SOURCE: Kitewheel

October 08, 2014 09:30 ET

New Independent Study Reveals Major Disconnect Between Brands and Today's Connected Consumers

Kitewheel-Sponsored Primary Research Shows Brands Are Failing to Meet Customers' Mounting Expectations Around Experience

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - October 08, 2014) - Kitewheel, the provider of the No. 1 real-time customer engagement hub for marketing agencies, today revealed findings of an independently commissioned study, "The State of the Customer Journey 2014," that examines the current breakthroughs and breakdowns in engagement with today's connected consumer. As new technologies and digital channels reshape the landscape of human interaction, the study reveals a significant disconnect between consumer expectation around experience and brand execution.

Nearly 600 connected consumers and marketing decision makers were surveyed in Kitewheel's "State of the Customer Journey 2014 Report." Five areas of disconnect were discovered including: mobile, social media, real-time e-commerce, omni-channel capability and brand loyalty. Some of the key findings include:

  • Real-time eCommerce presents a huge opportunity for brands, as 91 percent of consumers feel an "in the moment" offer might influence their purchase. Yet only 32 percent of marketers have the tools in place to deliver upon this "real-time" promise in practice, with most offers arriving too late to make an impact.
  • Three-quarters (76 percent) of consumers use mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews while shopping, yet 51 percent of marketers are not currently managing mobile apps as a consumer touch point. Additionally, 55 percent of consumers state frustrations in downloading an app that offers no functional difference from a business' website.
  • Sixty-eight percent of consumer respondents expect a response to tweets directed at a brand, and one in three expect a response within 24 hours. Yet 45 percent of marketers state it is unlikely that their company can respond to every one of these social media opportunities. 
  • Nearly three-quarters of consumers (73 percent) believe that loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show consumers how loyal they are to them as a customer; but two-thirds (66 percent) of marketers still see it the other way around.

"Brands face tremendous challenges -- and opportunities -- to adapt their strategies to better meet the demands of today's connected consumer, while truly differentiating themselves," said Mark Smith, President, Kitewheel. "Yet transformation across one category or touch point will not suffice in the long run -- individual customer journeys that span all touch points, channels and strategies must lie at the heart of this evolution." 

To download the entire report and corresponding infographic, please visit www.Kitewheel.com/journey2014.

Methodology
Kitewheel's "The State of the Customer Journey 2014 Report" is based on an online, quantitative market research study commissioned by Kitewheel and conducted by independent research firm Strategic Marketing Research Inc. in 2014. Respondents included 382 U.S.-based connected consumers who identify as highly educated, social and mobile, as well as 209 U.S.-based senior-level marketing executives across a number of industries (72 percent focused on B2C and B2B and 28 percent focused exclusively on B2C). Most marketing decision makers represent large enterprise organizations (63 percent from companies with more than 1,000 employees).

About Kitewheel
Kitewheel is powering the real-time revolution for the world's largest automotive, airline, retail, travel and consumer packaged goods brands. Four of the top five marketing agency groups use Kitewheel's real-time Customer Engagement Hub to orchestrate individual consumer journeys, listening for "moments of truth" across Big Data and converting them into immediate, interactive, interconnected experiences. Kitewheel serves its global customer base from offices in Boston and London. For more information please visit www.kitewheel.com and follow Kitewheel on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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