Six personalisation trends that will drive engagement in 2018

Johannesburg, 12 Feb 2018
Read time 5min 50sec

In our guide to digital marketing strategies driving engagement, we talked about how personalisation is a highly important strategy to include. When you stop to think about how quickly the purchasing decision is made in today's super-fast, customer-centric era, you will quickly see how easy it is to lose a potential customer in a matter of seconds. Customers today have shorter attention spans and more information available to them than ever before. Because of this, it has become more challenging to reach customers instantly.

Engagement is important for many reasons. While getting customers to your Web site is one thing, achieved through lead nurturing, mobile marketing, e-mail marketing and various other strategies, keeping customers interested after they arrive on your Web site is a whole other thing altogether.

You may find you are putting in a great deal of effort to acquire customers, only to have those customers leave before making a purchase. You may find that you are seeing an increase in abandoned shopping carts, incomplete purchases or once-off purchases. You might be finding it hard to interact with customers in a way that ensures large purchases and customer loyalty.

As much as digital marketing personalisation is a powerful tool for getting new customers, it is even more useful as a way to turn once-off customers into loyal customers. Consider this for a moment... customers will spend roughly 90 seconds on your Web site once they arrive. What can you do to make them spend longer on your site? How can you ensure they make a purchase? How do you turn that customer into a loyal supporter of your brand? How do you make sure they return to your site?

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to use personalisation as part of your digital marketing strategy for customer engagement.

Digital marketing strategies for effective personalisation

As we prepare to move into a brand new year, many brands will be looking at new ideas on how to create unique, highly targeted experiences for customers. Personalisation is without a doubt one of the most effective digital marketing strategies to consider if you are aiming to increase engagement. Essentially, you will need to create memorable, personalised experiences that resonate on the deepest possible level.

Technology is driving personalisation through highly useful tools that will have a huge impact on e-commerce, retail, B2B, B2C and various other industries. Technology offers a powerful way to create high personalised, targeted customer experiences. While millennials are a major group that is embracing this type of technology, audiences in other groups are also responding to personalisation as part of an omnichannel digital marketing approach. To give you a better idea of the trends that are shaping personalisation, here are some of the top trends worth noting in the year ahead...

Rise of video creates branded content on demand

Online video is showing no signs of losing popularity as a digital marketing channel. A growing number of consumers have replaced traditional television with online television. Video is continuing to grow as a primary alternative to traditional TV. This gives smart brands the chance to take control of content in a way that drives engagement and conversion.

Creating highly tailored videos that are closely tailored to specific audiences will help you benefit from the power of video. DIY tips, useful how-to guides, informative content based on FAQ and customer feedback, interesting videos based on customer interests and demographics, and customer-centric video content that adds genuine value through entertainment, interest, talking points, and relevance will all help you tap into the benefits of video content.

Beacons lighting the way for proximity marketing

The merge of online and offline is growing every year. Proximity marketing is not a new strategy. It is, however, a fast-growing strategy that is worth considering if you have a brick and mortar business. Beacon technology uses Bluetooth signals that deliver real-time information through low-power radio transmitters. This information provides customers with highly relevant offers, creating localised, personalised experiences. Although this works especially well for traditional retailers and businesses, it can also work well for area-specific apps and businesses. This technology can also be used to create treasure hunts and other gamified experiences, all of which also help to drive engagement.

Social personalisation going far beyond friend recommendations

Over the years, we have seen how much weight friend recommendations have on social media. Customers rely on personal recommendations and reviews far more than they do on company reviews. This comes down to human nature - we are more likely to listen to the advice of those we know and trust, then those we do not know. This trend is set to transform in the year to come, into social personalisation, which gives customers the power to create personalised consideration lists.

Customisation technology is growing rapidly.

Thanks to the rise of 3D printers and various other customisation technology, the way that people engage with brands is changing all the time. Through this type of technology, audiences are able to customise their favourite products in a far deeper way than before, giving them far more control in the engagement experience. Smart brands will take advantage of this by offering new and inventive ways to customise products and services, and by providing support services that add genuine value.

Visual Web driving personalisation

As important as video continues to be, do not discount the power of imagines. The visual Web is evolving all the time, with more searches done through Google Image and Pinterest each and every year. These searches are not just a way to find images, however. They also offer highly personalised shopping opportunities, with products that can be purchased directly from platforms such as Pinterest. To take advantage of this technology, use visuals to engage customers and drive more sales through image based sites.

Mobile interfaces adapting and growing, too

Swiping, Tinder-style is becoming a popular feature on many mobile apps and mobile sites. Interactive interfaces are enjoyed by retail brands, who use the swipe right for like feature to create personalised wish lists. Other interface trends will likely also start gaining popularity as omnichannel digital marketing continues to evolve and grow. You can take advantage of this by ensuring that your mobile marketing strategies are tailored and fully responsive for optimal success.

Grapevine Group

Grapevine is a leading digital communications solutions provider, delivering data-driven customer experiences on all channels and devices at speed and scale on behalf of brands and businesses. It provides a single point of service for all integrated omnichannel communication and customer experience delivery. For more information, please visit

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Grapevine Group San-Marie Smith
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