Being Practical About AI for Fundraisers and Marketers

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to stay relevant as fundraising and marketing continue to evolve. 

Jim Manzi, a partner at Foundry.ai, speaks about how companies can utilize AI in a practical way. AI can be a huge asset to boost fundraising and create successful marketing strategies, so Manzi breaks down the basics.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

 

Brain map of what AI actually is

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AI sounds like a complex concept, and many businesses throw around the term without fully understanding what it is. Manzi explains that AI is “whatever is at the current frontier,” which means AI is simply the newest technology available.

Although this often invokes images of robots and cutting edge science, it’s much simpler than that. The AI basics for business are, as Manzi states, “data plus math . . . used to create statistical improvement.”

  • What is the Function of Artificial Intelligence?

The functionality of any technology is important when deciding how it can benefit your business. If you don’t know what the function of AI is, then you will be unable to implement it properly into your plans. 

In keeping with Manzi’s definition, the purpose of AI is simple, as it takes on a repeated decision process to help you receive accurate results. By outsourcing research tasks to AI, your company will have better data to work with.

  • Why Did Artificial Intelligence Become a Trend?

As industries continue to grow and evolve, finding ways to engage and cultivate your audience has proven crucial to a business’s success. As Manzi explained, “AI is simply technology that helps improve statistics.”

Why is this important? Before AI became the trend, collecting data had to be done on a daily basis by hand. This included reading articles, constant research, and deciphering news reports to strategize based on current events. 

Now, this information can be discovered quickly and more accurately. AI eliminates the amount of energy spent on research and reduces the error margin to create a precise strategy for audience reach.

Implementing AI in Fundraising and Donations

 

Graph of practical implementations of AI

 

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AI is a powerful tool when used in a practical way to expand your resources. The role of artificial intelligence in business intelligence creates a pairing that can accurately target audiences, as well as help you pinpoint your next move.

Setting realistic expectations will help your business realize the maximum amount of benefits. For example, Manzi uses automatic outreach trigger detection as a great place to start.

Being able to detect when something happens in the business world that will cause a positive reaction from your audience can have a huge impact. Instead of having a group of consultants searching the news to watch events unfold, AI can step in to determine these trigger points.

With this knowledge, it is easier to use your staff’s energy to plan and execute your next move correctly. AI can take things a step further by eliminating your need to manually search for the right potential prospects. AI is also helpful in identifying the correct messaging for your target audience.

While these applications may not be as flashy, this practical implementation of AI can make a huge difference in your fundraising tactics. 

Using this technology takes the guessing game away from reaching out to donors. It allows you to target your messaging to areas where you will see the most return on investment (ROI).

  • Donor Strategy and Artificial Intelligence

When working in fundraising, high levels of energy are constantly being spent on putting together the best donor strategy to raise money. This typically includes researching, cultivating prospects, and maintaining strong relationships with your current donors to avoid fatigue.

The key to a successful plan is analyzing data and using it correctly to benefit your company. Data, in terms of this industry, is more conceptual than a spreadsheet of numbers. Information needed for accurate donor strategy includes current events, lifestyle models, and wealth factors.

It’s no longer necessary to read the news and spend time on social media to identify what is happening in the lives of your prospects and current donors. AI can step in to make this process easier, quicker, and more accurate.

AI takes on these redundant searches and constantly collects data to help create accurate models. By implementing this technology, you can have a daily strategy that shows who to reach out to and what call to action to make.

  • Email Marketing and Fundraising

As a go-to method for fundraising, email marketing is one of the most used platforms for donor engagement. Manzi discusses the important components of email and demonstrates how practical implementation of AI can help.

To make the most of any email campaign, constant testing is needed. By changing variables and analyzing the results, it is possible to see what combinations of content result in the best response rate.

Rather than trying to do an entire overhaul with AI, try testing several factors to see what results in positive change. Manzi suggests testing the time of day emails are sent, as well as the length of the subject line. 

With AI, you can see exactly how these factors are affecting your campaigns. In return, you will be able to strategize and plan your emails efficiently. The job never stops, though. Using AI to constantly test your approach will contribute to successful fundraising.

Key Takeaways

AI is not an ominous thing from the future, but rather helpful technology that gets the job done faster. Embracing AI in a practical way can further your organization’s goals as you continue to target your audience more accurately.

Analyzing data and receiving quick results has never been easier. Instead of allotting employee energy to donor research, utilizing AI can free up time and deliver precise results.

Don’t stop testing. AI works best when you are constantly feeding it information, and examining the results. Once you find a strategy that works for you, move your AI focus to the next project. This encourages constant progress and maximizes the results you see with this technology.

 

How to Increase Your Assets Under Management in a COVID-19 World

Tune in for an executive briefing and live Q&A with Chady AlAhmar, CEO of Wealth at Old National Bank, and Raj Khera, EVP at WealthEngine, as they share best practices to help you grow your portfolio in the midst of economic uncertainty.

View the Executive Briefing On Demand

This Executive Briefing will show you:

  • How to uncover insights like estimated net worth, investable assets, business ownership, accredited investor status, likelihood to buy a specific financial product, and more
  • Ways to find and connect with wealthy and soon-to-be-wealthy prospects
  • Techniques to identify clients in your portfolio who are ripe for expansion
Chady AlAhmar
CEO of Wealth

Old National Bank

Raj Khera
EVP and Chief Marketing Officer
WealthEngine
Raj is a past CEO and co-founder of several software businesses, two of which were acquired by public companies. At WealthEngine, he helps to create more value for customers through thought leadership and game-changing product enhancements. He is passionate about supporting higher education and cancer research and volunteers his time at the University of Maryland and local schools.

Short Term Fundraising Action Plans: The Next 90 Days

WealthEngine caught up with Ian Swedish from CCS Fundraising to reflect on the current landscape after 60 days and prepare for the next 90 days. Tune in for an engaging session about creating strategic short term action plans that will help you define opportunities and devise solutions amidst today’s challenges and uncertainties.

View the Executive Briefing On Demand

Areas of focus will include:

  • Maintaining and sustaining key relationships
  • Leveraging leadership
  • Communicating meaningfully with lapsed donors
  • Evolving your case for philanthropy to meet the moment
Ian Swedish
Corporate Vice President

CCS Fundraising

Raj Khera
EVP and Chief Marketing Officer
WealthEngine
Raj is a past CEO and co-founder of several software businesses, two of which were acquired by public companies. At WealthEngine, he helps to create more value for customers through thought leadership and game-changing product enhancements. He is passionate about supporting higher education and cancer research and volunteers his time at the University of Maryland and local schools.

 

Let Some Fires Burn: What Software Product Managers and Product Marketing Can Learn about Triage from the COVID-19 Crisis

An arrow image pointing north, east and west to represent triage and decision making

As we reflect on COVID-19, and its evil cousin in 2020, and how it has impacted everyone both professionally and personally, one idea appears more vividly than others—the power of triage. Triage enables individuals to quickly assess a situation to determine what is urgent and important, thus deeming what is essential and nonessential. It’s clear healthcare workers across the country are triaging as they ruthlessly prioritize who gets care, who gets tested, and who should be a part of the workforce, in order to reduce the need of personal protective equipment (PPE) given its shortages. While it’s commendable that many startups and large corporations, even in unrelated industries (Tesla, GM, LVMH, etc.,) are racing to build masks, ventilators, and other PPE, might it be prudent to ask what were product managers (PMs) and product marketing managers (PMMs) doing as they watched this crisis evolve?

 I will leave the medical industry experts to solve the specifics of that particular problem, but there is a lesson here for us at WealthEngine and vendors of B2B software to take note from. PMs and PMMs should pay more attention to their daily grooming habits, establishing a triage protocol across their tribes (to use some SAFe jargon) in case of emergency. Ideally, this should be assessed on a daily basis, but organizations lack the foresight to do so. Why? Because they are busy tending to daily fires. Unfortunately for the medical device manufacturers, this lack of insight and action on early pandemic warnings has caused countries of various sizes and national wealth to be unprepared for the increase in demand for PPE, leaving them frozen and unable to adapt quickly. So, what can future PMs and PMMs learn from this emergency on how to triage empathetically, prioritize ruthlessly, and execute flawlessly?

But first a big salute and thank you to the first responders and health care workers – our real heroes we all are sincerely indebted to.

Triaging with Empathy, Prioritizing Ruthlessly, and Executing Flawlessly 

This pandemic should lead us to rethink how Product Roadmaps are constructed, prioritized, and aligned in light of rapidly changing environments and market needs. A pre-established set of post-crisis processes will allow for companies to remain calm, prepared, and adaptable amidst future crises. 

 I recognize that the scale and pace that this pandemic hit the world was unprecedented, yet I find myself questioning the priorities, inventories, and supply-chain resilience of the medical device manufacturing industries, and by extension, the effectiveness of the on-the-line product managers and technologists in charge of production and capacity planning. It seems as though this crisis has exposed an overwhelming, and rather concerning, lack of a formalized scenario planning structure in these large corporations. I am surprised to see that all apparent planning and envisioning has gone out the window as demand for PPE has skyrocketed and am curious as to how these corporations will adapt from this pandemic. I have no reason to place blame or judgment on these manufacturers’ market-product prowess or even on the healthcare system’s ability to stockpile PPE, but the severity of the problem does lead me to ask one very basic question.

 When do you know that your risk-adjusted assumptions to deliver on a product roadmap are no longer valid and when should triage begin? 

 Triage is all about deeming what is essential and nonessential. It forces companies to reassess what is important to their mission statement and success rate. In 1954, former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” What went on to be coined the “Eisenhower Principle” is a 2×2 matrix that distinguishes between what is important and urgent. Important activities lead to goal achievement, making them more long-term focused, while urgent activities demand immediate attention because they may lead to immediate consequences. It may be difficult to distinguish between what is important and what is urgent at first, but once this clear distinction is made, companies are able to focus on which activities are essential for success. Companies should constantly be assessing what is important and urgent, even during times of prosperity, so that when crisis strikes and a timely response is necessary, there is no time wasted on this. With their priorities already established, companies will not focus on unimportant urgent activities but instead save time for those that are essential. 

3 Actions PMs and PMMs Should Implement in Their Triage Protocol 

1. Consider Data as Fact

 Use data as facts for decision making.  It is one ear to the ground, listening to the changing market conditions, while the other tunes into understanding what is the hardest dollar to get from your customers and what is the most important dollar they could spend right now(and hoping it’s with you). Understanding what the hottest and wisest dollar a customer may spend is crucial for PMs and PMMs, and deciphering this allows for them to focus their time and energy on the activities that would yield the best outcome. In this current crisis, this may be intuitively obvious, but when things come back roaring, the discipline to chase after the hardest dollar will swing to the lowest available dollar, and thus begins the dilution of the product roadmap again. So, using data as facts is an important practice both in times of crisis and prosperity. After all, we are living in the data decade, as Morgan Stanley coined this era of data usage. This means all opinions that color facts or data that does NOT support your position, must be included in the decision making process.  This will help to eliminate conscious and confirmation bias, amongst other traps that we are all prone and succumb to often. 

2. Reenergize Your Team

Conduct an honest and unbiased assessment of the skills of your current team and how those skills support the company’s important and urgent activities. In my experience, I have found that most PMs and PMMs struggle in this department. Skills assessments may cause uncomfortable conversations with not only their teams but also their superiors, as they have to explain why a majority of their team is not relevant to the essential activities. Without an honest assessment, “sunk cost” may occur as companies attempt to maintain the status quo. Yet, a new normal has emerged, and thus new strategies and skills must be prioritized. Don’t let old patterns and unrecoverable costs freeze your company. Just as Action One stated, act on the new data you receive, not the old data that is now irrelevant. By aligning your teams’ skills and business projection to the new market conditions, your company will be more proactive rather than reactive.  

3. Analyze the Old and New with Your Customers

 Encourage your customers to think creatively with you. Crises tend to create a new reality, one where the old way of thinking may not be as effective. It’s important that your customers feel heard and that their priorities are valued, so instead of forcing them into doing something new, partner with them and think strategically together. Not only does this help both you and your client decipher what is important and urgent, but it also builds mutual trust and understanding. For example, perhaps we suggest to our customers that sending unsolicited emails and unsecured leads would cost more and instead they should rethink their workflow around digital fundraising or digital marketing. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared when approaching clients. Present a new plan of action, showing how this plan would increase positive outcomes more than the old plan of action. 

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

I would urge fellow market-driven CEOs and VPs of Product Management and Product Marketing to consider asking themselves these three questions:

  • Is what I’m about to do important or urgent, are we doing the harder ones, with greater unknowns, first?

 

  • Are the business priorities aligned with the skills of my teams and have I been radically honest about their ability to deliver?

 

  •  Am I challenging my existing customers to do things differently? If not, how should your company approach their loyal clientele to partner with your company to think creatively and innovatively in times of uncertainty?

 

So, this is why it is hard to let some fires burn. In crisis, it’s our natural tendency to run into the flames and save whatever we can get our hands on, but just as firefighters do when faced with something aflame, we must stop and assess the situation, considering the best plan of action to protect our company and customers. That’s why we at WealthEngine believe triaging with empathy and prioritizing ruthlessly leads to flawless execution. Saving time, money, effort, and of course, lives! 

Bon Triage!

PV Boccasam

CEO – WealthEngine

The Art of The Uncomfortable Ask

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“Can you help me?” 

What seems like a simple question may prove to be the most difficult, especially given our current reality. In times of hardship and struggle, everyone seems to be in need of something, and it may not seem like the most appropriate time to ask for help. 

There are times when everyone, everywhere, will have to ask an uncomfortable question. 

With the novel coronavirus causing a worldwide pandemic, our reality is one of uncertainty. There is no set timeline as to when this will all end or how long it will take for businesses to recover. We don’t know whether it is going to be a “U”, “V”, or “W” recovery curve. All we know is that it won’t happen overnight, even though we all wish it would.

The “Art of the Ask”

So how can we adjust to this new normal? Businesses and individuals alike will need to master the “art of the ask.” 

From asking your teenager to socially distance herself from her friends; to enforcing a “no handshake” rule in the office; to proposing a moratorium on payments from the vendors you do business with; to requesting your top customer to pay their renewal so you can pay your employees; or even recognizing the unasked questions, like giving your college nephew or niece unsolicited money to pay their rent. 

Unprecedented times demand unprecedented questions, and although they may seem inappropriate or unnatural at first, it is important that these questions be asked, and heard. 

Why? Because we all must move forward. Although it seems as though the world has come to an abrupt stop, life and business must continue. We all have bills to pay, payrolls to meet, obligations to satisfy, and an indefinite future to plan for, whatever it may hold. This means asking for a shared sacrifice amongst people with shared values and a shared commitment to your teams’ success.

No company, nonprofit, or institution is able to escape the inevitable situation that will require a difficult conversation. Let’s start with the retrenchment discussions we recently had at WealthEngine. We believe our purpose is to provide unwavering support to our customers’ mission – both nonprofit and financial institutions- who are doing everything they can to survive, so they may continue to protect the health and wealth of their constituents during these turbulent times.

So we asked all our WE’rs, as they are affectionately called, for a shared sacrifice to protect their fellow associates and to prevent mass layoffs in a time of global uncertainty. Every single one of them obliged, with key c-suite executives going on a $1 paycheck indefinitely. This was truly a trust exercise, and we responded with an abundance of gratitude and humility. With a hopeful agenda, we view this pandemic not as a hindrance but rather an opportunity to grow as a collective company. WealthEngine is not unique in this, for we know many other organizations and institutions are hosting similar difficult conversations. The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers a blueprint for how organizations can work proactively in the face of recession. As a company, we are eager to learn how others are working to support one another in this new age of the “shared-economy,” or as some put it, “shared-pain!”

A decorative heart made up of synonyms for inspiration
A heart-shaped word cloud

Nonprofits and organizations, who have to keep their museums, theaters, kitchens, educational and healthcare institutions funded, are seeking creative ways to aid both their patrons and staff during this crisis. However, to support a staff of artists, researchers, teachers, janitors, nurses, security guards, technologists, and scientists is difficult when institutions are forced to close, causing financial downturn. It’s important to recognize that the “art of the ask” occurs both internally and externally. Even after asking staff to contribute to a shared sacrifice, sometimes that isn’t enough, and companies must turn to their communities for assistance. 

Be Your Own Lobbyist 

In Washington, it appears that lobbyists have mastered the “art of the ask.” They continue to be their client’s best advocates, seeking to maximize the government bail for the industries they respectively represent. They are unrelenting in their requests, and regardless of the crisis at hand, they appear comfortable asking, and demanding, what is best for their client. Yet, it seems as though no one is lobbying for the nonprofits across the country, or the local preschool chain, or the performing art houses. That is why these institutions must become comfortable with the “art of the ask” and lobby for themselves.  

What can nonprofits do to become comfortable with the ‘“art of the ask”? 

Be bold. Be fearless. Be shameless about the cause that you believe in. Now is the time to reach out to your donors and benefactors to solicit for help. With their doors shut, the Smithsonian and other institutions are putting their natural treasures online, fostering their patrons’ curiosity by creating online art galleries and historical exhibitions. And in return, these organizations ask that their patrons continue with their monthly subscriptions, and in some cases, ask their patrons and members to pay monthly dues in advance. José Andrés, world famous Spanish-American chef, responded to the “ask” by closing down his restaurants in order to support a make-shift kitchen to provide those in need of a hot meal. There have been innumerable cases of everyday heroes doing extraordinary acts of kindness. 

What can healthcare providers and managers do to become comfortable in the “art of the ask’”? 

Be the community organizer and ask with persistence for people to practice social distancing and good hygiene as well as encourage community members to volunteer their time and dollar to their local hospital. Ask benefactors and patients already identified through Grateful Patient Programs to consider donating a portion, if not all, of the stimulus check they will receive from the government. Highlight the fact that protective equipment is in short supply and that their donations will support the production of more masks, ventilators, hazmat suits, and the sanitary material that will help fight this virus. #EverydayGiving

What can educators do to become comfortable in the “art of the ask”? 

Be confident headmasters that demand their students (and parents) to be disciplined in their at-home studies. Encourage them to utilize the variety of free online resources to develop new skills and continue to pursue their education. This is new territory for both teachers and students, and educators must collaborate with their students. Maybe it looks like teachers having an open conversation with their students (virtually, of course), asking their students what would best support their learning. And in return, teachers may ask their students to uphold a daily learning routine while asking for parents and guardians to be more involved in their childrens’ at-home studies.

What can wealth managers do to become comfortable in the “art of the ask”? 

Be calm, cool, and a trusted advisor to them. Advise and assist your client to stay with the plan they have already devised and tweak things as you have new information. Remember that before this crisis began, your client chose you to provide long-term planning and thinking through turbulent and stagnant times. If there is anything to do right now, perhaps it is to take no action, thereby reducing the volatility of your clients’ own lives and their company’s status in the market.

Next Step: Ask with Gratitude, Humility, and Hope

On a personal note, as someone who is in constant search of personal and professional growth, I find myself in intentionally uncomfortable situations. From leaving my home country of India for an American graduate school only to drop out as a Ph.D candidate to join a small company in Redmond; to requesting to be in a big client meeting as a lowly developer, with a very thick-Indian accent, at Microsoft in the early 1990s; to proposing and being happily married to an Italian-American and boldly introducing her to my deeply-conservative, south-indian-brahmin family in Bangalore; to telling my Microsoft boss that I was quitting in order to start my first VC-backed business (@entevo) in 1997, even though my business partner and I had no clue how to run a business; to deciding that it was the right time to begin a brand-new software startup (@approva) and asking a band of loyal associates to join me the day after 9/11; to jumping at the opportunity to be in the complex world of venture-capital (@novakbiddle) and private equity, an industry that involves constantly investing in unknown risks with unpredictable outcomes, a month after the Great Recession of 2008! It seems as though uncertainty, chaos, and volatility have been my best friends for years. I embrace it when it happens, and try not to ignore it but rather face the realities head-on. It helps to focus on what’s now and what’s next.

However, the majority of people view uncertainty, chaos, and volatility as foes rather than friends, which is why we all need to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Whether it is an uncomfortable conversation with boards, colleagues, co-workers, extended family, or friends, these uncertain times will require all of us to ask difficult questions. And more importantly, be patient with the answers we may receive.

For now, all we can do is ask with gratitude, humility, and hope.

 

How to Personalize Engagement: 10 Key Takeaways From WE Prosper Summit 2019

The power of personalized engagement is undeniable. WealthEngine’s WE Prosper Summit 2019 brought together industry experts. They discussed the importance of personalization across industries. Speakers explored how data, AI/ML, and other technology drive tailored outreach and positive social impact.

Experts at the WE Prosper Summit 2019 spoke from their varied perspectives. From those talks, we found that the following key principles exist across industries:

Personalized Engagement can Deliver Exponential ROI

1.  Personalized Engagement is more than just a trending topic.

The WE Prosper Summit confirmed that personalization is more than just a buzzword. Speakers confirmed that it is at the epicenter of all successful fundraising and marketing.

For fundraisers, personalization could be the difference between receiving $50 from a donor or $50,000. For marketers, it enables them to stay informed on customer life stages. So, this means you can predict purchases and keep customers, thereby increasing LTV.

Missed WE Prosper Summit? Catch the full recap now and learn more about The Power of Personalized Engagement.

2. There is a fine line between personalized and creepy.

When you completely rely on technology to drive personalization, you may end up crossing a fine line. Stalking, profiling, and chatbots aren’t effective methods in learning more about your clients. In short, organizations need to find a way to make communication feel personal without losing sight of scalability.

This leads us to our next set of takeaways…

Technology Needs to be Balanced with the Human Touch

3. Data and AI are making huge strides in both the nonprofit world and in marketing.

AI is always exploring the frontier of what is possible. It is a great tool to test and refine your personalized engagement strategy. So, when data is combined with machine learning, it can predict behavior. This can help you be proactive in your outreach.

4. The value of the human touch cannot be undervalued.

It’s important to not be overly-reliant on technology when you’re personalizing your outreach. There are several cases where technology has been used as a substitute for a personal touch. Your donors and customers want to be engaged in authentic ways. They must sense transparency and relevancy in your communications with them. So, you can achieve this by balancing scalability with the human touch.

5. Your data strategy cannot just be to collect lots of it.

Basically, volume does not equal value.

Mathematician, Clive Humby has said that “Data is like oil…”

So, you have to refine data and process it correctly for it to be valuable. Moreover, data collection and insights must add value to your overall business strategy.

6. Combine your data with data from other sources to personalize engagement.

Your data is unique to you but you can increase it’s value to supplementing it with information from other sources. For instance, WealthEngine customers have access to wealth, demographic, lifestyle, and affinity data. These help them gain a more holistic view of their contacts. Similarly, data and machine learning can generate unique insights.

Combining your data with machine learning technology can generate insights that no one else has. These insights can then help you drive personalized engagement. Furthermore, you can use this technology to refine your analysis over time.

7. AI is not out of reach for nonprofits.

By understanding the technology, you can reduce repetitive tasks. Additionally, you can test your strategy and learn from it so that you are constantly refining your outreach.

Impact is Going to be the Next Industrial Revolution

8. Impact is going to affect all organizations.

All stakeholders have an interest in corporate social responsibility. Thus, usher corporations towards public good.

9. Millennials are going to be major influencers of the economy.

They will buy from brands, work at companies, and give to causes that are closely aligned with their principles. Thus, understanding them will be key to driving personalized engagement.

10. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) can add to fundraising bottom lines.

DAFs have been growing at a rate of 20%, almost 4X the rate of overall giving. With this being the case, all nonprofits have to do is facilitate receiving funds through them.

Learn More about WE Prosper Summit 2019- The Power of Personalized Engagement

Interested in learning more about what our industry experts had to say? Learn more about the latest trends in prospect engagement.

 

Salesforce Integration Shows What Community Really Means

Last week, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in customer relationship management, announced that it would merge with its independent nonprofit social enterprise, Salesforce.org, to further scale its philanthropic efforts.

By integrating Salesforce.org into its core operations, Salesforce intends to extend its innovative 1-1-1 model by continuing to provide free or economically-priced software to nonprofits and educational institutions around the world, as well as investing in local communities by supporting employees in different capacities. The company is committed to integrating corporate profits with their company’s purpose to give back to communities and causes everywhere.

Not only is Salesforce creating an inventive education and nonprofit vertical by combining these two entities, but their decision highlights an integral focus successful corporations and organizations are honing in on: community.

At WealthEngine, we’ve always believed in the three Ps: purpose, profit, and passion. Salesforce’s decision to integrate Salesforce.org into their structure is simply the truest manifestation of this viewpoint.

When communities, causes, and corporations come together, it changes the dynamic around how people in those communities engage. Since individuals within these communities work for companies or nonprofits, they are the primary drivers of their company’s passions and purpose. Not only do individuals work to amplify the purpose and practices of their company, but they continue to inject their own values into the work they do. Simply put: individuals are the core of any community.   

And with the $420 billion corporations and individuals have given to causes and communities they care about, these groups can now leverage the same technology that powers organizations and commercial enterprises. Technology can now be approached as a great equalizer in solving societal issues.

Not only is this great for corporations, organizations, and communities alike, but it illuminates the importance of leveraging a world-class platform that contains a customer 360 view of every constituent in your database, which can turbocharge an individual’s living, giving, saving, and learning cycles.

For the first time, Salesforce customers can tie a student’s information with their parent’s information, and further integrating information on where they live, how they live, and what communities and causes they support. Similarly, WealthEngine has pioneered the concept of creating a wealth profile that we define not just as a consumer’s net worth or net income, but a collection of all of the signals that make up their virtuous life cycle. WealthEngine’s integration with both Salesforce and the Salesforce.org’s financial services cloud can now enable a private wealth manager, at any large private bank, to look at an individual’s giving history, all in one place.

Let’s take JPMorgan Chase as an example of a private bank that’s cultivating community. As a response to the economic disparity in cities around the world, JPMorgan Chase has developed AdvancingCities— a $500 million initiative to drive inclusive growth. And this initiative is taking place right in our backyard. JPMorgan agreed to pay $140 million for a landmark building that will serve as its DC headquarters. Not only are they solidifying their place in the DC community, but the wish to expand and integrate themselves into it further. They plan to open as many as 70 branches in the area. JPMorgan recognizes DC as a growing economic center with a well-educated workforce, who are forging their own path in tech.

Not only are these developments changing our perception of this industry, but it’s actively molding our participation in it. Wealth does not equate to money. Wealth equates to personal engagement as it relates to profit; purpose; passion; communities; charities; and corporations. None of these factors can be pursued without involving the other.

All this to say: when you have a platform that can combine an individual’s propensity and capacity to learn, give, spend, and save, it creates new wealth signals that can be utilized further to create engaging campaigns that would fuel a continuous cycle of philanthropic giving and spending among consumers everywhere.

WealthEngine applauds Salesforce’s decision and will continue to build an even tighter and seamless integration into the Salesforce system. One CRM; one customer; one cause; one dollar at a time.

 

Financial Services Marketing Tips That Leverage Current Industry Trends

Financial services trends have all veered towards digitization in recent years. While these trends are indicative of progress, they can also present certain issues for marketers. Marketers at financial firms need to leverage technology and data to make their offerings resonate. With this in mind, let’s review financial services marketing techniques that will modernize your approach.

Omnichannel Marketing for Financial Services

One of the major issues in financial services stems from digitization. This means that more customers prefer to interact with FinServ professionals via digital channels. As a result, marketers are tasked with the ability to maintain a human touch in new ways.

The primary way to achieve this is by taking an omnichannel approach to your financial services marketing. This means that your customers must have a consistent experience no matter what channel they choose to interact with you through.

For instance, let’s consider the case of a retail bank. More customers bank online these days. Whether they use your website for a money transfer, your mobile app, or they come into a branch, they should have the same kind of experience. If your brand’s tone is more personable when local residents interact with their teller, the same warm interaction should come through, as if they were communicating with a chatbot.

Let’s consider different channels and how you can make marketing effective in each medium.

financial services marketing

Digital Marketing for Financial Services

Financial Services Marketing is now more reliant on digital techniques. It is possible and necessary to take an omnichannel approach even in your digital strategy. Your email marketing, content, social media marketing, among other strategies, should all reflect your core brand.

For instance, a customer care query could come in through email or via Twitter. Your response time and tone must be consistent across channels.

When it comes to digital marketing for financial services, one thing is crucial: maintaining a personal touch with your customers. Financial services marketing needs to build a high degree of trust. This can be enhanced through the human touch.

As a marketer, you need to find the right balance between leveraging technology and making your customers feel like they are receiving personal attention. Artificial Intelligence is becoming more adept at this over time.

Personalization comes from refined segmentation. Begin with understanding what makes your customers unique. Then, segment them on the basis of preferred channels, life stages, wealth indicators, etc. When you understand what each segment values, you can communicate in a way that truly resonates and makes an impact.

 

marketing for financial services

Let’s review different digital media and how you can increase engagement across them.

Content Marketing for Financial Services

Thought Leadership is a dominant theme under content marketing for financial services. This stems from the fact that financial products not only require educating customers, but they also require building trust.

However, for your thought leadership strategy to be effective, you need to offer real value to your readers. Clickbait or misleading titles guiding readers to pieces that don’t offer any insight will have an adverse effect on your brand.

To differentiate your content strategy, don’t just discuss trending topics in your industry. You need to weigh in on these topics by contributing your own point of view. This offers your customers insight into where you stand, plus it helps you stand out with your unique perspective.

Furthermore, content marketing needs to help solve problems and provide pertinent information. Your customers search for certain keywords, read your blog posts, emails,  or your how-to manuals in the interest of learning about something. When your content is written to help provide clarity or new information around a particular subject, it will automatically draw your customers in.

Email Marketing for Financial Services

Email marketing is all about personalization. This does not end by addressing your customers by name in your mass emails.

For email marketing to be effective in the financial sector, you need to understand customer preferences beyond the surface level. This means that you should know what product or service best fits their life stage. Further, it is important to know what kind of messaging would resonate with a specific customer. This extends to the tone of voice, images, and even the frequency of your email communication.

Automation tools for financial services marketing can help you understand what topics a customer is interested in. Knowing this means that you can tailor your communication to offer them the right solution at the right time. This, in turn, also helps build long-term relationships with customers.

Marketing Automation for Financial Services: Find Wealthy Clients

Many wealth managers and marketing teams fall into the trap of using the same old techniques for financial services marketing. Marketing automation for financial services is only possible when you know your customers well.

Personal networking, social media, sponsoring events, and other methods to meet wealthy prospects, are all useful techniques. However, you may end up spending your valuable time pursuing leads that are not qualified.

By using automated data analysis and prospect modeling, you can quickly screen and qualify prospects. Better yet, you can reduce sales cycle time and find new clients that are very much like your best ones.

How do you begin?

The answer lies in big data. You may already have large volumes of data. But, do you have the right kind of data? Furthermore, are you leveraging this data in the right way?

In other words, you can find wealthy clients that most financial firms overlook. When you tap into these methods for marketing financial services, you can shorten your sales cycle dramatically. Here are 5 strategies that will help you understand if you are using the right kind of data, the right way:

1. On-the-Fly Wealth Screening from Your Phone

You meet people everywhere: professional events, networking breakfasts, the gym, maybe even at your daughter’s soccer tournament.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enter your new-found acquaintance’s name into your phone and instantly learn whether they could be a good prospect for you?

You can.

WealthEngine’s instant wealth search feature lets you scan over 250 million U.S. contacts and see their wealth profiles. You will learn details on their interests, donation history, real estate, and other luxury property holdings and many other data points. The data is gathered from numerous publicly available databases and compiled into an easily accessible system. This information can completely change the game in your company’s financial services marketing efforts.

It also provides ratings and scores. These can indicate a person’s propensity to spend, to save, and to give (known as P2G).  Propensity-to-Spend (known as P2S) can indicate a person’s likelihood of purchasing luxury goods. You can then use these personalized marketing insights to guide your dialog appropriately.

propensity to give score on mobile
Example of what a propensity score would look like on your phone

2. Batch Prospect Research Before You Attend an Event

Let’s say your company sponsored an event, maybe a golf tournament, an art expo, or a dinner for charity. You’re going to attend these events to meet new people. You want to focus on the individuals who have the highest potential to do business with you.

Traditionally, you would mingle and look for introductions from those you know. You would spend time talking to many people to determine whether they are a qualified prospect.

There is a much better – and significantly more efficient – way to do prospect research. More importantly, this form of financial services marketing will help you find who you should talk to at these events.

Wealth screening can pinpoint exactly who you should look for so you spend your precious time effectively.

financial services marketing

Prior to the event, ask the host for a list of people who have RSVP’d. Then, you can upload the list into WealthEngine as a batch to do a wealth screen on everyone before you attend.

Within minutes, you will get back a list of the most wealthy attendees who will be at the event.

These are the people you should spend the most time with.

This method of marketing financial services allows you to do prospect research quickly. It will save you hours of wasted time pursuing unqualified leads.

You can also connect WealthEngine’s data directly to your customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as SalesForce. When you use APIs in the financial services marketing, you can discover wealth insights on everyone as you add them to your CRM. There’s no need to login to WealthEngine or change your workflow.

API integration

3. Create a Model of Your Best Wealth Management Clients

Your financial institution’s research department produces financial models all the time. You can use the same concept of modeling to create a detailed profile of your best wealth management clients.

To illustrate, these models identify the characteristics of your top clients. You will learn your prospects’ demographics, assets, real estate and luxury property ownership like boats and planes, luxury goods spending habits, favorite charities, and interests.

This level of detail in financial services marketing is significantly more useful than simply knowing someone’s name and address. In fact, the more data you provide, the more information our data scientists can model.

Many of our clients learn that they are spending their time pursuing prospects who have a very low likelihood of turning into wealth management clients. Financial services marketing becomes a lot easier when you use machine learning to get deeper clarity on who your best prospects really are.

4. Finding New Prospects Who Match Your Model

Once you have a well-defined model of your ideal client, you can use it to find others who have similar characteristics. There are several ways to do this efficiently.

API Connected to SalesForce

If your wealth management firm uses SalesForce, you can use WealthEngine’s SalesForce Connector to instantly get a score of every new prospect you add. This way, you don’t have to change anything in your workflow to accelerate the marketing of financial services.

Just add names to SalesForce and we’ll instantly send you a match rate based on the model of your best clients. You’ll know right away whether this prospect is someone you want to spend your valuable time on.

Match Your Model to 250 Million Records

WealthEngine can also run your model against our massive database to find people you don’t know but who match your ideal client profile. This is one of the fastest ways to leverage financial services marketing to find wealthy clients who could become some of your best clients.

You can then reach out, invite them to breakfast, or a round of golf, knowing that they fit the profile you want to pursue.

5. Identify Money In Motion

Creating a model and prospecting for clients based on that model will help you identify people to pursue. Next, you’ll want to monitor their money in motion.

Money in motion refers to knowing when an individual you are tracking has a financial event. Real estate purchases and public company stock sales are examples of publicly available data, all of which WealthEngine tracks.

When you know that a prospect has a liquidity event, you know they are likely going to do something with that money. WealthEngine’s tools can email you a report as soon as someone on your watch list sells public company stock.

These wealth indicators give you more clarity on what’s happening in the lives of your prospects, giving you the ability to hyper personalize your marketing.

Financial Services Marketing Using WealthEngine

WealthEngine can help you create very detailed segmentation and analyses to focus on the exact audience you want to reach.

Know Your Client

Get insights like estimated net worth, cash on hand, investible assets, interests and passions. Know your client like never before.

How many charitable young millionaires, age 18-32, live in Austin, Texas? Tell Us and You Could Win an Amazon Echo at DreamForce

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Are you going to Dreamforce?

Our team is looking forward to meeting you there, you can find us in the exhibit hall and the Foundation Zone. We can’t wait to show you the recent features we’ve added along with our options for integrating WealthEngine into Salesforce.

Have you seen WE Prospect yet?

WE Prospect helps you find, understand and contact wealthy prospects. More than what mere list providers give you, it can also help you drill down to find exactly who you’re looking for when it comes to micro-campaigns. And that’s what our weekly contests are all about, giving you the opportunity to try WE Prospect for a very specific audience profile while giving you the opportunity to win one of the most talked about devices.

Speaking of winning…

Want to win an Amazon Echo?

You’ll have three opportunities to win as we count down to Dreamforce. Jennifer in San Francisco won the first week’s contest.  Here’s a screengrab of the attributes selected to come to the correct answer:

WE Prospect Selects

Here’s how it works…every week we’ll provide a very specific audience profile, inspired by our own customers. Your mission? Provide your best guess of how many prospects in our data base fit the specific profile. You can go with your gut instincts or you can use our data-driven marketing tool, WE Prospect,  to drill down.

To enter, submit your best guess for:

How many charitable young millionaires, age 18-32, live in Austin, Texas?

Submitting your entry is easy. Just fill out this form with your answer and the person with the correct answer wins. If there is more than one correct answer, the person first person to submit wins. Winners will be notified via email before Dreamforce and can pick up their prize at our booth.
* Must enter by September 7th

 

Not going to Dreamforce? Everyone  who enters the contest is also entered to win a drawing for a $1,000 credit toward WE Prospect, whether they’ll be attending Dreamforce or not.