As with many things in marketing, a ‘Big Long Idea (BLI)’ is an English term that probably doesn’t translate that well across borders. So what does it stand for? And, more importantly, how can such an idea ensure more efficient marketing efforts?
The term ‘Big Long Idea’ is fairly new. This makes sense when you realise that it is a response to the changing buyer’s journey of today’s B2B buyer. A different way of product and service orientation and decision making in this digital era requires a modification of the way that brands communicate with their target audiences.
The last part of the term represents creativity. In B2B, creativity is already a topic of discussion; more than often based on incoherent communication instigated by nervous sales representatives. It is often forgotten that impulse purchases in B2B hardly ever happen or don’t exist at all. Of course a big discount can achieve a quick increase in sales, but the price you pay is a significant margin loss. To be truly successful, one must be present at all stages of the buyer’s journey with relevant information and answers. Content that is connected to each other by means of a creative common thread. And that brings us to the second part of the term.
Do you know how long it takes for people in B2B markets to make a decision? This often takes many months or even years. A new CRM or collective insurance; it’s not something you decide overnight. That brings us to the goals of a ‘Big Long Idea’: shortening the time it takes for someone to make a decision. The buyer likes a ‘Big Long Idea’, because he travels, from awareness to interest, from a long list to a short list and eventually, in his eyes, to an informed decision.
In order to be seen as ‘Big’, a BLI needs to meet two other dimensions, namely: mindspace and mediaspace. Mindspace stands for humans. How many people should appeal to the idea? Not only just the DMU, but also all other brand ambassadors both internal and external. If you realise this, then you will understand what the goals of a big idea need to be. The big idea has to make the brand understandable and clear. It is immediately clear to all the target groups what the brand stands for relative to its competition.
Mediaspace stands for the resources that you use to proclaim your message to your target audience. This can vary from a website to an e-mail campaign and from advertising to an event. Which channels does your target group use and how does your brand have to be present in those channels? If you know exactly which people use which mediaspace then you should be able to communicate your big long idea effortlessly.
We can conclude that the Big Long Idea is an idea that expresses the main values of your brand in a creative way, cross-platform over a longer period of time to your target audience. Is it really that simple? No, not really, but for a modern brand it’s a dire necessity.