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Creative thinking rewired

What’s big and long and transcends the entire buyer journey? The Big Long Idea of course.

As marketers we’re constantly told to think big. Think bold. Think out of the box. But have you ever been inspired to think looooonnnnngggggggg...

Well it’s time to shake off the clichés and switch on to a new way of thinking. Otherwise you could soon find your ideas relegated to the tactical, one dimensional camp that’s curtailing B2B creativity across the land.

In today’s complex, multi-channel sales and marketing environment, contextuality sets the leaders apart from the laggards. Those at the advanced guard of B2B marketing recognise that absolute relevance will win out. For it’s not just about striking a chord at one moment in time. It’s about engaging decision makers every step of the way. Armed with a single idea, creative enough to capture people at the beginning of their purchasing timeline and smart enough to help them see things more clearly as they move from awareness through to interest, consideration, desire and into the arms of the well oiled sales machine as a marketing qualified lead.

We’re all busy professionals. We know how dismissive we are of the constant onslaught of the unimaginative, the uninspiring and the bland. As creatives we would hate to think of our outputs being disregarded in this way. But all too often campaign ideas are not actually strong enough to sustain an entire marketing plan. They may be quirky, clever, courageous even but can they stand up to the test of time, channel and stakeholder engagement?

This is where it pays to think loooonnnngggggg.

Coming up with the ‘big idea’ is still the be all but it’s no longer the end all.

Once you’ve got your creative communications vehicle what comes next? The purchasing timeline and the content plan complete the picture. Making sure that your spark of genius has enough substance to support every element of a well thought through contact strategy separates the pretty amazing (instantly impactful piece of creative) from the absolutely outstanding (idea that keeps on giving). In other words, does it have the legs to carry all campaign assets? Is there a strong enough thought leadership strand to stack up in a PR, social media and content marketing context? Can it meaningfully translate the key messages in multiple formats? From email, dmail and video through to more overt sales support tools, THE big idea needs to be long enough to deliver against all outputs over a defined period of time.

Brand owners will often only realise the creative falls flat when frustrations set in too far along to backtrack without losing face and a large chunk of investment. Putting your creativity to the contextuality test at the outset will safeguard against committing to that brainwave that bowls you over at the beginning, but bails out long before the target audience is successfully nurtured into desire mode.

Just as nature ensures survival of the fittest through adaptation, marketers must do the same through adaption of our assets and indeed our entire approach.  Multiple channels, multiple audiences, multiple media mean it’s time for change. The industrious evolution is upon us and we have to think looonnnnggg if we want to go the distance.