Successful marketing is often a combination of big ideas and small moments.
A big idea is critical because the best way to communicate something is to do it as simply as possible.
(Hence the famous acronym ‘K.I.S.S.’ – Keep It Simple, Stupid)
At its most fundamental level, your marketing’s goal is to create demand for what you have to offer, so people fully understand why they should invest their money, time or effort in it.
A big idea helps you do that by clearly communicating ONE key thing effectively.
Complexity gets in the way of communication, so forget about Funnels! Upsell sequences! Growth Hacking! Social Reach! and all that stuff for a minute.
You don’t need all those things, despite what many of today’s marketing gurus may say.
But a big idea can guide the creation of a winning marketing message or a profitable campaign.
Your big idea is NOT a headline, a list of benefits or a limited-time discount. It’s not limited to one media format either.
It IS a new, exciting concept or unique mechanism you can build all your messaging around, using any medium you choose.
According to marketing expert and big idea advocate Todd Brown, your big idea should be both “intellectually interesting AND emotionally compelling”.
Going back to the original ‘Mad Men era’, the great David Ogilvy himself said:
It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”
Ultimately, a successful big idea gets attention by standing out.
It’s about doing something completely different that sticks in your prospect’s mind so they feel like they’ve just made a discovery, rather than feeling like they just received a sales pitch.
Apple’s successful “I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” ads used the same big idea to power different campaigns in various territories and languages, because it had a universal message which resonated with ‘Mac people’ worldwide.
Different, simple, memorable.
Big ideas are born of around 80% research and 20% inspiration, of understanding your audience and their problems, and how your unique value helps solve those problems.
But how do you execute a big idea well?
For a big idea to really connect with your prospect, for it to be lasting and memorable, you need to support it with small moments.
Small moments are ‘snapshots’ of vivid detail you can add to your messaging to draw your prospect further in, to help them visualise and really understand your big idea.
You can employ these ‘emotional cues’ to grab a reader’s attention and pull them right into your idea.
I call this ‘Snapshot Copy’ – short, clear, explicitly visual moments that beam directly into your prospect’s mind, heart or gut.
You use engaging, relatable descriptions of things like memories, scenery, clothing… even smells.
Try recalling the smell of freshly cut grass… a hot dog stand… pine needles from a Christmas tree.
Notice how even thinking about each smell takes you somewhere? That’s the power of small moments.)
Dialogue and quotations can have a similar effect…
Conversation is more lively to read than prose, and it’s easier to picture someone talking than just to read to yourself in your own voice.
So adding a few lines of dialogue – particularly in headlines and subheads – can bring your message to life too.
‘Snapshots’ like these transform flat, easily-ignored, ‘meh’ messaging into a vivid, sensory experience that grabs hold of readers and connects with them on a deeper level…
And your messaging creates emotion, empathy and memorability.
Get this right and you form a connection with your reader, instead of just having your message passively ‘consumed’ and then forgotten.
Know what’s a great way to combine the power of a memorable big idea with focus-enhancing small moments?
Specifically, there are THREE different types of simple stories you can use to do this – and none of ‘em require you to transform into JK Rowling or Stephen King overnight.
In fact, practically any business can use them to connect more deeply with their ideal customers and increase conversions.
So if you want to combine big ideas with small moments to ‘Sell Unique’ in YOUR biz, I’ll be digging deeper into how you can use this concept to tell compelling stories that sell in my next post.