Marketing has hit the wall of a new reality: digital-first buyers who are comfortable with self-service experiences and frankly have a reduced reliance on in-person sales reps to complete their decision-making journey. According to IDC’s 2022 B2B Tech Buyer study, a whopping 71% of B2B tech buyers will buy more through ecommerce and work less with an in-person sales representative from here on out. The CMO of a large global brand sums it up well: “All the things salespeople used to do to get someone closer to buying are being done digitally.”
Yet too many marketing and sales organizations cling to a traditional linear, funnel-like operating model of managing a revenue pipeline that’s resource-intensive while being increasingly ineffective. It’s time for a bold operational and cultural change to a new model—the Adaptive Customer Engagement (ACE) model designed to serve modern, digital-first B2B buyers.
ACE is IDC’s new framework for marketing and sales to evolve customer- and data-centric practices, optimize effectiveness, scale to reach multiple buying personas, and further customer growth (see chart).