The Most Important Marketing Concept You’ll Ever Learn

Written by Steve De La Cour

On August 18, 2020
The Most Important Marketing Concept You'll Ever Learn

Imagine this for a second…

There’s only one concept you could learn, and it has the power to change your business.

I’m not talking about affecting one or two little things here, I mean EVERY aspect of your business.

One simple thing, that if you implemented right now could:

  • Grow your lists faster
  • Double or triple your social media followers and engagement
  • Get more people to open your emails
  • Boost your traffic ten-fold
  • Make your paid ads so irresistible they’ll hoover in more conversions than you ever dreamed of
  • Effortlessly 10x your sales
  • Ultimately help you build a tribe of thousands of raving fans

It’s used by some of the best sales & marketing minds in history (David Ogilvy, Steve Jobs, Seth Godin to name a few), the world’s biggest companies (think Google, Uber, Coca Cola, Apple), and a select few have even gone on record to say it’s the entire reason they’ve become millionaires.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this concept is so powerful and so crucial, it’s become the single most important concept you could ever learn in marketing.

Better yet, so few people understand it enough that they can’t properly take advantage of it.

Which means after you’ve read what I’m about to show you, you’ll have the one tool that’ll help you crush the competition, reach more people, sell more stuff, and build a bigger business.

So, what exactly is this tool and how can you use it?

Let me show you…

 

The One Thing That’ll Grow EVERY Aspect of Your Business

 

I’m talking about ideas.

More specifically big ideas.

And yes, there is a MASSIVE difference between the two.

You see, everything you create is initially done in the form of copy. And great copy is built on big ideas.

Anything you put together – whether it’s a social media post, a paid Facebook advert, an email subject line, a marketing email, blog post, YouTube video, Podcast episode, a sales message, you name it – is anchored on copy and the big idea behind it.

That single big idea serves as the foundation of everything that follows.

“Unless your advertising is built on a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night. It takes a Big Idea to jolt the consumer out of his indifference — to make him notice your advertising, remember it, and take action.” David Oglivy

That means no matter what you’re looking for, be it clicks, conversions, signups, or sales, largely happens because of the big idea behind it.

It’s these big ideas (not the little ones) that create breakthrough copy, irresistible ads, clickable subject lines, and just about everything in-between. That’s why the most important thing you can do for your copy or anything you create, is to ensure that it has a big idea.

The tricky thing with big ideas is that they’re intangible, and ultimately conceptual.

Which is why I’ve found so many people grapple with the concept.

However, they’re simple and compelling but not easy to come by, and thus they require a lot of thinking and elbow grease.

Big ideas usually give your reader that “AHA! Effect”. If your idea is big, it’s an emotionally and intellectually engaging idea expressed clearly and concisely so the reader ‘gets’ it in a moment. That’s what produces the Aha! effect.

But here’s the thing…

For it to be a good big idea, it needs to be simple enough so that your reader can re-communicate it to someone else from memory.

A big idea makes your reader think: “That makes sense!” or, “I never thought of that before but it’s true!” or, “I can’t wait to tell someone!”.

Most importantly it gets them to engage, and that’s what makes it so powerful.

“A Big Idea instantly drives the prospect toward a foregone conclusion by evoking a useful emotion. A useful emotion is one that makes the prospect want the product [or to take action].” Mark Ford

Think about why things go viral, why fake news spreads, why your parents perpetually send you stuff, or why your friends talk about specific content, and so on.

Good big ideas are like a universal ‘skeleton key’ to your business, and it can open any door you want.

Need more clicks? Your ad needs a big idea.

How about more traffic? Does your content have big ideas?

More sales? Yup, you guessed it… Big idea!

Think of it like this – You need to organize your big idea into ONE sentence. If you can’t do that, then you don’t have a clear idea of what your big idea is.

“A Big Idea must contain within it an exciting, arresting thought – a thought that directly or indirectly promises something that the prospect desires. It must also be immediately ascertainable, intellectually stirring, and emotionally compelling.” Mark Ford

So, now that you know what a big idea is and how it can help you, how exactly can you go about finding them?

 

The 6 Principles of BIG Ideas

 

Big ideas have a lot of characteristics…

They have instant appeal, momentum, depth, and they’re timely, original, and are emotionally stirring.

In fact, David Ogilvy liked to ask 5 specific questions when evaluating the “bigness” of his ideas:

  1. Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
  2. Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
  3. Is it unique?
  4. Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
  5. Could it be used for 30 years?

Without a big idea backing up your copy, anything you put together will be limp, full of waffle and ultimately a failure.

That’s why big ideas immediately hoist you above your competition, and make you stand out.

Do you see how powerful this is?

Okay, so have you ever noticed how certain things just don’t seem to go away?

Think of things like urban legends or fake news. They just seem to… stick around…Made To Stick By Chip & Dan Heath

Mark Twain even once famously noted, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”

But what exactly makes a big idea ‘sticky’?

Thankfully Chip & Dan Heath explored this in their book ‘Made To Stick’, where they outlined six specific principles that make ideas irresistibly sticky:


Big Idea Principle #1: Simplicity

This is arguably the most important thing about big ideas. By their very nature they are simple.

And that’s why you need to keep your ideas simple and profound.

Being simple is about getting down to the core idea and finding that core idea.

Remember, if you say ten things, you don’t say anything (Say one thing).

Big ideas are singularly focused in that they only focus on ONE THING.


Big Idea Principle #2: Unexpectedness

Surprise your audience.

To make an idea memorable, people need to be disrupted from their normal routines or way of thinking.

You can do this by:

  • Creating a mystery
  • Creating a knowledge gap
  • Drawing them in with a back story
  • Tackling a big goal
  • Harnessing the element of surprise

 

Big Idea Principle #3: Concreteness

Use concrete images.

Do you remember learning addition and subtraction in school by using concrete images like apples?

It’s the same thing when it comes to your big ideas.

Concrete imagery lends itself to simplicity, and simplicity is the name of the game.

You can keep things concrete by:

  • Using everyday examples
  • Avoiding abstraction
  • Developing hooks
  • Being aware of the ‘curse of knowledge’
  • Speaking a universal language (the way you’d speak conversationally works best here)

 

Big Idea Principle #4: Credibility

By lending credibility you help people ‘test’ your ideas for themselves (kind of like a ‘try before you buy’ philosophy).

It takes a great amount of work to persuade a person with a new message.

Celebrities or more recently influencers that match our own way of thinking and our morals are great sources of credibility.

Some ideas you can use:

  • Use an anti-authority (John Smith is just like you…)
  • Use specific details (John is 12 years and 4 months from retirement. His dream is to open a bed and breakfast in Cape Town, South Africa, and to spend his afternoons whale watching on the back deck.)
  • Try the Sinatra Test (If you can make it here / if it worked for John…)
  • And, of course, use real experts. (Nelson Mandela loved Cape Town…)

 

Big Idea Principle #5: Emotions

Big ideas tap into emotions to convey their point.

People FEEL things, so don’t be abstract (remember, simplicity is the name of the game)

This means you should:

  • Reject the analytical brain for the emotional brain. (Feelings stick, thoughts don’t… “This is your brain on drugs”)
  • Tap a powerful association (Chaos theory… The Butterfly Effect…)
  • Appeal to self-interest (Retire in comfort… Live stress-free…)
  • Appeal to values (Not if we have anything to say about it…)
  • Appeal to self-image (Don’t mess with America…)

 

Big Idea Principle #6: Stories

You need to tell stories to get people to act on your ideas.

For centuries people have learnt how to behave through stories, and your content should be no different.

Think of it like this…

Let’s say you were desperate to grow your business, and one day I approached you out of the blue and asked you to buy my cellphone.

Naturally your answer would be a resounding “No”. I mean you probably already have one, so why would you spend so much on getting another one.

Now, what if I told you a story about how well connected I was, and that I had the personal numbers of some of the worlds biggest marketers and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates and hundreds more.

Not only that, but I’ve spent the last 15 years saving every course, sales page, my personal login credentials, or lead magnet that I could find on my phone. So, you would literally have access to the best educational content and software created over the past decade and a half.

Let me guess, you’re starting to think having that cellphone in your hands could be pretty handy?

You see, that’s the power of storytelling.

Stories can literally increase the perceived value of what you’re selling. More importantly, great stories create desire within your prospects and push them to take action.

 

“One idea properly exploited is worth 100 lifetimes of hard work” Gary Halbert

 

Okay, so you know what a big idea is, and how to spot one. But what does one actually look like?

One of the best examples I can remember of a great big idea is Apple’s iPod launch from 2001.

At the time Steve Jobs and Apple were entering a fairly crowded market, and used a big idea to make themselves stand out from the pack.

“iPod. 1000 Songs In your Pocket”

They didn’t compare features, they didn’t focus on some commoditized aspect of their product, they didn’t harp on about price – they went straight to the big idea.

And with that big idea, a movement was born.

iPod 1000 Songs Advert

Big Ideas: The Profitable Marketers Secret Weapon

 

Once you truly understand the potency of big ideas and how to use them, everything you do will change.

It’s like having a secret marketing weapon, that can boost anything you need – More clicks, higher opens, bigger audiences, boosted revenue, you name it.

Remember, strong big ideas have six key principles behind them:

  • Simplicity: They are simple in nature and can be expressed in a single sentence
  • Unexpectedness: They surprise your audience, and disrupt their normal way of thinking (thus making them stand out)
  • Concreteness: They are easy to comprehend, understand and re-tell (IE share)
  • Credibility: They are backed by a form of social proof, track record, or something credible (or all three)
  • Emotions: They use emotional triggers to make a point or tell the story
  • Stories: They are communicated through the art of story telling

So, if you want to hit the growth & goals you’re looking for right now, big ideas are how you’re going to do it.

When you use them, everything will change.

Until then, here’s to your next big idea.

Steve DLC
Steve De La Cour
Founder & CEO
Kong

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