IDC’s Customer Engagement Model Replaces Marketing-Sales “Funnel”

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International Data Corporation (IDC) has traced the dramatic changes in the B2B buyer’s journey over the past decade. Today’s buyer is fully engaged across multiple digital channels and information sources with expectations of a more B2C-like experience. Meanwhile, B2B marketers face growing complexity as the number of personas they must engage, influence, and nurture in a highly contextual relevant manner expands. In this environment, the linear, funnel-like operating model used by marketing and sales can no longer achieve the desired outcomes. To engage the modern, digital-first B2B buyer, organizations need to make a cultural and organizational shift to a new model – the Adaptive Customer Engagement model.

“The current marketing and sales operating model fails in customer centricity and perpetuates the challenge B2B marketing and sales leaders face in a digital-first era — to establish relevancy, nurture, and build relationships among a growing number of influential individuals in a buying committee,” said Laurie Buczek, vice president, CMO Advisory Service at IDC. “Marketers have struggled to meet the desired content and experience delivery for a better part of a decade. No longer can marketing and sales operate within a linear buyer decisioning model or continue to create disconnected acts of content and interpersonal dialogue. It is critical that marketing steps in to orchestrate and adaptively deliver the best content at the right time and right place.”

A recent IDC report introduces the Adaptive Customer Engagement (ACE) model and outlines how it meets the needs of B2B buyers who are digital first, influenced by their overall experience with a vendor, and expecting a high level of personalization. The ACE model does not rely on procedural movement from one step to another in a buyer’s journey. Instead, the buyer — or more accurately, the multitude of personas in the buyer’s cohort — can move in any direction, to any part of…

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About the Author: V. Moss