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The Funnel is Dead: Long Live Demand Units

June 25, 2018    |     Lindsay Jawor

If content is king, then demand generation is the new court culture. And it’s not just the latest fad; demand generation is the next advance in the marketing realm, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Smart, decision-based marketing has outgrown the old funnel and kicked it to the curb. It’s time to usher in a new age of effective, data-based, human-centric marketing.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of demand units yet, the first stop on your learning journey must be a visit to SiriusDecisions, who conceived the Demand Unit Waterfall and unveiled it earlier this year.

The demand unit waterfall revolutionizes the traditional views of the marketing-sales pipeline by truly digging into what it takes to make a purchasing decision within an organization. As nice as it would be, we all know that it’s rare to find an account where the person you’re pitching to is the sole owner of the purchasing decision process. At the same time, we also know that the entire organization isn’t part of the process either. We can’t just approach accounts as a whole—so what do we do?


Enter Demand Units

We deal with buyers every day, in theory. But do we know what a buyer truly is? SiriusDecisions outlines this to get to the heart of demand units.

Who are we truly targeting?

DemandUnitsMarket: This is your segment within the greater marketplace. These are the larger group of companies you generally target, based on geographic, firmographic, or demographic information.

Account: The individual organization within the market that you deal directly with (and contract with, once you create a relationship).

Buying Center: The department you’re dealing with, within which your target personas exist.

Buying Group: A smaller group of personas involved directly in the purchasing process.

Persona: An individual human being with a specific job role.

So who is the “buyer?” The demand unit.

This group has been tasked with solving a problem the organization is facing, and this group is your focus. They are in need of a solution that you can provide.


Multiple Demand Units

Within any given organization, there may be multiple buying groups and their needs may be slightly different. This has to be taken into consideration in order to market and sell your solution efficiently.

For example, your product or service may offer components that help production, operations, and logistics. That means that your approach has to take three different demand units into consideration, who may each have different levels of purchasing power and interests. Keeping this in mind will help ensure that your marketing and sales approaches are agile and effective for this organization.

Ready to keep rolling? Let go of the funnel and find out how demand units are evaluated and measured in The Funnel is Dead 2: Evaluating Demand Units.


Advantage Business Marketing’s Mobius Platform is a closed-loop solution that uses the concept of demand units to create perpetual demand generation. To start generating true perpetual demand, drop us a line today.

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