B2B customer acquisition strategies are evolving

B2B customer acquisition strategies are evolving

For a long time it was difficult for B2B marketers to meet prospects face-to-face or at in-person events. Customer acquisition became in many respects a digital process, although it’s now being complemented again by the human touch.

While social media and digital advertising have been the leading customer acquisition channels since the early days of the pandemic, live events and partner programs are becoming important again. That’s the message of the 2024 “State of B2B Customer Acquisition” report from identity- and data-focused marketing solutions vendor Stirista.

Bigger budgets. In a survey of around 200 senior B2B marketers, 31% anticipated a significant increase in the budget for partner programs in the coming two years. In-app strategies will also see an increase in budget, as will video (30% and 29% respectively). Customer acquisition budgets are expected to increase across channels in general and in-person channels, like live events, will see their importance restored.

The customer acquisition strategies rated as most successful were more likely to be focused on social media and digital advertising than email. Live events were rated extremely effective by 55% of those surveyed, but a much smaller number — 11% — thought them their most effective acquisition strategy.

Why we care. A round of golf, drinks and dinner? A week in Las Vegas? A string of unsolicited emails? Of course those things are still with us, or in the case of in-person contact are steadily resuming. But reality is much more complex. Today’s B2B marketer — and, more importantly, their prospects — are likely to be digital natives, likely to be engaged with social media and may work remotely. Attending an event remotely might be more attractive to them than heading for the airport. Even email can seem an archaic mode of communication.

B2B marketers understand this and are looking for holistic approaches to customer acquisition, where a deep investment in digital is complemented by appropriate meetings and events.

The report is here (registration required).

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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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