Cynicism isn’t the healthiest behavior to have in marketing and business. It’s only refuge (if not excuse) is a need to be realistic when setting goals and defining qualified prospects. But as far as whole campaigns go, the tendency to be skeptical of any method can dangerously undermine objectives.

But if you want a simpler idea on how cynicism can help or harm a lead generation strategy, look at the Ice Bucket Challenge.

At first glance, it looks like any typical social media stunt. However, that’s exactly why it worked. Yet like all stunts, it draws the cynics out of the woodwork.

Have you ever imagined this happening to your B2B lead generation campaign? Think about it. Social media and content were previously thought to be in the realms of unorthodox B2B marketing practices. When it comes to sales leads, most of the work was stereotypically done on the salesperson’s end. It’s not surprising that cynics arise from the decades of catering to a highly-targeted audience of executive decision makers. Proposing the equivalents to silly stunts and casual interactions automatically triggers their defense mechanism.

How does this help?

  • It prevents trying for the sake of trying – Okay, so unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, you shouldn’t pull any marketing stunt just because you can. You have to create objectives. You need to justify the budget. There are long-term goals to consider.
  • It maintains focus – Stunts tend to draw away the focus of the business offer and more onto itself. That’s not an ideal situation for sales rep. There needs to be alignment between your content (however creative) and the actual core of your business.
  • It draws from experience – Social media stunts have been so typical, it’s natural to question their effectiveness. Audiences easily get used to the same tricks and the same pitches. In a sense, cynicism is an awareness of what’s already been tried.

How does this not help?

  • It complicates things – One common jab at stunts is how often they either ignore or downplay the issue at hand. But on the contrary, being unable to explain a subject in simpler terms usually means you don’t understand the subject .
  • It prevents proper testing – Finally, perhaps the most ancient of cynicism’s bad tendencies is the one where you refuse to even just give something a try. But for lead generators, failure to innovate can leave you vulnerable to innovative competitors.

Like any defense mechanism, it’s best left to function on automatic. And by automatic, it means you should learn to ignore it when it’s really not helping anymore.