A Big Idea, in the information marketing business, must be more than just catchy and suggestive. In other words, information marketers must do more than create David Ogilvy’s idea of a Big Idea.

A Big Idea for Ogilvy was a cowboy smoking a cigarette while perched on a horse. That works for selling cigarettes but it wouldn’t work for selling books and newsletters and other information products. In the world of information publishing, a Big Idea must contain within it an exciting, arresting thought – a thought that directly or indirectly promises something that the prospect desires. It must also be immediately ascertainable, intellectually stirring, and emotionally compelling.

A Big Idea instantly drives the prospect toward a foregone conclusion by evoking a useful emotion. A useful emotion is one that makes the prospect want the product. Many copywriters miss this point. They feel that their job is to arouse any strong emotion in the lead. But if that emotion is not conducive to selling the product, they’ve made their job more difficult.