How To Uncover the Big Idea

Ideas sell. And new ideas are hard to come by. Especially big ideas. Yet, there are ways to pursue an idea worthy of testing:

  • Interview customers—or better—interview prospective customers and ask what it will take to earn their business. Phone calls are good; focus groups can be better. Ask them why they buy. Then, ask them a follow-up “why?” to peel back the layers.
  • If you’re a marketer, you surely have data—all kinds of data ranging from demographics to behavioral information. Examine your data through a new lens to inspire yourself and imagine the possibilities for a new big idea.
  • Look at the characteristics of your best customers. You know, the Pareto Principle; often simply called the “80/20 rule.”
  • What are your competitors doing? But don’t knock them off. Steal smart, add your own twist, and rise above them.

If you’re a marketer or copywriter, you produce and read a lot of copy. It must be evaluated. 

And unfortunately, instead of writing new copy with a new big idea, the copy has been shuffled around. Same words. Different order.

That approach is not going to breakthrough and produce a new winner.

Copywriters and marketers who have their game on are those who spin an existing message into a new, much bigger, idea. It can include a metaphor, new perspective, or a story that’s more engaging that rattling off facts and figures.



Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.