Being a northern man of advancing years, I am prone to being a glass half empty type. Good reason, then, that my calling is marketing journalist and not marketer, among the most optimistic of professions.
I make this observation as I finger through pages of recent research that points to the same thing: marketers are feeling considerably more chipper about their lot at this point in time than they have been since the worst of the financial crisis in 2009/09.
What it is that it is driving such sagacity? Analysts say that it’s a trickle of news that tentatively points to green shoots of economic recovery – stable levels of consumer confidence, falling inflation and improved manufacturing output – all of which signal brighter days ahead. And there’s nothing that a direct or marketer of any hue values more than happy prospects with more disposable income.
Now, marketers are not stupid, they realise that any economic recovery here and abroad remains dangling by the thinnest of threads. A Greek default here, a spike in commodity costs there and a contagious economic cold caught by the US could kill those green shoots before the spring. If so, marketing budgets would be pared back in line with economic reality.
What they are also not are pessimists. The very business of marketing depends on its practitioners being optimistic. Imagine a campaign created or overseen by someone who brought the weight of the world with him or her to work? It would not, I wager, inspire a race to purchase.
It has been said to me that such optimism is blind and those that display such sanguinity are divorced from cold, hard economic reality.
This might be true but neither should it matter. It is the marketers’ job to build sustainable demand for brands and the only way to achieve this is by the unerring belief in marketing’s ability to transform behavior. Be optimistic, in shorthand.
Marketers need to be aware of all business demands and have a sense of the bigger picture but they should not be shackled by it.