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John Q. Harrington is back today with a warning for digital marketers to not walk past the big idea in pursuit of big promises from applications devoid of creative thinking and big idea potential. Here’s Q!

Creative Thinking: What Digital Marketers Could Learn from the Wizard of Oz by @JohnQCreative

John-Q-HarringtonToday’s marketers have awoken and found themselves transplanted into a strange and marvelous world – a Digital Land of Oz.

Here the miraculous has become common and the common seems to have vanished.

Social media creates meaningful relationships with masses of individuals. Social analytics track the source of a trend or a problem to a single person. Big Data gives sales pitches to customers before they even realize they want something.

The wonders of the great and powerful Digital Oz keep growing and growing, but there is one voice of warning rising amid all the pyrotechnics:

“PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!”

Contrary to what many of the Wizards of Digital Oz say, they are NOT all knowing and all powerful. Digital Oz clearly has created some marketing marvels, but there is one thing it cannot create – a big idea.  And big ideas seem to have all but disappeared behind the glare of the flash and dazzle of the latest digital marketing tools.

Yes, I said it.  Digital is a tool, NOT an idea.

Too many marketers are so enamored with the amazing feats of Digital they think the need for a big idea or a great position has been eliminated.  If anything, the need is greater than ever!

A decade ago, marketers only had a dozen or so arrows in their quiver. Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, basic web sites, email, direct mail and a handful of other tactics were all they really had to work with then.  With digital, today there are well over a hundred marketing tool options and more coming online daily.

Each of these tools has a different set of strengths, weaknesses, and people guiding them.  Firing all these weapons and hoping for the best does get results.

But think how much more powerful they would be if they all had a common focus and big idea driving them!

A big idea or a great position is a virtual brain that can help guide ALL your marketing tools and multiply their effectiveness.

So please, do not become so seduced by the amazing tools of Digital Oz that you think they ARE the same thing as a big idea. Remember this?

“I’d unravel every riddle, for any individual
In trouble or in pain.
With the thoughts I’d be thinking,
I could be another Lincoln
If I only had a brain.” –  The Scarecrow

See, even the least intelligent resident of Oz knew he was nothing without a brain. – Q

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2 Responses to “Creative Thinking: What Digital Marketers Could Learn from the Wizard of Oz by @JohnQCreative”

  1. Michael Irvin says:

    John Q,
    Well put. I’ve always been a fan of “Big Ideas”. No matter how powerful the computer or program you can’t beat a good old fashion brainstorm with a room full of smart people. Big ideas come from deep within our psyche and not from some circuit board. Don’t get me wrong, computers are tremendous tools that can give us all the data we need to come up with Big Ideas but they can’t do it for us. It takes good old fashion thinking to do that.

    Thanks for the great post. We think a lot a like.

    Michael Irvin, Big Idea Guy

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    […] John Q. Harrington is back today with a warning for digital marketers to not walk past the big idea in pursuit of big promises from applications devoid of creative thinking and big idea potential. …  […]