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Kitewheel: 81 Percent of Agencies Will Increase Tech Investments, But Many Struggle to Master ThemIt’s a “technology arms race” for marketers and ad agencies, according to fresh research from Kitewheel, the provider of the leading Customer Journey Hub for brands.

In fact, most agencies will up their tech investments in 2017, despite the fact that “a lack of skills is resulting in under-utilization of many existing tools.” This sentiment was expressed by many of the 134 marketing professionals in the U.S. and Europe who were surveyed.

“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,” notes the Kitewheel crew. “About 68 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.”

Bottom line: agencies are still striving to commandeer the capabilities required to deliver an omni-channel experience and address rapidly inflating 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,” according to the report summary. “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.

“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, Kitewheel’s President. “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.”

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