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2 January 2013

Why optimists make better marketers

An optimistic outlook for 2013!

Is your glass half full or half empty?

The theme of STIMA’s International Marketing conference[1] last December was “The Survival of Optimism”.  The main thesis was that as a marketer we have a choice to look at the glass as half full or half empty.


Notwithstanding all the pessimistic reports about the current economic situation, we now have a major opportunity, to explore new paths if we apply the necessary dose of innovation and entrepreneurship. This thesis was also defended by one of the keynote speakers, Philip Auerswald, economist and author of The Coming Prosperity. He firmly believes that we are living in the most exciting period in the history of mankind. Auerswald is convinced that a combination of entrepreneurship, (technological) innovation and broad social transformations will continue bringing prosperity.

Why Optimists truly are better marketers

In this changing world and business environment, marketers have an important role as instigator and innovator to make this transformation possible. And to make that role happen, an optimistic attitude will be a great advantage; if not a prerequisite:

  1. 1.       Without optimism, innovation and entrepreneurship cannot thrive.

To enable innovation it is important to avoid getting stuck in a status quo, to be open-minded to look for new opportunities and to embrace change. Or as Winston Churchill already said “optimists see opportunities in every difficulty.” Only in this way will marketers be able to generate the necessary entrepreneurship.

  1. 2.       Optimists are better leaders and more inspiring communicators.

Marketers will increasingly need to be able to generate passion and enthusiasm amongst those they work with. To do so, they must be excellent communicators and develop their “conviction” power; these two abilities are typical traits of optimists.

A recent study from the Duke University[2] in the US also showed that optimists have a better chance of becoming CEO. So optimism will not only help marketers to be better leaders, but also get them closer to the C-Suite.

  1. 3.       Optimists see the bigger picture.

Pessimists will get stuck in the past and continue dwelling on what is not going well. Optimists on the other hand, have the ability to look ahead, to visualize a different future. In other words, they will look at the long term. And isn’t that precisely a (strategic) role that marketers should embrace more?

In conclusion, not only is optimism our moral duty (to quote the famous philosopher Karl Popper) but also our professional duty.

Let’s embrace change and be optimistic as marketers about our role in 2013!