Whilst personalisation in marketing isn't new, it's often an afterthought rather than a core marketing tactic. However, with the evolution of consumer behaviours and the rise of AI, having a successful personalisation marketing strategy is no longer just an option, but a necessity to stay ahead in today's competitive market. Gone are the days where personalised subject lines were enough; your customers are demanding more.
In this piece, we're going to explore the current trends in personalisation for both B2B and B2C sectors to help you drive revenue and leads, whilst ensuring customer retention and advocacy. Then, we’ll provide some tips on implementing personalisation tactics.
Why is Personalised Marketing Important?
Salesforce's global survey of over 13,000 consumers reported that as of 2022, 73% of consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, and 56% of consumers expect offers to always be personalised.
Often, the businesses we talk to know how vital personalisation in marketing is, but don’t know where to start or what’s possible. They understand personalising their audience’s buying journey increases revenue, whether they’re B2B or B2C, as it will affect retention, cross-sell and upsell opportunities positively, all impacting their lifetime customer value.
Indeed, it’s been reported that personalisation in B2B sales can lead to a 1.4x revenue growth and that 59% of B2B decision makers think it’s critical for suppliers to personalise their buyer’s journey. Clearly, these statistics illustrate that personalised marketing efforts are critical in order to meet the heightened desires and expectations of consumers today.
Personalised Marketing Trend #1: Product Recommendations
Marketplace giant Amazon are the King when it comes to personalised marketing, thanks to their recommendations engine. This successful personalised marketing strategy works, with 35% of Amazon's revenue coming from cross-selling.
Amazon's Product Recommendations at an Individual Level
Amazon will deliver consumers product recommendations based on their own purchase history and interactions, such as products that were viewed but not purchased, search history and more.
Amazon's Product Recommendations at a Broader Level
On a broader scale, Amazon utilises wider customer data to deliver a personalised experience, by showing individuals products based on logic such as 'customers who bought this item also bought', 'customers who viewed this item also viewed' and 'frequently bought together' products.
Applying Amazon’s Logic to B2B Businesses
For B2B businesses, personalisation takes a slightly different approach, but the underlying principle remains the same. Understanding your customers' needs and tailoring your offerings to meet those specific needs is paramount.
Rather than recommending products, B2B businesses can personalise their service recommendations in a similar fashion. This can be accomplished by analysing what services a client has already taken up and understanding their business requirements.
For instance, if a company has previously purchased your cloud storage solutions, you may recommend your data backup services or cybersecurity offerings. These recommendations are based on the understanding that a company in need of cloud storage solutions likely values data safety and would benefit from additional data protection services.
Moreover, understanding your customers goes beyond their purchase history. By analysing their business type, size, industry, and other relevant factors, you can offer services that are specially tailored to their unique business needs.
Personalised service recommendations not only enhance the customer experience but also increase the chances of upselling and cross-selling. It provides an opportunity to deepen the relationship with your clients and maximise their lifetime value with your business. Remember, in the B2B sector, personalisation is all about providing value. The more relevant and beneficial your recommendations are, the more likely your clients are to consider them. This approach can lead to increased customer loyalty, improved customer satisfaction, and ultimately, higher revenue growth for your business.
Personalised Marketing Trend #2: ABM Marketing
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is becoming a significant trend in B2B marketing, and personalisation is at its core. ABM is a strategic approach that involves marketing to specific accounts or businesses, rather than a larger audience made of your target personas. This approach allows businesses to focus their resources on high-value accounts, resulting in higher return on investment.
In ABM, personalisation comes into play by tailoring marketing messages and campaigns to the specific needs and characteristics of each target account. This can be achieved by understanding the business' industry, its current challenges and its goals. By doing so, businesses can create highly relevant and engaging content that resonates with the target account.
For instance, if a target account is a healthcare provider struggling with patient data management, a B2B business offering IT solutions can personalise their marketing message to highlight how their services can help improve data management and enhance patient care.
Moreover, personalisation in ABM extends beyond the initial marketing message. It also involves providing a personalised customer journey, from the initial contact to the after-sales service. This can include personalised demos, customised service packages, and dedicated customer support.
By leveraging personalisation in ABM, B2B businesses can build stronger relationships with their target accounts, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, drive revenue growth.
Personalised Marketing Trend #3: Personalisation vs Privacy
Below, we've shared a small selection of things that you need to consider when collecting consumer data:
- Don't ask for all personal data in one go, ask for it over time, as you’re building trust with your leads
- Provide incentives for personal data collection such as sharing their birthday for a discount
- Always share the value of providing personal data - what does the consumer get in return for giving you their personal data? E.g., unique content, early access, guides, eBooks etc
- Don't ask for personal data you don't need
- Be clear on how you will use this data and always provide a way for people to unsubscribe
Source: Marketing Charts
Personalised Marketing Trend #4: Rewarding Loyal Customers
Personalisation marketing needs to be thought of at every step of the customer journey, not just at acquisition level, which it often is. Personalised experiences that help make your existing customers feel special and valued, will help them remain loyal to your brand.
An excellent example of this is Spotify Wrapped, an annual marketing campaign whereby users are provided with a personalised report of their Spotify listening behaviour. Consumers receive information on top songs, most listened to brands, their listening personality and more. This marketing campaign has phenomenal shareability and achieves more success each year, with 2022's Spotify Wrapped seeing a staggering 425 million tweets about it in the first three days post launch.
In a similar vein, B2B companies can also employ this strategy to demonstrate the value of their services and deepen their relationship with clients. For instance, a cloud service provider could provide an annual report detailing the client's usage of their services over the year. The report could include metrics such as the amount of data stored, uptime percentage, security incidents prevented, and cost savings achieved. This not only reinforces the value of the service but also provides a personalised touch, showing the client that their business is valued and understood.
Personalised Marketing Trend #5: The Role of AI & Marketing Technology
Personalised marketing is now more readily available and powerful than ever before thanks to AI and other MarTech driven tools.
Tools that allow this include:
- Personalisation engines that use customer, sales, and product data – e.g., Dynamic Yield and Shopify’s product recommendations tool
- Recommendation engines – e.g., Amazon’s Personalize
- Dynamic content platforms that deliver tailored content based on customer behaviour and preferences, for example HubSpot's smart content and Klaviyo’s behavioural analytics
With the buzz around AI and MarTech only growing in volume, it's key that you get up to speed with the various AI marketing technology options out there to find the right one for your business.
How to Implement Personalisation
As personalisation in marketing becomes the norm, businesses need the right tech stack to collect data and personalise experiences across the buyer's journey.
HubSpot and Shopify are two great examples of CMS solutions for B2B and B2C businesses that help deliver personalised customer experiences. Platforms like HubSpot allow the implementation of tools such as personalisation tokens, lists and smart content, to deliver a truly personalised experience.
Whilst evaluating the requirements of your tech stack for personalisation purposes, understanding the state of your customer relationship management software is also critical. Having clean data and knowing the capabilities of your CRM in terms of data collection and storage is vital in order to provide personalised content and, fundamentally, a good customer experience.
- Personalised experiences shouldn't be novel, they should be the norm
- Trends in personalised marketing strategies include: product recommendations, account-based marketing, using existing data to enhance customer loyalty, respecting privacy, and AI and marketing automation technology
- To deliver personalised marketing experiences you need to have a good CMS and tech stack behind you
- Personalisation efforts will be wasted if your personal data collection isn't in place or if your data is unclean
Innovation Visual Can Help with Personalised Marketing Strategies
At Innovation Visual, we have experience running personalised marketing strategies to help B2B and B2C businesses create lasting customer relationships, increase sales and bolster business performance.
As digital marketing and MarTech experts, we keep up to date with personalisation trends to ensure our clients have the competitive edge when it comes to connecting with prospective customers on a deeper level and enhancing the relationship with their existing customers. Plus, we're HubSpot Platinum and Klaviyo partners, so if you're looking for help from digital marketing experts, don’t hesitate to contact us today.