Throw Out the Rulebook – 5 Ways to Disrupt and Re-Energize Your B2B Lead Generation


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In the words of men who have understood human emotion and behaviour like few others, you can and should throw out the rulebook.

 “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”― Pablo Picasso

“The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”― George Bernard Shaw

But this is easier said than done, especially in the world of business. More so, in large organizations where the absence of a framework, company policy and corporate discipline can result in complete chaos. I have always been a huge advocate for process efficiency and taking advantage of organizational history for repeatable success. What bothers me, though, is the increased thumping of the rulebook which creates legacy issues. It’s the narrow mindset of “we have always done it like this” and “how do we know that change will be beneficial” that needs to be eliminated if we are to see radical changes in demand generation and B2B marketing.

Not only has buyer behaviour changed and become highly complex, it changes frequently for the same buyer too. There are no guarantees. Yes, predictive analytics and Big Data help when used efficiently, but the more we think we have identified patterns and start to define rules of engagement, the deeper entrenched we are in “marketing with blinkers on”.

Take the B2B Lead Generation DIRT TrackDisrupt, Innovate, Rejuvenate, Target      

Get off the highway and explore unchartered territories. Take a lesson from history and feel inspired. Who knows how long the Americas would have remained a “secret” if Columbus had not wandered on his nautical voyage!  

It’s time to throw out the rulebook, innovate like never before and take customer experience to a whole new level. How can you do this? Here are some useful recommendations.

1.   Turn Around. It’s time to look your audience in the eye—be disruptive and innovative in your marketing. For too long now, experts have been telling us to become “thought leaders” and “create followers”. The problem with that is we get carried away and end up creating a distance between us and the audiences we want to get close to. We turn our backs on them and expect them to follow us because we are supposedly, “leaders”. Well, guess what? That distance will soon become a huge, empty space and we won’t even know because we are headed in one direction, not looking back. If we did, we would have real, meaningful conversations with our prospects and customers. We would exchange ideas and build value. We may not have many “followers” if we do this, but we will start to build a “community” that moves together helping solve each other’s problems.

2.   Get Personal. Forget that old rule about keeping business and personal relationships apart. As I’ve said before, business is personal; and if it’s not, there is no business. It’s all about focusing on relationships of trust that your customers will value.

3.   See the Trees AND the Forest. Some of us follow the rule of “don’t miss the forest for the trees”; i.e. don’t get lost in the details but look at the big picture. Others swear by “every drop fills the ocean”; so we chase those drops, often compromising quality for quantity. In my opinion, what we need to do in B2B lead generation today is to aim for a holistic, 360° view such as the one offered by ALEA’s lead generation program. Targeted, personalized lead generation campaigns are what will bring you measurable results and ROI.

4.    Stay Uncomfortable. As a race, we are lazy. As a breed of marketers, we want to get comfortable with our process, methodology and tactical strategy. Then we zone out and become oblivious to everything else that is changing around us; particularly, our buyers. Wake up! Refresh your demand generation strategy and breathe some life and vigour into your marketing campaigns. I say, imagine yourself walking a tightrope at a great height—head held high, not looking down, but acutely aware of the dangers below and making sure you remain perfectly balanced. All eyes are on you, so you can’t slip up (or slip down). But when you get to the other side, your audience sees you in a new light, with greater trust and respect than they did before. Does that make it worth the risk? I think so!

5.     Break Some Rules. Here are a few you can ignore and still succeed:

Content Marketing rules to break

Social Media advice to ignore

Content Marketing myths to forget about

You can even break these Grammar Rules!

Now, if you feel like you just smashed a whole carton of eggs whirling each one at a wall and delighting in the moment, you can thank me. I’ll accept your gratitude, graciously :-).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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