Does SIM mean big ideas matter less?

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ideascartoon1.jpgThere's a lot of talk in the advertising industry of how big idea advertising is losing its importance. Rather everyday ideas, small and nimble ones that can activate consumers and influencers alike across the Internet seem to be getting as important. On our own internal social media email list, we've been having a raging debate on this too.

We're certainly moving to a world where it is important to listen, inform, activate, entertain and respond to consumers in a more continuos fashion.  This requires the clustering of marketing activities in new ways, having a continuos low-burn marketing effort in place 365 days of the year. It also means deploying new strategies and campaigns in real time based on the engagement with the previous ones or any particular event. It is constantly in motion as advertisers chase consumers across the different digital platforms and channels and try to keep pace with their changing needs, preferences and locations of engagement. It is about speed and relevance. 

I think it is fair to say that the notion of 365 day marketing or continuos marketing in a SIM world is a necessity. More and more brands think in these terms for digital marketing and practically every marketer will need to have a baseline 365 component to all their marketing plans.

I feel that this is going to accelerate the speed at which marketing departments are restructuring too. Continuos measurement comes to the forefront and tapping into the pulse of consumers online and responding quickly becomes really critical. It will probably force agencies to rethink how they engage with clients and how they structure themselves. We'll see less campaign or project centric needs but more continuous, deeper engagement with the social web at the core of the strategy. It makes the technology and measurement infrastructure all the more important.

And what about ideas? Does it change the notion of big ideas? I believe that small ideas matter as much as the big ideas in marketing today. Marketers cannot afford to spend months with their agencies crafting big ideas and then taking weeks to deploy the single big idea across every channel and platform. Ideas need to be platform and channel specific and they need to be produced, tested (and maybe even pulled) far quicker than before. Agencies will need to be idea engines but not of the award winning ideas type but of smaller ideas that produce strong, quick results which when stitched together tell a complete on-brand story. 

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» Ideas. Rethinking the process. from

As an agency guy much of your work revolves around ideas. Thinking about new and unseen ways how to promote good products and brands is our business. The key question is, what is an idea and how do I get one? My dad (who is 60) thinks we just sit aroun... Read More


Len Kendall said:

I like to think of it as a style of playing poker. Either you try to win big hands sparingly, or you grind it out hand to hand. Ever see the film Rounders? Marketing has become John Turturro's character vs. Ed Norton's.

MvdHeerik said:

Big ideas don't matter as much anymore? I reckon the big idea will always matter the most but it's how quickly and how many small idea's we can get from the big idea that starts becoming more important. The larger strategy and concept will have to run longer and be stronger to accommodate the continues and daily need for the smaller ideas that are demanded on Social Media.

Shiv Singh Author Profile Page said:

Thank you for the thoughts. MvdHeerik, your perspective is interesting. Do you feel that it always takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers? I suspect you can have many little ideas deployed and one or two may gain traction which then would grow into what's traditionally considered a big idea. The point being that filtering and choosing of the big idea may actually come from the community itself. For example, what made the Dove Campaign for Beauty a big idea? I think it was its actual success as a clip.

Your post made me remember the profound value of that marketing/advertising classic: One Great Insight is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas by Phil Dusenberry, the legendary chairman of BBDO North America.

Of all the things to be off-shored, out-sourced, great insight and big ideas will always command top dollar at home—that's something you can't outsource.

MvdHeerik Author Profile Page said:

It’s not so much that everything needs to fall under or be part of the BIG idea but that there should be a conceptual master plan for each brand at any given time. The growing SM influence within the consumer markets will only increase the need for the BIG concept, as the nature of SM is completely independent and as such not easy to control or maintain. This need is a direct consequence from the enormous amount of clutter that we see these days around us. For example people don’t see banners anymore no matter how big or intrusive they are. It’s because of this that a common brand blanket of continuity should be exercised to increase the consumer to recognize the communication of the brand. Off course there is room for small ideas but don’t you think they might contribute to the clutter we already receive if executed without being part of a larger concept? Is clutter, when the consumer recognizes it as such, not damaging the brand we try to promote? If we have a great concept that can be applied to all media (including earned media) then we create continuity, which would help to stand out of the daily clutter. So yes, make small idea’s execute them fast and furious but let them be part of a well thought through strategic and conceptual plan.

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