refreshed Data

wealthengine dashboard 9.1
We’ve got a Thanksgiving treat for you to help you reach your #GivingTuesday and end-of-year goals. WealthEngine 9.1 is live and includes updated data and more to help you close 2019 and start 2020 strong!

Update Your Records for Higher Accuracy

Outdated emails and phone numbers cost you time and money. Update your data now so you spend your precious time connecting with people instead of hunting for contact information. WealthEngine 9.1 includes:

    • 240 million updated emails
    • 140 million updated personal phone numbers
    • 167 million charitable donation records with confidence scores on match
    • 500,000 new donation records added monthly
    • Stock holdings for nearly 350,000 insiders
    • Many more updates coming soon!

Know Your Donor or Customer Instantly

Our new WealthSignalTM graphic shows you important information in a snap. Use it to help qualify the prospects that are your best bets. See their connections to find inroads that can lead to a warm introduction. It’s fast, easy and empowers you to make informed decisions quickly.

Drive Productivity with Actionable Intelligence

When you login, you’ll see a new dashboard with your recently visited profiles, tips, best practices, and the latest product announcements to help you drive your mission forward.

wealthengine dashboard 9.1

WealthEngine’s Integrations Change December 7

CRM/DMS Integrations

On December 7, 2019, any integrations that you are using to pull WealthEngine data directly into your CRM/DMS will automatically be directed to our new 9.1 platform.

Grateful Patient Program Clients

Starting December 7, 2019, please login to WealthEngine 9.1 (not 8.2) for your nightly screening results.

Not Using Integrations Yet? Get Started – You’ll Save So Much Time!

If you are using a CRM/DMS but haven’t yet integrated WealthEngine into it, please contact us. We’ll help you get set up so you see WealthEngine’s insights as part of your workflow.

Questions? We’ve Got Your Back!

We’ve updated our online knowledge base to help you find answers to your questions quickly. We have an updated library of documents, guides and videos that walk you through the improvements in WE 9.1 and drive more revenue to your organization using WealthEngine. Bookmark this page for quick reference.

Visit the knowledge base →

Start Using WealthEngine 9.1 Today

WealthEngine 8.20 will be available until January 3, 2020

Not a client yet? Request a demo →

Planned Giving Definition: What is Planned Giving?

planned giving definition

Ever wondered how planned giving can benefit your nonprofit? Keep reading to find out- let’s begin with a planned giving definition along with information on the three primary ways donors contribute planned gifts. In other words, here’s all you need to know about planned giving in a nutshell.

What is Planned Giving?

Planned giving is also referred to as gift planning or legacy giving. In a nutshell, it is a donor’s intention to contribute a major gift to an organization, beyond their lifetime. So, unlike an annual gift (an outright gift made for current use), a planned gift is for the future. Essentially, donors make arrangements for planned gifts in the present but they are actually doled out at a later date. Additionally, the major gifts contributed by a donor can be made as a part of their financial or estate plans.

So by definition, planned giving is not limited by donors’ current wealth. Unlike the value of donations, donors contribute on a recurring basis, planned giving enables them to contribute gifts that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to make. The gifts donated end up being larger and aren’t dependent on one’s regular income. That’s why most planned gifts contributed by donors take the form of life insurance, equity, or real estate holdings (among others). Thus, even if a donor consistently contributed small gifts, their planned gift can be of a much higher value.

Top 3 Tax Vehicles for Planned Giving

In order for an individual to leave behind a major gift, planned gifts can take many different forms. They can take the form of real estate, personal property, life insurance, or even cash. However, the majority of donors seem to gravitate towards 3 primary planned giving options:

1. Bequest

A gift (typically cash; personal property; real estate; stocks; or bonds) left behind in a will for a group, individual, or organization. There are four types of charitable bequests:

  • General Bequests: gifts of property taken from the assets of an estate.
  • Demonstrative Bequests: gifts that come from a source, such as a bank account.
  • Specific Bequests: gifts of personal property such as cash, jewelry, or other tangible assets.
  • Residuary Gifts: gifts that come from the remainder of any debts or expenses that have been paid along with other bequests that have been made.

Additionally, out of all the planned gift options a donor could choose from, bequests are the most popular.  In a 2016 study conducted by Indiana University, it was reported that 42% of all planned gifts (given by donors in their subsample) were bequests.

2. Annuity

A fixed sum of money paid to an organization each year. So, this typically takes the form of a simple contract between a donor and a charity. Also known as a charitable gift annuity, a donor transfers cash, security, or assets to a cause in exchange for a partial tax deduction. They can also receive a lifetime stream of annual income from the charity itself.

3. Trust

A legal entity whereby an individual holds or invests property as its titular owner. This can be for one or more beneficiaries. Additionally, there are two types of charitable trusts:

  • Charitable Remainder Trust:  a tax-exempt trust created to reduce an individual’s taxable income by dispersing their earnings to the beneficiaries of the trust over time. The remainder of the trust goes to the organization outlined in the trust.
  • Charitable Lead Trust:  this is the inverse of a charitable remainder trust. The trust provides financial support to multiple causes over a specified period of time. The remainder of the trust then goes to the other beneficiaries (family members, friends, etc.)

Motivations Behind Planned Giving

Above all,  planned giving preserves a donor’s legacy. Donors first begin thinking about planned giving when they are nearing retirement age, between the ages of 40 and 60. So, donors may give to organizations that act in accordance with their personal values and beliefs. As a result, their planned gift symbolizes the relationship they’ve cultivated with the cause they’ve given to. If anything, they want their contribution to help secure the future of the organization. It also represents their commitment to positively impacting communities in actionable ways.

Driving the Donor Journey: Guide to Descriptive Modeling

Boost your fundraising using WealthEngine’s descriptive modeling tool. Discover your next best donors you have yet to connect with.

We hope you enjoyed learning about planned giving in a nutshell. Stay tuned to our series as we explore more related topics beyond planned giving’s definition. Next, we will explore modeling and how to leverage it to identify your next best planned giving donors.

Wealth Signal: An Overview of Your Most Important Scores

wealth signal

Effective donor and customer engagement starts with gaining a deep understanding of your constituents. What their interests are, what their giving and spending history is like, and how they’re likely to donate or invest in the future. Let’s explore how WealthEngine’s Wealth Signal will help you make informed decisions on which prospects are the best to engage.

What is Wealth Signal™?

Wealth Signal is a visual indicator of the relative strength of an individual’s propensity to give (P2G); net worth; income; real estate holdings; estimated giving capacity; donations; and connections. By tracking these parameters, you are able to determine how best to grow your pipeline. Additionally, you have the insights to generate more donations & sales, and achieve your business objectives with ease.

Furthermore, the Wealth Signal gives you a quick view of what an individual’s propensity, capacity, and intent is in terms of giving or investing. It allows you to gather donor, customer, and prospect information efficiently while also providing you with the insights to make a quick appraisal of a prospect.

Wealth Signal: Visual Breakdown

Similar to a cell phone carrier bar signal, the bars displayed for each parameter indicates the range of relative strength, from the low to high end of the scale. For instance, 5 bars indicate that an individual’s score is on the high end. This implies high financial strength, monetary value, and influence. By contrast, a lower number of bars or a single bar would suggest the opposite.

This strength is also indicated by color. The high-end of the scale (4-5 bars), is in green; the middle of the scale (3 bars) is in yellow; the low end of the scale (2 bars) is in red. So, this simple visual now gives you a bird’s eye view of the most relevant scores on any individual profile.

Wealth Signal: Ratings and Scores

Wealth Signal tracks 7 wealth indicators, including:

1. P2G (Propensity to Give)

The Propensity to Give (P2G) score is a proprietary score that represents propensity for general philanthropic giving. It’s a two-digit number. The first digit represents the overall category, on a scale of 1-5, along with a text description. Additionally, the second digit is used to subdivide and rank individuals within that category. So, in both cases, the lower the number, the better the score.

2. Net Worth

Net worth, as it is displayed in Wealth Signal, indicates the range in which the difference between total assets and total debt for a household is likely to fall. This is a primary indicator of an individual’s overall wealth.

So, while sifting through multiple profiles, the net worth Wealth Signal will help you segment and determine which prospects best match your existing donors or customers. It’s these potential donors or customers who will be most likely to give or invest.

3. Income

Income indicates an individual’s regularly accrued funds. So, based on the strength of an individual’s income in Wealth Signal, you can determine how much of a donation or investment you could receive from that individual on a recurring basis.

4. Real Estate

Real estate, in Wealth Signal, indicates a range estimating the total value of properties owned by an individual. These insights may help you evaluate whether someone invests in real estate or would be a potential candidate for a legacy gift.

5. Estimated Giving

Estimated giving displays a range, estimating how much an individual could give in the next 5 years. So, the estimated giving strength is informed by an individual’s giving history and assets among other things. Additionally, this section helps prospect researchers determine how much an individual may give in the future.

6. Donations

Donation strength indicates the value of gifts given to causes by an individual. This signals to nonprofits how much a donor has given in the past. So, they are better able to understand their donor’s potential to give in the future. Are they a hidden gem with an untapped capacity to give? Are they a high-impact donor? Or can they be upgraded?

This metric (along with estimated giving) can also be of significant value to wealth managers. This can also help managers understand an individual’s philanthropic interests beyond business. So, based on these insights, they can tailor their outreach in ways that are relevant & personal. Additionally, they can offer them specific investments such as Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs).

7. Connections

Connection strength displays the number of familial and business connections an individual has. So, the more connections you have, the easier it is for you to potentially get introduced to other high-impact donors or wealthy prospects.

The parameters tracked with Wealth Signal allow wealth managers and development organizations alike to understand their prospects deeply. At first glance, you’re able to easily visualize an individual’s propensity and capacity to give or spend. But, Wealth Signal goes beyond that. The parameters tracked, along with their strength, give you a comprehensive, high-level understanding of an individual’s motivations and behaviors. This also allows you to personalize your outreach. As a result, you can begin cultivating and nurturing lasting relationships with your prospects.


See the Wealth Signal for Your Prospects

Test drive WealthEngine to see your prospects’ estimated net worth, income, giving capacity, connections, and more.

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

Challenges in the Retail Banking Industry & How Data Can Address Them

retail banking customer segmentation

You may be no stranger to challenges in the retail banking industry. Here’s an alarming fact that you may have come across if you’re from this sector:

challenges in retail banking industry

This poses a huge challenge for sales & marketing professionals. Luckily, data and analytics can be their allies. With the right insights, it’s possible to solve this and more challenges that plague the sector.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges in the retail banking industry. Furthermore, let’s understand how data can help you solve each one.

Challenges in the Retail Banking Industry

We will analyze each challenge, describe how it affects your strategy, and propose data-driven solutions to help you navigate these hurdles with ease.

Challenge 1: Increasing Competition

The banking industry has seen increasing competition, especially from the FinTech sector. The user-friendly and digital nature of FinTech companies offers customers the flexibility they need and the freedom to choose between different providers.

How This Affects You: Customer Retention

Retail banking customers find it easy to switch between providers. This is now possible as it is less of a hassle to open or close accounts. This means that it has become harder to keep customers. Sales & Marketing professionals thus spend more on retaining and re-acquiring customers.

Want to Know How to Reach Millennial Millionaires?

By the end of 2019, millennials will be the largest, living adult population. They stand to inherit an estimated $60 billion in the great wealth transfer. Read our report in collaboration with Coldwell Banker Global Luxury to understand how you can reach them.

How Data Can Help: Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Retail banking customer segmentation is key to retaining customers. Similarly, it can help drive up their lifetime value (LTV). Lifecycle marketing can help you create engaging conversations in every stage of their journey. By segmenting customers this way, you can apply a marketing strategy that communicates the right message at the right time.

For instance, running a data model can help you predict which customers are most likely to churn. This way, you can reach out to them to understand their needs and provide an offering that suits their needs. By reaching out to them in a timely manner, you reduce the risk of churn.

Challenge 2: Operational Silos

You may find that different departments in your institution collect different data-points on your customers. Overall, it is possible to develop a rich picture of who your customer is. However, the challenge is that information rests in silos. As a retail banker, you may have access to transactional data. Wealth managers in your institution may have access to the estimated net worth, home loans may have information on property value, etc.

How This Affects You: Missing an Integrated View of the Customer

Since information rests in silos, it becomes difficult to see a 360-degree view of the customer. This further restricts you from being able to anticipate their needs or upsell products.

How Data Can Help: Omnichannel Marketing

When you store data in an integrated manner, you allow every relevant team member to understand the big picture. Doing this allows your institution to have better insights into your customers. When you combine your own data with third-party information, you can have a richer view of your customers. For instance, wealth screening can add a variety of insights on demographics, lifestyle, interests, and affinities.

With richer insights, you can have an omnichannel approach in your outreach. You will be able to provide consistent, personalized service. Furthermore, this can be done no matter which touch-point a customer interacts with you on. For instance, a customer may look up use your mobile banking app to information on opening another savings account. When they next come into a branch, a representative can ask them if they still have questions about this or need assistance in setting up an account.

Challenge 3: Increasing Costs

Another challenge in the retail banking industry is the ever-increasing costs. Costs are going up in every sphere ranging from marketing to compliance. Increasing competition and pressure on customer retention, when combined with increasing costs, presents a major challenge to retail banks.

How This Affects You: Reduced ROI

Greater costs result in reduced ROI. When you spend more on acquiring and retaining customers, your team will have more pressure to drive up the ROI on each account.

How Data Can Help: Predictive Prospecting

Taking retail banking customer segmentation a step further, you can focus on highly targeted prospecting when it comes to customer acquisition. In fact, your top customers today can help you find your next best prospects. You can achieve this by using a look-alike model.

A model like this can recognize patterns of traits among your top customers. These traits can then be used as filters when prospecting for new customers. Thus, by finding new prospects who match your existing customers, you are ensuring that your approach is much more targeted. This further enables you to predict customer behavior.

Challenge 4: Pressure to Improve Customer Experience

Since the retail banking industry is challenged by increased competition, institutions have greater pressure to improve the customer experience. The experience you offer should be able to set you apart from competitors. Thus, it should allow you the advantage of nurturing long-term relationships with your customers. Doing this needs an in-depth understanding of customer needs.

How This Affects You: Requires Broad Systemic Changes

Offering your customers a better experience may need sweeping, systemic changes. For instance, your brand may have to become more relatable. Your employees have to learn how to make customers feel appreciated with every interaction.

How Data Can Help: Identifying Money in Motion

One of the ways to offer the best customer experience is by offering customers exactly what they are looking for when they need it the most. Again, this goes beyond the level of retail banking customer segmentation. Data can help you identify money-in-motion. This means you can trace your customer’s life stage and offer products and services that are relevant and timely.

When customers know you are looking out for them, they enjoy a better experience with your brand. Furthermore, you increase retention with every additional product or service that you offer them.

Challenge 5: Employee Retention & Engagement

Customer retention is important, of course. But for your institution to have a good culture, it is necessary to think about employee retention as well. When you experience high employee turnover, it becomes harder to build a sense of company culture.

How This Affects You: Loss of Company Culture

For you losing employees means an erosion of company values. Additionally, this also results in gaps in knowledge transfer. These gaps, especially when they pertain to your customers can create holes in customer experience.

For instance, let’s say a senior citizen is used to coming and in and interacting with the same teller at one of your branches. This teller will know them well enough to serve them quickly or offer them solutions based on their needs. If this customer comes in and sees a new face within short intervals, it becomes harder for them to build long-term trust in your institution.

How Data Can Help: Every Employee Becomes a Marketer

When you create an integrated system of data and provide actionable insights to every relevant employee, you create a culture of ownership. Every employee feels accountable for customer satisfaction. With this becoming an organization-wide outlook, your customers will surely feel the difference in the personalized service that they receive. This can also help you address other challenges in retail banking such as low retention, high costs, and increasing competition.

Mitigating Challenges to Thrive in the Retail Banking Industry

Thus, data and analytics can help set you apart in a crowded marketplace.  Remember that innovation can come not only from you but also your clients. Learn how to how US Bank achieved success by elevating client-led innovation.

Watch the Session from WE Prosper Summit 2019 Now–>

The State of Charitable Giving in America: 3 Key Trends

state of charitable giving

The state of charitable giving in the United States is shifting. As time goes on, there seems to be a decline in charitable giving nationally, which is impacting donations. The question is: where can we see this change occurring? And, how do we re-inspire donors to give?

Rick Dunham, as a board member of The Giving Institute and Chair of the Giving USA Foundation, assists in publishing the most widely respected annual report on giving in the U.S. Let’s explore the 3 key trends on the state of giving in the United States from his talk at the WE Prosper Summit 2019.

3 Ways Charitable Giving in the U.S. is Changing

Among the ten topline issues in giving identified by Rick Dunham, there are 3 key trends that are most important:

1. Giving has grown by 3.85% between 2016 and 2018, but has since slowed

Between 2016 and 2018, the United States experienced major growth in the area of giving. This was especially evident in 2017. However, in 2018, giving rates had decreased. Not substantially, but enough where organizations could be influenced by these flatlining rates in the future. If anything, giving by individuals fell 1.1% in 2018. This was the first time giving has dropped under 70%. This leads us to consider: was this drop in charitable giving in 2018 an anomaly? Or is this decline representative of a new trend? Is this drop telling of a shift in donor behavior or donor motivation?

Interested in learning more about Rick Dunham’s take on the state of charitable giving? Catch a recap of his keynote at WE Prosper 2019!

2. Tax law (and possibly tax reform) has had different effects on households in 2018

The drop in giving experienced in 2018 could be explained by the influence changes in tax law or tax reform has had on households across the U.S. Rick Dunham suggests that four dynamics with tax reform could have impacted the state of charitable giving:

  • The standard deduction was raised to $24k for a household. So, if a family itemizes less than this amount in deductions, they may lose the incentive to give.
  • There’s an expanded incentive for high net worth individuals who have the ability to give up to 60% of their adjusted gross income. Individuals could give more, but they may have run into state or local tax issues. So, this may have caused a depression on the potential to give more.
  • With the tax reforms passed at the end of 2017, there was a major surge in giving. So, many donor-advised funds (DAFs) were set up as a result. But, this also led to deductions were capped and the highest income bracket decreased from 39.5% to 37%.
  • Finally, with the tax efficiency of giving, many people decided to pull their giving into 2017 rather than 2018.

Based on these charitable giving statistics from 2018, it seems as though changes in tax laws and tax reform may have contributed to the decline in charitable giving we’re now experiencing. However, there’s no hard evidence to support that tax law changes caused this shift, but they may be a contributing factor. Organizations will only be able to tell in the coming year when more data can be collected on the state of charitable giving in 2019.

3. The number of non-donor households is increasing

The number of non-donor households in the United States is continuing to increase. This past year alone, many recipient organizations such as the arts, health, and human services experienced no growth whatsoever. Meanwhile, other sectors such as religious, educational, and public benefit organizations saw a decrease in donations received. And this isn’t simply representative of philanthropic depreciation now.  If anything, the number of non-donor households has increased by 20 million households since the year 2000. The question is: what is driving this increase? And if donors are feeling less engaged, how can you reach them effectively?

How to Engage Donors as Giving Rates Decline

The challenge we’re facing now (as highlighted in Dunham’s three key trends and the charitable giving statistics of 2018) is that giving is declining. And it’s becoming substantially harder to find donors who are willing and inclined to give. So, how do we navigate this decline and motivate donors to give?

By targeting your outreach using predictive analytics, you can narrow your search and reach prospects who have the greatest propensity and capacity to give to your organization. So, instead of reaching all donors and waiting to see which individuals will give, it’s better to identify and communicate with individuals who fit the profile of your existing donors. Have the prospects you’re reaching out to given to organizations like yours in the past? And is their demographic information similar to those who donate to your cause?

Once you’ve gathered that information, it’s easier to understand the motivations, interests, and values of your donors. At that point, you can begin personalizing your messaging to communicate with them in engaging ways. These are the tools that will allow you to cultivate and nurture long-lasting relationships with your donors.

Catch a Recap of The State of Charitable Giving in the U.S.

Interested in learning more about the ten topline issues influencing giving in the U.S.? Watch Rick Dunham’s talk on the state of charitable giving in the United States, presented at the WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Start Now–>

5 Tips to Enhance Your Giving Tuesday Plan

giving tuesday plan

Want to boost your fundraising and engage your donors? Follow these 5 tips to enhance your Giving Tuesday plan.

Giving Tuesday, which marks the beginning of the charitable giving season, is a great opportunity to meet your fundraising goals. In 2018, nonprofits raised $380 million collectively. Not only is this a great way for you to meet your campaign goals now, but it’s also an important time for you to cultivate relationships with existing and prospective donors. Let’s explore ways you can enhance your campaign come December 3rd.

5 Tips to Make Your Giving Tuesday a Success

1. Determine A Specific Goal for Giving Tuesday

As you gear up for Giving Tuesday, it’s important for you to identify a specific goal for your campaign. It’s important to ask yourself: what is a project that would serve those who we are trying to help, now? Some organizations fall into the trap of using Giving Tuesday as a way to fundraise in general for their cause.  However, by creating a specific goal to meet the day of, your donors are able to visualize and better understand what they’re funding and the subsequent outcome. So, donors are able to clearly see the ways they’ll be able to create change.

It’s also important, as you come up with a specific goal, to express it to donors in ways that are succinct and accessible. If the goal is easily understood by them, achieving it feels more like a collective effort, on your part and your donors.

2. Screen Your Donors Before and After Giving Tuesday

As you approach Giving Tuesday, it’s important to evaluate which of your donors has the greatest propensity and capacity to give now and in the future. So, for your Giving Tuesday plans, it is important to conduct wealth screenings to focus your fundraising efforts. For example, if you have donors who give sporadically, this is a good opportunity to reach out early. By engaging them effectively, and understanding where their interests lie, donors may feel more compelled to give. Screenings also provide you with demographic information, like donor occupation. This is also an opportunity to encourage your donors to set up matching grants. By doing this, you’re able to increase your number of donations with ease and engage more people the day of.

After Giving Tuesday, you also have the opportunity to identify trigger donors or donors who gave significantly. If these donors contributed major gifts during this campaign, they may feel inclined to do so with future ones.  Be sure to approach them for planned giving, major gift opportunities, and any capital campaigns you have in motion. Screenings also allow you to identify underperforming donors who have the ability to contribute more than they are currently. This knowledge allows you to tighten up your future Giving Tuesday plans. You can tighten up your communication strategy and find new and innovative ways to engage them going forward.

Download our #GivingTuesday Toolkit today and get everything you need to make your #GivingTuesday a success!

3. Amplify Your Social Media Presence

Another key tip to enhance your Giving Tuesday plan is by amplifying your social media presence. This can be done by planning posts ahead of time. By doing this, you can personalize your engagement and articulate your organization’s progress. This keeps donors engaged throughout your campaign.

Another way to enhance your social media presence is to create posts, based on nonprofit storytelling, that highlight the goal you’re trying to achieve. This can be done by showing pictures of the community you will be helping or by honing in on stories of individuals who will be positively impacted by the donations you receive.

By humanizing your goal, and showing who specifically will be impacted, donors feel more inspired to give. They see, more clearly, who their donations are helping and how they will help them. Engaging in nonprofit storytelling also gives you an opportunity to amplify your organization’s mission. So, you have an opportunity to highlight the ways you plan to create change in the future, and identify new areas where donors can get involved.

4. Keep Your Donors Engaged On the Big Day

As important as it is to keep your donors updated on your progress during Giving Tuesday, it’s also necessary for them to feel engaged and incentivized. By creating activities or offering them rewards during the day, donors have tangible and intangible items that keep them motivated. Breaking up the monotony of the day by rewarding donors for contributing allows them to feel valued.

Not only does this encourage them to donate more, but this can also motivate donors who have given to tell members of their community to give. If they, themselves, felt excited and inspired to give based on what they received, why not extend that excitement to a prospective donor? It’s important to keep your Giving Tuesday plan donor-centric. The more your donors feel that they are an integral part of your process, the more they’ll want to help.

5. Express Gratitude for Your Donors and Encourage Them Moving Forward

The final tip to round out your Giving Tuesday plan is to express gratitude for your donors. By acknowledging your donors and the impact they made, they have a greater perspective on how their donations ripple out. It was their actions that took your goal from an idea to a tangible reality.

Expressing thanks to your donors also gives you an opportunity to highlight the goals you have for the remainder of the year. If your donors were inclined to give during Giving Tuesday, and encouraged members of their community to give, there’s a good chance that they will want to do more. Update donors on how their contributions influence your Year-End-Fundraising goals, and what they can do to round out their efforts. Let them know how they can remain involved, and take this time to cultivate and nurture them.

WealthEngine’s 2019 #GivingTuesday Toolkit

Want to gain more tips on how to appeal to your donors leading up to Giving Tuesday? Check out our #GivingTuesday Toolkit to gain access to text templates that will help tighten up your donor engagement strategy.