Last night, I had the privilege of attending CIM Travel Group’s annual Question Time which was held in the penthouse located on the 17th floor of New Zealand House just off Trafalgar Square. The views across London were unreal and the discussion was fascinating.

For those that may not know, the general overall theme of the evening was a discussion around the trends and issues affecting the travel industry throughout 2017. At the end of the session, the speakers were asked which direction digital marketing will head this year. The verdict was unanimous.

Personalisation. One of the biggest digital marketing trends for 2017 will be the rise in brands trying to create content that connects with audiences in more personal, relevant ways. I’ve been a huge fan and a massive advocate for personalisation ever since I had my name sewn into some football boots I received for my 12th birthday, it’s often just the little things. There is just something about seeing your name on something that makes it harder to resist and easier to engage with. A classic example would be Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. First introduced in 2011, it launched to massive success and led to a 2% increase in sales for the drink that was flagging due to the popularity of bottled water and low calorie sports drinks. They also gained 25 million Facebook followers and over 500,000 Instagram photos But beyond seeing your name on a can of Coke or a jar of Marmite, how far can personalization actually go? How can it benefit and compliment an overall digital marketing strategy? 

Unfortunately, personalization is an under-utilized strategy. A recent study by VentureBeat found that 80 percent of marketers are failing to personalize their efforts. According to Econsultancy, only 19 percent use personalization in their marketing, despite the fact that 74 percent of marketers know it improves customer engagement. Why aren’t marketers personalizing their marketing efforts and how will this change in 2017?   The answer it seems is all in the statistics…