The Design-to-Source Buyer’s Journey – Part Two: The Role of Technology & Analytics


The first part of this series about customer engagement in global electronics, looked at the “Digital Engagement” portion of Supplyframe’s Maturity Model. Along with adapting to changing customer expectations, businesses have to learn to take advantage of the data they collect to drive sales and compete.

Supplyframe’s decades of experience on both the buy and sell side of the electronics industry allow us to provide perspectives and insights not found anywhere else. We have leveraged our experience and insights from our vast DSI Network of over 10 million industry professionals to construct our Customer Engagement Maturity Model

In part two of this three part series, we turn our attention to Technology and Analytics, which is a catalyst for transformation and provides the underlying basis for higher levels of maturity across other areas of the model. With proper solutions in place, customer outreach scales exponentially. 

Let’s take a deeper look into this aspect of the Maturity Model. 

The Acceleration of Digital Transformation 

Customer engagement has long been driven by the desire to meet customers where they are, physically or digitally, and provide them with the content and solutions they require.

In the electronics industry prior to 2020, this was often done in person. Not only did the pandemic make these strategies obsolete, it accelerated existing trends – the required approach changed, seemingly overnight. 

Here are several ways customer engagement is changing as a result of technological innovation: 

  • Digital transformation was once a goal on the horizon; 2020 has made it a survival requirement. A McKinsey study suggests that many of the significant changes made in response to the pandemic are going to stick around long-term.  
  • New sources of customer data and AI are revealing new insights about consumers and their behaviors. In electronics, this can reveal design intent and allow marketers to pinpoint emerging cycles faster than ever before.  
  • These new insights are allowing organizations to better map their buyer’s journey. Whether from a design, sourcing, engineering or manufacturing perspective, improvements in analytics and information technology are allowing organizations to engage with customers in a more relevant and timely manner. 

Technology and Analytics in Customer Engagement

The second part of the Supplyframe Maturity Model evaluates two critical elements of an organization’s technological and analytical maturity.

Digital First

The transition to ecommerce, and digital sales and marketing channels, has not only improved the customer experience, it’s generated a huge amount of data about buyers. This data contains invaluable insights into who an organization’s customers are, what they want, and how they purchase. Uncovering these insights requires analytical tools that can convert the data into information on a timely basis.

A wide range of valuable information that will eventually contribute directly to the bottom line is available with the proper tools and planning. Data can be used to:

  • Find narrowly targeted leads
  • Develop accurate buyer personas
  • Generate relevant content  
  • Track content performance
  • Provide a personalized customer experience
  • Track potential customers across channels

Currently, most organizations rely on historical data. In many cases this data is siloed, limiting its usefulness and preventing cross-functional collaboration. More mature organizations are using custom data models and algorithms that provide a competitive advantage in real-time.

Insights into Intent

A clear understanding of buyer intent is difficult to achieve, but modern technology and analytics allow for deeper insights into the buyer’s journey and emerging design cycles than ever before.

Many organizations today rely on basic CRM tools or simple marketing automation tools, and miss out on potential opportunities and sales as a result. The best time to reach customers for maximum marketing and sales effectiveness is in the early stages of their design. Having insight into buyer intent allows for the development of systems and processes that target potential customers when they are most likely to make a purchase. 

Simply knowing buyer intent across categories isn’t enough. Mature organizations use account-based marketing (ABM) systems that leverage metrics like lead scoring and advanced measurements to reach the levels of personalization and relevance that customers expect, driving sales at the same time.  

The Customer Engagement Maturity Model 

As an organization that addresses both the buy and sell side of the electronics value chain, Supplyframe’s approach provides a framework for organizations to evaluate their programs  and open up new avenues of revenue when engaging with a technical and complex audience. 

With this in mind, our Maturity Model was designed from the ground up to address the complexities of the electronics industry. Our interactive survey creates the opportunity to perform a self-assessment and discover where your organization stands, not only in this category, but in all segments of the full Maturity Model. 

Read part three of the series for more information on the other segments of the model, and take the self-assessment survey today to find out how you compare to your competitors, and what steps to take next on your roadmap towards intelligent customer engagement!  

Bradley Ramsey
Bradley Ramsey
Articles: 102