Boston, MA – December 8, 2016 – New research from Kitewheel, provider of the leading Customer Journey Hub for brands and their marketing agencies, reveals that agencies and brands see no end to the ongoing technology arms race. The majority of agencies plan to boost tech investments in 2017 despite acknowledging that a lack of skills is resulting in under-utilization of many existing tools.
Of those marketers who plan to make technology investments in 2017, 75 percent report that they are looking to acquire tools for personalization and customer journeys. Sixty-eight percent of agencies report that clients are asking them to help deliver these experiences, and half of the respondents say this demand is driving them to launch a customer journey practice in 2017. This suggests that agencies are still working to harness the capabilities to deliver an omni-channel experience and address growing customer experience expectations.
Many agencies are struggling with how to deliver effective journeys across channels, with 49 percent admitting they do not have an established process. As they look to integrate marketing and break down silos to create effective customer experiences, agencies identified that the top use case opportunity involves unifying AdTech and MarTech systems to link acquisition and sales processes. This was closely followed by the need for AdTech journey attribution and omni-channel loyalty program best practices.
Despite the planned increase in tech investments and growing focus on customer journeys, many agencies are cautious about their ability to build the capabilities to deliver customer journeys in 2017. They point to a lack of skills and tools (54%) as the key impediment in their ability to deliver customer journeys, with 64 percent reporting that it will be 2018 or later before they are able to do so.
This demand for customer journeys varies by industry, with 65 percent of agencies pointing to retail as the vertical with the most potential, financial services and travel coming in second, followed by automotive, telecoms and CPG. This finding reflects the sophisticated approach many retail clients have to digital marketing
“Our latest research reveals that agencies are still struggling to deliver omni-channel experiences despite growing brand and customer expectations for them to do so,” said Mark Smith, President, Kitewheel. “There is a clear skills gap preventing agencies from tapping into the growing demand for personalization and customer journeys. Without proper guidance, agencies and brands will continue to invest in technology that doesn’t deliver.”
The survey of 134 marketing professionals who work for agencies in the US and Europe was conducted during Fall 2016. For more survey findings, click here.
Kitewheel orchestrates intelligent customer journeys by unifying decisions across all touch points for brands and their agencies. Kitewheel’s innovative Customer Journey Hub visually unifies disparate systems, touch points and technologies to provide seamless customer experiences that drive real-time revenue as well as long term loyalty.
Kitewheel has more than 25 of the world’s leading marketing agencies as active partners, including the top five agency groups Omnicom, WPP, Publicis and Havas, and was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in 2014 and included in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs. Kitewheel serves its global partner base from offices in Boston, New York City and London. For more information, please visit www.kitewheel.com and follow Kitewheel on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sofia Kathryn Coon
Scratch Marketing + Media for Kitewheel