A small idea that could have a big impact.

Everyone is always striving for The Big Idea; Personally, I believe in the power and impact of small ideas.

I had a small idea about 6 months ago: rather than paying celebrities loads of money to record their voice navigation into Ovi Maps, we should take some of that money and develop a little mobile app that allows people to record their own voice navigation, and share these voice packs with other people.

I got the guys at Starcut to make the little app, and asked them to keep it really simple. The team at Ovi Maps made sure it worked at their end, and the campaign team integrated it into their major Ovi Maps campaign which gave it a huge boost in terms of visibility. It ended up being called Own Voice, and I’m really proud to say that it was released last week, and the initial response has been extremely good.

It really is a tiny, simple idea. But – of all the things with which I’ve been directly involved – it is the best example of my marketing philosophy:

1. It creates social objects. Voice packs become gifts that lovers or mothers or friends can share. Each shared pack may only be to just one person, or a few, or the whole world. But it doesn’t matter because the combined effect is what we are looking for. This is making the service itself a gift, which means it is passed on for us and is received with pleasure. (thanks Jyri)

2. It is dandelion marketing as we cannot be sure which voices will be most popular, so we are instead creating the eco-system for thousands of voices to be created and shared.

3. It is Baked In marketing, as it creates something conversational about the service itself, making it a product that better markets itself. (thanks Mr Bogusky)

4. It is an idea that creates content, rather than being an idea that is content (thanks Faris)

5. It augments the actual experience and context of being an Ovi Maps customer. It actually works at the design level of the communications pyramid, where most of the fundamental value is added. (thanks Helge).

6. It Earns Media. Lots of people have Tweeted about it, and it was one of the rare marketing-led ideas that actually made it to the mainstream press (BBC Click and The Independent among others already).

In summary: it’s not the size of the idea that counts, it’s what you can do with it.

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3 thoughts on “A small idea that could have a big impact.

  1. Ben Mason says:

    Smashing idea! And much more so for getting it done so elegantly.

  2. was an article I liked. Thanks for sharing….

  3. […] this multi-million pound navigation campaign was ‘Own Voice‘. This came from a simple client side idea to make an app that would let people record (and share) their own voice […]

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