Integration, Innovation, and the Big Idea
Can you develop a “big idea” in this day and age and then decide how to disseminate it? It’s a question that’s been on my mind for the past few of days after reading an article on iMedia Connection – “A Guide to Successful Integration“. The guide provides quite a few practical steps to take to integrate campaigns, however, the first point “come up with a big idea and then decide which medium to use” is a perhaps slightly flawed approach. I’m in the camp that thinks the age of a “Big Idea” that is easily transferable to different mediums (think DM/ TV/ print) is past. A concept in isolation of targeting and profiling (which by extension takes into consideration how the consumer/ target demo uses media or mediums in their daily lives, how they live their lives and how they want to engage), probably won’t be as effective in the long term as one that is generated to complement and integrate itself into the consumers lifestyle. And that necessitates considering the channels you will use to disseminate your message to your target audience first. Not necessarily as the driving force, but as part of the overall consideration set going into planning.
By considering who your product or service appeals to, what their behaviour is, what type of influences they consider, etc. the type of medium/ media your campaign will use to reach them becomes an integral part of developing your concepts. A campaign targeting 16-24 year olds which relies on WOM and getting buzz on blogs, or a high trafficked video on YouTube, should focus on an idea which will resonate with that audience and work in concert with the media they interact with, or have passion for, in their daily lives. Coming up with a big idea that is best suited to direct response might not be the best use of brainstorming time. On the flip side, a campaign which is targeted at Financial Planners probably shouldn’t rely on an idea which is best suited to SMS, iTunes downloads and Beta-testing invites.
These are extreme examples, but the concept is the same – For a ‘big idea’ to fully resonate in our 500 medium universe, it usually means the medium itself is agnostic but the customer profile isn’t.