I’d never heard of Stefan Mumaw before last week, but in the span of about an hour he crystallized what marketing has become and what it has the potential to be.
An ad agency creative director, Stefan is the author of a book called, Chasing the Monster Idea. His presentation focused on the seven characteristics of monster ideas. So just exactly what is a monster idea? Here’s his definition:
“The truly monster idea is more than just good; it transcends the boundaries of the problem to solve it so simply and so powerfully that it almost sells itself. It’s the campaign idea that grows on its own, powered by those evangelists who first discover its true value, and it forces everyone else to catch up with it—if they can.”
I’m not going to share his seven characteristics — he shares them in his book. You can download the first chapter free here or get the whole schmere here. Instead, I’ll share my biggest takeaway from his presentation.
In the past, marketers have tended to throw everything inside the kitchen sink and then throw it at a consumer hoping something — anything — might stick. Now we weren’t always quite that ham-fisted. Sometimes we presented them with one unique selling proposition in the form of a creative execution or campaign. Regardless, we told them what we wanted them to know. The goal was to sell them on something.
While we were busy deciding what we wanted them to know, consumers were being rewired. The Product no longer holds weight with them. What does is the other stuff: how that product makes someone feel or the problems it solves. They are not being sold to; they are buyers. Most important of all is the acknowledgement that the marketing universe has shifted into new territory: consumers recognize and often filter out push-style messages.
Stefan’s answer to reach this new breed of consumers is to pique their curiosity and then reward their effort with a good experience.
Marketing with the goal of making people curious? That itself is a monster idea.