Philosophers for centuries have been searching for a self-evident truth.
Marketers, for what appears to be as long, have been searching for a creative idea that has global relevance and meaning.
Well, I think I may have, just this week, found both.
On Monday in Chicago, I presented a Keynote speech to a large crowd @SocialMediaWeek.
On Thursday of the same week, I did the very same presentation, as a Keynote speech in Singapore to a large crowd at the Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity.
Based on research, insights and work developed by my colleagues @SOCIALDEVIANT, I shared our point of view about the future of creativity in a socially connected world.
Perhaps controversially, I discussed several key themes:
1. The End of the Big Idea – smart marketing is no longer about one big creative idea, but instead about a smart brand purpose that can be expressed in many ways, developed specifically for and targeted to many audiences.
2. An Explosion of Creativity – driven by the democratization of content and the Maker Revolution
3. Anchor Around Human Truths – fundamental needs and wants will be the immutable drivers of the world’s most brilliant creativity
4. Plan for Occasions – the best content will be developed for discrete marketing occasions – a product launch, a repositioning, a new market entry, etc. At the same time, it will be developed with the needs/wants of the consumer in mind. This value exchange – good for the brand, good for the consumer – will be the core driver of amazingly relevant creativity and the world’s most impactful content
5. If Content is King, Context is Emperor – indeed, creativity = content, but it’s only worthwhile if it’s created and executed and distributed and consumed in the right context – to deliver meaningful value in the moment
And as I presented these points, here’s what I learned – from Chicago to Singapore, and back again.
Just about everyone agreed. The Twitter stream was awash with positive feedback including things like ‘finally, someone takes a stand against the tyranny of the ‘big idea'” and:
This was amazing to me. I really assumed, given the audience of brand marketers and a sea of agency folks, that there would be push back.
What was even more amazing, was the fact that the themes I presented were resonant exactly as presented.
Serendipitously, I discovered an idea that travels.
Indeed, the end of the big idea and the explosion of creativity as content without the boundary constraints of ego/politics/title/role seemed to resonate, everywhere.
Everyone understands the need for speed. Everyone embraces the notion that there has to be a new model emerging – a organizational and cultural design that:
- unleashes unlimited creativity
- leverages the great thinking of everyone on the team – from agency to client to partners
- parks ego and politics at the door
- enables the community, vs. a singular creative director, to curate
- allows the consumer to be the ultimate arbiter of creative quality. If they respond and engage…then it was by definition good
I learned that cultural differences are no barrier at all to alignment around ideas that drive more relevance, more engagement, more impact.
After all, the best way to have a great idea, is to have a lot of ideas.
I learned that everyone loves to be in selfies.
But above all, I learned that smart is smart, and that we all have a lot to learn from each other if we just listen hard enough.