When I was attending the Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University, I had a professor named Bill Ford who was always asking, "What's the Big Idea here?" What he was really asking was, "What's the overall idea here that will make this work?"
All too often marketers get all caught up with what's fashionable, or what's worked recently. They miss a critical step: The Big Idea.
What is a Big Idea? It's the intellectual spark of inspiration that can ignite an inferno. It's that one piece of insight that enables the message to get across and to stick. Think of any great marketing scheme and you'll find the Big Idea that seeded it.
Progressive Auto Insurance's comparison website where "Sometimes they're the lowest rate, sometimes they're not." The Big Idea is to allow that you might not be the lowest because you want to be a resource not just another auto insurance website.
Six Flags had a tough time selling season tickets until they had the Big Idea of selling season tickets in your local grocery store. Now they own parks all over the country and the vast majority of their ticket sales come from the grocery store service counter.
Online search engines were becoming homogeneous until a little start up engine had the Big Idea of favoring relevancy over advertising and they became Google which is, well Google.
The Big Idea is what makes good ideas great, small companies great companies, and marketers rich. It's what every marketer should always be searching for and trust me, when it hits you, you'll know it.