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The power of personalisation to build brand loyalty and make the most of data

You can’t read anything or go online nowadays without bumping into the phrase 'personalisation'. Everyone is talking about it, but what exactly does it mean? Is it just the latest marketing bandwagon or does it have merit? Marketing has changed so much with the rise of digital technologies and the key to success seems to lie in understanding the individual needs of each customer – or, in other words, personalisation. 

The digital age has given businesses a much greater insight into the way other organisations operate, and has meant they can trace another business’ digital footprint in seconds. This data has enabled firms to create targeted and engaging marketing strategies having realised that ‘to be interesting, they [must] be interested’* in each individual customer.

We believe that by giving customers a unique experience, businesses can retain and gain Clients. In a survey conducted by Experian, 87% of customers stated they found it acceptable for businesses to use personal data – a surprising result but one that suggests that companies need to capitalise on this more. 

What’s more, personalisation can impact your bottom line – a McKinsey survey revealed it can increase company profits by 15-20%, something that should motivate even the most cynical marketer. 

However, a line must be drawn as to what data can be leveraged. A CIM report found this line is often crossed, with a shocking 81% of the marketing companies admitting they shared data across departments without permission.

It’s vital that marketing teams embrace personalisation, but businesses must feel valued rather than harassed. So what steps can companies take to ensure that this is the case?

Making the most of data

The digital revolution has provided marketers with vast amounts of data on how businesses – and the individuals within them – operate. Buried beneath an organisation’s activity, marketers can easily spot trends that help them target their desired audience.​

However, a line must be drawn as to what data can be leveraged. A CIM report found this line is often crossed, with a shocking 81% of the marketing companies admitting they shared data across departments without permission.

It’s vital that marketing teams embrace personalisation, but businesses must feel valued rather than harassed. So what steps can companies take to ensure that this is the case?

Making the most of data

The digital revolution has provided marketers with vast amounts of data on how businesses – and the individuals within them – operate. Buried beneath an organisation’s activity, marketers can easily spot trends that help them target their desired audience.

However, the explosion of new marketing channels and the changing demographics of customers have posed challenges to B2B marketers. Businesses are beginning to realise it’s not enough to simply own data, it must be used to personalise the sales journey.

Gone are the days of mass email marketing, it must now deliver something bespoke to the customer, something that will guarantee engagement. Firms are now using large data sets – big data – to produce innovative incentives, such as personalised loyalty schemes they know customers will find valuable. 

Build brand loyalty

It’s a fact that people trust each other more than they trust a business or brand – 92% of consumers worldwide say they trust word of mouth more than any other type of advertising. When experiences are real it inspires emotion, and validates the company, a fact that also transfers into the business world.

One way in which B2B marketers can achieve this is through targeting key influencers who represent issues and ideas similar to that of the business. Customers are more likely to trust what a business is saying if it is endorsed by key industry stakeholders. This also means that customers will be less likely to question the authenticity of a business’ marketing efforts.

In our era of personalised customer experiences, the secret to success for B2B businesses lies in collaboration and sharing data to improve customer experience and engagement. Where once customers were happy with mass email marketing campaigns, businesses must now leverage data to personalise their marketing efforts. If they are to cut through the clutter and remain ahead in a competitive market, personalisation needs to be the priority. 

*Dale Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people, (Vermilion, 2006).