The 5A Framework for the technology customer lifecycle

Introducing the 5A Framework for the Technology Customer Lifecycle, a model for marketing to customer experience across the entire technology-buying process that is based on buyer reports on how they make technology purchases as part of their role.

5As Framework


A happy customer becomes a private or public advocate—at any point in the lifecycle.

Customer Advocacy icon


A prospect or current customer knows about the technology and has some understanding of what it does.


A prospect or customer is actively gathering requirements for a potential solution to an agreed-upon problem.


A customer makes a final decision and begins deployment.


A customer reaches the point where they decide the technology no longer works for them.

Why the 5As?

We hear it all the time: The technology buying process is complex—because of an extended time to purchase and large buying committees.

But it’s old news—B2B marketers in high-tech know that. And we also know that in the past five years, we’ve seen changes in the dynamics of the technology customer lifecycle that have made our jobs harder.

The technology customer lifecycle has changed

Now, the technology buying process is:


Business buyers, like consumers, want to seek information on their own terms and don’t engage vendors until they’re ready to assess a solution.


The shift to cloud subscription services and the continuous access to new information about products and technologies means that companies are always assessing, even after a sale.


The buying journey isn’t a simple linear process, like existing B2B models suggest.

Tech buyers are different

We wanted to see how these market changes influenced the way that tech buyers make purchasing decisions. So, we surveyed more than 400 people who make technology purchases as part of their role at work.

We found that technology buyers are different from other B2B buyers.

Highly aware

Tech buyers keep up on new technologies before they need a solution.

Trust peers most

Tech buyers trust peer and third-party recommendations most, above marketing-created materials.

Value reliable service

Vendor engagement after the sale and through adoption can make or break a contract.

Taken together, these suggest that marketing for high-tech is more effective when focused on the customer experience across the entire customer lifecycle.

And, it means traditional funnel models no longer describe the work you do.

Learn more about the 5As

Read the 5As brief

Read about the stages of the technology customer lifecycle and what they mean for your marketing.

Go to B2B tech in 2020

Read about the market factors and experiences marketing for tech companies that prompted the research.