Let’s start with a question. Are you feeling optimistic? Not in general, but at this very second?
Whatever your answer (and I hope it was “yes”), it’s felt like optimism has been lacking for oh so long. I’ve missed it and have been wondering for months...when is the right time to lead with optimism again?
These questions led to a recent spark: How are marketing leaders feeling right now? Not just about their industry, but about the economy and society as a whole?
Our first Optimism Index aimed to assess sentiment from marketing leaders to try and understand where the wind is currently blowing with our long lost friend (yep, optimism).
I hope you’re ready...optimism is back. So everything’s great...right! Wait, right?
So is every marketer about to quit?
Our Optimism Index findings tell a slightly different story. The churn in marketing may be overreported, as the marketers we connected with are hopeful about their futures. Not only are they more optimistic about their industries now compared to a year ago, they also think their levels of positivity will only improve going into 2022.
Ah, you’d like some data?
Well, 88 percent of marketing decision makers we surveyed are just as, if not more, optimistic for their industry’s prospects a year from now.
And those without career change plans want to play it safe. Marketers likely to stay at their company believe it is important to match the tone of the news cycle (63 percent) versus those who are unlikely to remain at their current roles (48 percent).
Here’s something really interesting - 65 percent of marketers with five years or more of tenure with their current company prefer to create campaigns that match the tone of the current news cycle, compared to 51 percent of those with less than five years’ experience at their company.
The marketers unlikely to remain at their current position feel less proud, less in control, and more uncertain about their lives than their colleagues who are planning to remain at their companies.
But does marketing impact the psyches of consumers?
The vast majority of the marketers we surveyed think they have the influence to improve public morale. They also feel that positive marketing can boost customers’ state of mind (90 percent) and that ads should make customers feel hopeful (88 percent).
So does optimism work right now? Like today? Well, 82 percent of our respondents said that optimistic ads are more effective and more memorable (73 percent) for customers than pessimistic ads. This helps explain why most marketing leaders (84 percent) strongly believe that optimistic campaigns see a better return on investment.
Despite the unrelenting negativity in the news cycle, marketers feel their profession is looking up. While just over half (52 percent) of the marketing leaders surveyed feel that too many current ads are negative, more (74 percent) say they are seeing more positive than negative signals from their marketing peers.
So what does this data actually mean and how should it be interpreted? Five insights emerged as we parsed through the data:
1. After a long year(+), marketing is primed for positivity
2. It’s not blind sentiment, optimistic marketing (still) delivers
3. There’s opportunity to pull up the dial, finally, to pull consumers forward
4. At a time of unprecedented industry changes (and, yes, some churn), there’s clear opportunity
5. Optimism feeds and nourishes...more optimism
Marketers have an opportunity to use optimism to drive favorable reputation gains, as it gives permission to create and execute bolder campaigns. Standing out from competitors now in this time of change requires a blended understanding of people and culture that no other function within a company can match, and the gains for reputation advancement through embracing optimism are waiting on the table.
So, are you ready to take a seat at the table and advance?
Adam Warrington is the chief reputation officer at Praytell, a creative exchange agency that earns attention with optimistic work.view more - Trends and Insight