I mentioned that I spend a lot of time getting to know the audience and writing the headline. After I’ve researched the audience, and before I write the headline, the other area where I invest a lot of time is in developing the Big Idea.

Spend time here and you’ll have a marketing piece that truly sets the product apart from competitors.

A Big Idea is an advertising tool that is linked to the experience people have when using the product. Sometimes it’s directly linked to the offer.

Sometimes it isn’t. Either way, it’s unique and makes the product stand out.

The Big Idea influences every other part of the copy including the offer, the headline, the tone used in the copy and even the type of copywriting formula (remember I said there was more than one).

Once you have a strong Big Idea, writing the headline becomes easy (it often incorporates the big idea) and so does writing the copy.

Here are some examples of Big Ideas:
• CDs and toys in cereal boxes.
• Discount Coupons.
• The Mastercard “Priceless” TVC’s.

Back in the mid 1990’s when the property investment market was dead, investment-focused advertising stopped working so we had to come up with a Big Idea that renewed interest in property investment. We came up with the concept of “Mortgage Elimination” which showed home owners how to be mortgage-free sooner and use the savings to invest in property.

This Big Idea saw their advertising responses go ballistic – it produced 6 times the response that the old advertising produced.

A start-up, natural remedies company client had a dieting product they wanted to launch. Their advertising budget was fairly limited so instead of spending what they had on infomercial advertising, they did something that was “out of the box”. They created the “Fat Blaster Challenge” where they gave away money to the people who lost the most amount of weight in a year. This promotion received an avalanche of free press, an avalanche of entrants and it was so successful it took them from a struggling start-up to a major player in the natural remedies market.

An affiliate marketer client promoted a different type of dieting product online and had a site that featured “diet profiles” which positioned them as offering a tailored solution to a person’s dieting needs.