How to create a big marketing idea

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In yesterday’s post, you and I looked at how to tell if a big marketing idea made any sense by deconstructing it into actionable items. Today, let’s do the reverse and look at making a big marketing idea. Logically, if we judge an idea’s worth by the manual it comes with, in terms of operationalization, then in order to make an idea worthwhile, we should start with what we already know how to do.


Look at your marketing toolkit. Look at all of the tools in it, all of the frameworks you know, all of the ideas you trust and believe in. What do you know? What can you do? Of the tools, tactics, and frameworks you have in your toolkit, what do each of them have as inputs and outputs?

Once you know what tools you have in your arsenal and what they can do, you can start to gather them together. Look for common inputs and common outputs. For example, social media has content as an input and website visitors as an output. Does anything else share those inputs or outputs? SEO certainly does – SEO takes content as an input and website visitors as an output. Thus, creating a strategy where there’s significant overlap between social media and SEO is a logical conclusion to reach.

You can take any process and put the ideas together to form a bigger idea. For example, I write blog posts on a regular basis. If a blog post does especially well, I flag it to be part of something bigger, maybe turn it into a webinar. If that webinar does well, then I take the webinar and turn it into an eBook. If the eBook does well, I turn it into a public speaking presentation. Suddenly a series of individual tactics is sewn together into a coherent strategy, something that can be turned into a “Big Idea” – in this case, something I call “content upcycling“. Now it’s a bigger idea.

The great advantage of creating bigger strategies and ideas like this out of tactics and operations is that by default, it “comes with the manual” because you already know how to execute on every step of the strategy. You automatically know it’s valid because you’ve sewn it together from existing valid, working parts. If you want it to be a “secret sauce”, you don’t have to disclose every portion of it, but you can share enough of the details so that other people can get at least some of the results you achieve from your particular recipe.

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