Is Your Marketing Based on a Big Idea?

Last night, my 10 year old German Shepherd, Zoe, reminded me of an important marketing concept recently and I want to share it with you today.


It all started when I had to give her some medicine and realized we were out of the Pill Pockets® she likes so much (now there is an invention I wish I had thought of). As a quick replacement, I went old-school and wrapped her medicine in cheese. If you have a dog, you know one of the easiest ways to get them to take medicine is to wrap it in cheese.

As Zoe gulped down the pill, I realized her response is the same type of response we want as business owners marketing our business. Specifically, Zoe:

  • Was intently focused on my “offer” because she found it irresistible.
  • Enjoyed the experience.
  • Would definitely come back for more.

In return, I got the call-to-action I wanted (she took her medicine) in a way that made is pleasurable and enjoyable for her.

What business owner wouldn’t want the same type of response and results with her marketing?

One of the smartest ways to do this is to literally take a page (page 16) from famous copywriter and ad-man, David Ogilvy’s book, Ogilvy on Advertising (If you click on the image, you can see a high-resolution scan of this page).


On this page, David asks the question, “What’s the Big Idea?” and then goes on to deliver one of his most often quoted “laws”,

“It takes a Big Idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

Now while David was focused specifically on developing a “Big Idea” for his advertising campaigns (and he had a lot of them, including the Hathaway shirt guy wearing the eye badge, the quietness of Rolls Royce, etc.), his suggestion of coming up with a Big Idea is an important exercise for all business owners.


Because in this day and age, with so many competing messages, noise and distractions, unless your product or service is wrapped around a Big Idea that is unique, attention-grabbing and powerful, it too will pass like a ship in the night.

The successful business owner marketer knows he simply cannot blend in with what everybody else is doing and he must spend the necessary time to wrap his product or service “in cheese”; to make it delicious and irresistible for his target market.

On page 45 of my recently updated High Impact Marketing Manifesto, I drill down into this powerful concept deeper.

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Weak, wimpy ordinary offers cannot be expected to produce exceptional results. In today’s age of ultra-competition, it’s unreasonable to believe boring and typical offers will get attention and response. Yet many marketers put forward mundane offers day-in and day-out and then grumble about disappointing response and results.

Whether you are creating a lead-generation offer, product or service offer – whatever – you must invest in the creative thinking process to come up with an offer that stands out and gets noticed and makes the person receiving it say, “I’d be a fool if I said no to this.”

Ogilvy’s insight is important to you and your business. Your marketing and offers need to be wrapped around a Big Idea that will get noticed and make people take action. You should work at making your offers irresistible.


As a matter of fact, I’ve been working closely with a number of my CPCG (Capuzzi Private Client Group) members helping them come up with their own Big Ideas. If you would ask them, they would probably tell you I harp on this too much, as I keep pressing them to do the hard work to wrap their product or service in cheese.

  • Fitness expert, Jeff Tomaszewski, hit a homerun when he came up with a powerful way for busy corporate executives to train twice a week for 20 minutes and to get phenomenal results.
  • Retail store owners, Jeff Giagnocavo and Ben McClure, are doing it by developing and selling their unique marketing concept – Infotail™.
  • Promotional gifts expert, Phil Brakefield, did it when he developed his Unisource Advantage Club where members get the lowest price for promo items, regardless of how many they order.

Each of these gentlemen did not simply follow what others in their business are doing. They took the time and invested the energy to make their product or service unique and different – the essence of the Big Idea.

If you read the page above from Ogilvy’s book, you will see he presents a few questions which are relevant to you today as you develop your Big Idea:

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  • Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
  • Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
  • Is it unique?
  • Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
  • Could it be last for 30 years?


Interestingly, Ogilvy also gives you some pointers on how to develop your own Big Idea by allowing your unconscious mind to take over. I call this the “creative thinking process” and wrote about it in this article.

If you have yet to perform this powerful exercise, here are a few more questions to ask yourself as you develop your own Big Idea:

  • What’s keeping them awake at night?
  • What are they mad about?
  • What are their daily frustrations?
  • What do they desire the most?
  • How can you align your business as a remedy?

Developing your marketing around a Big Idea is important and critical for all business owners today. If you have already done the hard work and created something special for your business, please let me and my readers know about here!  Leave a comment below and tell us about your Big Idea!  It would be great to hear about it!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Jim Edholm on July 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Good stuff – as usual – Mike. I definitely plan to share this with my (handful) of LinkedIn followers.

    • Mike Capuzzi on July 31, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks Jim!

  2. Doc Carney on July 31, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Good stuff as always. That’s one of the biggest reasons I’m a member of yours Mike. You deliver.
    Dr. Carney

    • Mike Capuzzi on July 31, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Appreciate the note Doc! Got some cool new stuff coming! Stay tuned!

  3. Cindy on August 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

    As always Mike, you share some great stuff and in an entertaining way. When I learned about the Big Idea it improved my writing dramatically–I’m guessing those who make the effort to follow your advice will see a similar result.

  4. Phil Brakefield on August 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for the shout out, Mike.

    The UniSource Advantage Club wouldn’t be where it is if you weren’t such a cheese expert.

  5. Brian Mittman on August 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

    In the world of attorney advertising almost anything is better than what is out there -but looking for that big idea and some yummy cheese we offer FREE CONSUMER GUIDES that tell you information you need before you file a claim, before you sign papers and especially before you hire an attorney. Not something you here much! THanks for the great article !

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      You are welcome Brian!

  6. Phil Salt on August 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks Mike for sharing this helpful canine insight.Some sweet & sour may also do the trick as well. Be well

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 6, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thank you for reading and sending a note Phil.

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