Final post on this I think. One final thought.
#7 Do lots of stuff, learn, do lots more stuff
The day of the all powerful single idea is gone. Culture expects stories to be told with depth, richness and nuance. Doing the same thing at every point of contact will bore people. And success does not come through being boring. Our focus on doing one thing makes marketing communication more often than not one of the most boring forms of culture there is today. (And I firmly believe that our competitive set (for the want of a better phrase) has to be culture not marketing).
The joy of new technology is that distribution costs of ideas have been slashed as have production costs. It is very viable to produce and distribute lots of ideas when in the past this would have been cost prohibitive.
On top of this cultural hunger for new ideas, I would argue that doing lots of stuff increases your chances of success for two reasons:
1. Brand energy is what matters
At the end of the day the most important measure to prove effectiveness is behavior change. But the old 'static' intermediate measures of awareness and consideration are not good predictors of this. What seems to be better is energy. This has been shown by the Y&R Brand Asset Valuator (see graph above) as well as the work of Ehrenberg and Hall & Partners who have demonstrated the importance of salience and momentum.
2. The 1 in 20 rule (aka spread your bets)
Because we operate in a world which is complex and unpredictable we are foolish if we believe we can predict the one thing that is going to work. We know that only 5% of new products and brands launched every year are successful in the long-term. And we can't predict which ones. We know that around 5% of species survive. But we can't predict which ones. And the same seems to be true of communications. Office Max launched perhaps the most successful viral campaign of the last holiday season, 'Elf Yourself'. What is less known about the campaign is that it was 1 of 20 ideas launched. 19 failed to catch hold, 1 flourished. But guess what. You couldn't predict which could take hold before they were launched.
That's it I guess on this topic. I guess all I'm trying to do is to provoke us to think and act differently because if we don't we will continue to make the work, more often than not, ineffective.