From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

I’ve Found An Idea That Can Travel Globally

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:

SMW_Tweet2 SMW_Tweet6


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.


2 Responses to “I’ve Found An Idea That Can Travel Globally”

  1. Matt Fry

    5. If Content is King, Context is Emperor

    I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately and I think we should change it. I submit for your consideration that “if content is king, context is power.”

    No matter how good he is, a king with no power is weak and meaningless. And even the best content, without the right context, is empty and ineffective. A king with no emperor is still the most important guy in the country. But content with no context is just noise.

    • socialdeviantmusings

      Matt great point and agreed. But power comes in many forms, and seldom does the ‘command and control’ form of power work. Real power comes from relevance and influence and persuasion – and from creating real value for others. So too for great content – and context creates that power.


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