Marketing can’t be reduced to an engineering problem. We need to honor and hone simple ideas, because the biggest ideas are the simple ones. That’s the unchanging essence of great strategy -- a bold, simple premise the entire marketing campaign can be based on.
Get single-minded. People can only digest so much information these days. What’s the one
thing you need them to remember after life has hit them with thousands of communications? Single-minded takeaways combat data overload, so lead with the impact.
Honor your instinct. Sorting through data doesn’t get to the root of human truth. What do you know to be true, deep down? How does the idea make you feel? Does it ring true in everyday life? The more data intelligence we collect, the more we need to balance with emotional intelligence.
Follow the three-second rule. In scripting dozens of national sales presentations, I’ve learned if I don’t grab the audience in the first three seconds, they won’t register the idea. That’s equally true in the board room, on Teams calls, in meetings with the CEO, and in content consumers see. Give yourself three seconds to feel an idea. Keep honing until you can. Steve Jobs captivated the Apple organization by introducing the iPod as “10,000 songs in your pocket.” He didn’t have to show his homework first.
Take a hike. The biggest, simplest ideas don’t shout through the data noise. They whisper into a clear mind. So, get up, get out, and refresh your mind’s palette. It sounds trite, but it’s truer than ever because we’ve become glued to our monitors. We think we can’t afford to take the time, that we’ll miss that thing which will reveal the answer. The simple ideas come when we take a break for real life.
The more complex life gets, the more clarity marketing needs to create. That clarity takes bigger, simpler ideas, rooted in human triggers that often defy data. We need to spend more time being human to feel human.