Instead of chasing the “BIG” idea, we’re always chasing the “EXPONENTIAL” idea. I think today “BIG” actually refers to how much the idea spreads beyond paid media. We found most ways of measuring brand conversations beyond social media to be flawed. Personally, I can’t remember what I ate for lunch, much less if I talked to someone about a brand in the past five days. Most research methodologies that measure word-of-mouth about brands ask consumers to do just that. An online survey asking people to remember brand conversations from that day, the previous day, and in some cases, the previous week is typical. Most of them also fail to really understand what sparked the conversation. So we set out to measure brand conversations as they happen, no further than 2 hours from the conversation. Using text prompts and a short WAP survey, we found that 24% of brand conversations were sparked by marketing communications. Specifically, we dug deeper to understand what those communications did to deserve the conversation. The results were illuminating. So illuminating that they led to a new strategic construct for the agency providing a roadmap for creating ideas that will spread.