Did you see the Apprentice final just before Christmas? There were two parts during Sarah’s Sweeteze pitch that really caught our eye.

Opinion was mixed during this final with media commentators saying this series and the quality of candidates were especially poor. We admit to feeling a bit underwhelmed during the whole thing; there was one part when Lord Sugar was getting the opinion of his experts though that showed why Sarah’s investment in particular was a wise choice.

One industry expert was enthused by Sarah’s Graze-style sweet boxes that could have quirky messages on the front, pointing out that ‘personalisation is a huge opportunity in the industry’ away from standard branded packaging – something that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are using to great effect.

Another was during Sarah’s pitch herself when she cleverly pointed out that no sweet manufacturer themselves was ranking top for keywords such as ‘gift sweets’ and ‘sweets for him/her’. Rank highly enough for those terms and pitch the product properly to customers online and there’s a chance Sweeteze could make a killing.

How to reap the rewards of personalisation in 2018

What’s interesting is that some of the biggest names in one of the UK’s largest industries is highlighting on one of the UK’s biggest reality shows that a strong search presence and personalisation is going to be key growth factors for a £250,000 investment opportunity not just over 2018, but beyond.

Which not only goes to show that core inbound marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation and content marketing are still being used more than a decade since they were first brought into mainstream internet marketing, but that using them creatively and as part of a wider strategy is still set to be the key to digital growth years from now.

Get personalisation right and not only can you build strong relationships with clients in B2B and B2C sectors almost immediately, but you can build solid long-term relationships with them which can be invaluable, especially for those with ambitions to grow their business far and wide.



Personalisation can be a key contributor to word of mouth marketing; the most effective form of marketing there has ever been.

Personalisation can be tough to do though without complementing it with a wider inbound marketing strategy. Do it wrong and people will know about it, which could go a long way to making your brand look soulless and unapproachable.

Toward the end of 2017 Econsultancy showed a fantastic example of a brand combining marketing automation and personalisation poorly. Brand Mahabis was accused of being ‘patronising’ thanks to the frequency of their cart abandonment emails which went as far as talking about the weather in Manchester to try and get shoppers on-side.

The marketing trends you need to adopt for growth in 2018

Talking about the weather has never been an advisable sales tactic, but it does show how hard it can be to marry automation and personalisation. Employ the right creative inbound strategy though and personalisation will be a key ally of yours over the course of 2018 and beyond.

Focusing on personalisation would be a great idea for a lot of companies looking to boost their growth this year, but what other inbound trends should you be focusing on? We think 2018 will be a huge year for:

1: Data marketing with GDPR in mind

GDPR is coming on 25 May this year, and scores of companies across the UK still aren’t prepared for it. A bespoke inbound marketing strategy can not only futureproof you from GDPR and other legislation, but can go a long way to improving the quantity and quality of the data and leads you collect.

Not only can that help in a lead generation sense but can also help with outreach; by ethically collecting specific data you can learn more about your visitors and adjust your strategy over time.

2: (Conversational) search engine optimisation

SEO is still a key long-term part of the lead generation and online visibility process.

More and more people are using smart devices though to solve their problems and answer their questions. Technology such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and others are exploding in popularity, so it makes sense to not only increase your visible presence on the world’s most popular search engines but also perform search engine optimisation with conversational search in mind to always be the answer to somebody’s question.

3: Influencer marketing will become more targeted


Influencer marketing will become more targeted


Influencer marketing has been a popular method of raising social awareness over the years but it’s been hard to measure ROI from it.

With automation and personalisation helping to better calculate ROI across many inbound marketing disciplines, we expect to see more brands and marketers collaborating deeper with more high-profile influencers to get more bang for their buck. Expect this to perhaps be more prevalent on YouTube, where influencers will be more open to working with brands thanks to the ‘adpocalypse’.

4: Websites will embrace new ways to pay

This point may fall under the personalisation umbrella, too. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become hugely popular over the course of 2017, with companies of all spectrums (including binmen!) offering cryptocurrency payments as a way to do business.

We’re not saying that’s a road to go down if you’re looking to grow your business, but we think we’ll see more and more websites and brands embracing new, easier ways for people to pay for goods and services as the financial technology market continues to grow and disrupt.

5: Sales and marketing departments will get closer

This is a trend we’ve seen growing throughout 2017 that we think will gain traction over the year ahead, particularly with greater adoption of marketing automation taking hold.

Sales and marketing departments’ lead generation, nurturing and qualification habits will begin to blend into one, with automation and personalisation improving the overall sales funnel and targeting process. Automation will also go a long way to streamlining inbound marketing strategies and unifying sales and marketing departments.


Want to improve your marketing potential and create a solid inbound lead generation strategy for 2018 and beyond? Speak to a Web Presence specialist today to find out more.

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