State of Customer Journey 2019 Key Takeaways

2019 Highlights

Another year and so many more customer journeys to analyze. Here at Kitewheel, we just released the State of Customer Journey Report 2019. This is our biggest data analytical report to date, with over 10 Billion digital and in-person customer interactions tracked and recorded. This fifth report in the State of Customer Journey series looks at not only the approximately 10 Billion interactions from the previous 5 years but also provides a longitudinal view of how the Customer Journey universe has changed, offering insights into how agencies and brands leverage customer journeys across channels, industries, and use cases. We recommend that you read the report, but here are a few key highlights to better understand the journey management market:

  • 5 Years of Consistent Growth Means Customer Journeys are Here to Stay
  • Journeys are Expanding from Large B2C to SMB, Mid Tier and B2B
  • Growth Across All Industries, Retail Grew 172% and Telco Grew 160%
  • Channel Expansion Continues in Line Journey Maturity

Customer Journeys Are Here To Stay

Customer journeys consist of interactions across all parts of the business and across the customer’s entire lifecycle. All the same, many businesses organize how they think about customer journeys at their brand into one of 3 key areas. These are Acquisition, Conversion, or Growth. While all are crucial parts of the overall journey, especially when brands are just starting out, they identify one area they want to focus to prove value and drive initial results.

We have seen that journeys are not a passing trend. They’re here to stay. Especially when it comes to growth journeys – those that focus on repeating behaviors and long-term customer loyalty. Growth journeys run longer on average and are often quick to demonstrate concrete business results. With other journey use cases becoming popular as well, it’s clear that journeys are continuing to grow and transform. Here at Kitewheel, we have seen 5 years of consistent year-over-year growth, and an extremely low churn rate as more and more projects continue to add.  We take this as a sign of the lasting impact that customer journeys have on businesses. In the State of Customer Journey 2019 Report, we go into even further detail about which journeys are thriving and how they are changing with time.

Journey Diversification is in Full Swing

customer journeys are changing, on a journey of their ownWith journey growth trending upward across the board, we were also excited to see two new trends in the data. While the direct-to-brand transformation that we noted last year is now in motion, there are several relative newcomers to journey orchestration that are now evolving their brand experiences.  As Mark Smith discussed in his 2019 predictions, medium-sized businesses are beginning to adopt journey management techniques. While enterprise businesses continue to be the dominant source of new projects, SMB and Mid-Market businesses are beginning to adopt the technology and techniques to deliver real-time omni-channel journeys.  Not only that, but we noted significant growth in the B2B marketplace as well. While most projects historically have been B2C, there are absolute journey applications in the B2B space as well, especially for high-value sales and Account-Based Marketing.

While marketing still is the key leader of Customer Journey investments, with most of our 10 Billion interactions covered in this report being part of a marketing-lead project, CX is hot on their heels. Given that CX use cases can often take advantage of the full-business connectivity that a Journey Management Platform like Kitewheel can provide, it is no wonder that this is the case. When we factor in the growing maturity of the CX practice as a whole, there is a clear trend towards journey driven thinking.

Why does it matter that the Customer Journey is no longer primarily housed in Marketing? There are both challenges and opportunities that we discuss in further detail in the State of Customer Journey 2019 report, but the short answer is that while Marketing has lead the charge and is often an early adopter of new technology, we believe that close coordination between Marketing and CX is the future of delivering world-class journey experiences.

Customer Journey Maturity Drives Omni-Channel Adoption

While we went through the data for this year’s report and measured maturity, we noticed a trend. There was a positive correlation between journey maturity and the number of channels brands orchestrated as part of their customer journey. Maturity is a complex topic, but to make it easier for customer journey teams, we outlined four key stages in our Customer Journey Maturity Model. Each of these stages represents a step up in terms of the complexity of journey activity, team size and competency, and technology in place.  While businesses at all levels of maturity have found customer journey success, those higher maturity teams have several factors that set them up to succeed.

The first feature is that brands at higher maturity have moved beyond journey mapping, into journey orchestration and analytics. This is a key step in flipping the switch to journey value, as journey orchestration allows brands to actually influence the journey in real time. It should come as no surprise then, that the average top-maturity customer journey involved more than 4 channels, while the lowest maturity journeys tend to include only one or two. If you’re interested in learning more about this, we go into greater detail about channel utilization by industry and maturity in the State of Customer Journey 2019 report,

Final Takeaways

The State of Customer Journey is strong, dynamic, and growing. Kitewheel has released our State of Customer Journey report every year for the last five years because each year brings new changes, opportunities, and challenges. We once again invite you to download the report for the latest insights in customer journey trends and changes in the market.

As customer journeys expand across businesses big and small, and the importance of customer journey orchestration continues to rise, Kitewheel is here to help you make sense of it. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the Customer Journey Maturity Model. It’s a powerful place to start if you’re wondering what it takes to level up your CX.