B2B Marketing Tips – When Stupid Works


Like many social media trends, the Ice Bucket Challenge has received its customary scorn from the crowd that scorns them best. The whole thing seems to reek with the cheesy, millennial stupidity that seems to belie a lack of creativity than an abundance of it.

At least, that’s what you’ll hear from people who typically sling eggs at anything to do with social media. Yet in spite of their argumentation, enlightenment, and sympathetic disillusionment, one thing hasn’t changed.

This stupid stunt still worked.

So is this a sign that your B2B marketing campaign could use a bit of stupid or is it just stooping to its undesirable level?

No doubt the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge is becoming a huge slap in the face for those who think marketing needs more class. Unfortunately, perhaps the need to be classy can be the bigger problem at times.

It’s like you’re looking for a quick snack. Sometimes the really stupid thing is not going to the nearest McDonald’s but instead you insist on driving one hour for a seaside gourmet. You can’t always afford to have ‘class.’ If something, no matter how stupid, is going to get the job done (from generating more web traffic to delivering more relevant information), that’s what you’ll go for (class notwithstanding).

That’s not to say a bit of class doesn’t have any merit. But if you can accomplish the following marketing objectives with a lot less effort in classiness, you’d be saving up a lot:

  • First impressions – Trying to look smart might be stupid idea but don’t underestimate its capacity leave a good first impression in employers. This also applies to potential business clients. Getting good a first impression from little effort saves up that effort when you really want to keep those impressions sticking.
  • Getting attention  – You can have the most intricate conversion process in the world. It wouldn’t matter if nobody’s looking. Getting attention can be a lot easier that it looks if you’re willing to swallow a bit of your pride and try a bit of senseless promotion every now and then.
  • Making a connection  – Sometimes it’s not the fancy dinner or the flowery webinar invitation that makes a connection with your business prospects. It could be smaller things like asking them how things are at work or giving out pens to sign with.

There are plenty of other situations were a bit of class is warranted. For example, it might help to distinguish your actual messages from phishers and spammers. But if class itself is starting to gobble up more of your marketing dollars, maybe doing something cheap and stupid might make for better ROI.