Australian designer, award-winning futurist and educator, Sally Dominguez encourages marketers to actively embed ‘possibility thinking’ into their ways of working at PHD's annual conference, BrainScape.
In an exclusive interview during the 11th edition of PHD’s annual conference BrainScape, Communicate sat down with inventor, futurist and innovation strategist, Sally Dominguez to discuss how her concepts of adventurous and possibility thinking can help marketers innovate proactively.
During her session at BrainScape, she touched base on how thinking ‘exponentially’ while curating for brands and clients can amplify the effect of a marketing strategy at a personal level.
As a futurist, you take pride in teaching and further encouraging marketers to embed the concept of ‘adventurous and possibility thinking.’ How do you think this can help organizations?
The entire premise of adventurous thinking is divided into five lenses. Each one has various tools, but the aim of each of them is to throw you outside your expertise. To deal with the change across digital platforms, which is clearly moving too fast for us to keep up, we need to think in a different way. This means that you can't know what's coming.
This is where possibility and adventurous thinking comes in. While it can be used in any profession, it is more beneficial across marketing organizations as it helps them stay ahead of the curve. Rather than relying on what’s already been done before, marketers can become super proactive in terms of innovating for the future. Although this is the mindset everybody needs, in a field of work, where you’re always looking at the next big thing to talk about, possibility thinking can bolster growth.
Do you believe that audiences of a marketing organization that uses possibility thinking can resonate with a campaign as optimistically as the marketers?
I think optimism will come when consumers as well as stakeholders can see an authentic impact. In this age, it's not enough for an organization to prove that they are doing their job, being transparent is what’s more important. Once marketers innovate and ideate to genuinely make a difference, consumers will buy into that and will see themselves as a part of that process. But if you're just talking about optimism and progress for the future to sell a product, people can scan through that. Especially Gen Z. They are digital natives, and they know what they're doing.
Following up on that thought of Gen Z, during your session you mentioned how they are alert and possess this constant fear of breach of their trust, making them very selective when choosing the ideal workplace. What do you think marketing organizations can do differently to gain their confidence?
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 40,000 Gen-Zers, across 20 different countries are reporting this fear. This generation wants to be involved in co-creation as they aim to become a part of the process. They strive for results and a purpose. Therefore, acquiring them really depends on how organizations innovate bigger than just the problem, and how they can involve Gen-Zers in those roles.
What do you think is the importance of ‘trust’ and ‘purpose’ in marketing effectiveness?
There is a huge emphasis on data collection, and we cannot do that without the permission and thus the trust of our consumers. Across the globe, governments are silent on their roles in collecting third-party data without consent and distrust in these systems is evident. Therefore, consumers’ trust is key in building any strategy. Once consumers witness an organization calling for action against various issues, they’re more likely to trust the brand.
Without a purpose, brands/ organizations won’t be able to resonate with their clients at a personal level. Once a purpose is defined, they need to gain the trust of their consumers in order to obtain the required information to personalize a campaign or a product for an existing or a potential consumer.
A part of possibility thinking is ‘not knowing.’ With respect to this statement, how do you think marketers can approach cynical audiences of a brand?
I think that cynics across any industry should be approached differently. It is imperative to understand the ‘why,’ and probe further. Whether they are competitors or people who don’t understand your service or product, the real challenge comes with going beyond the ‘doing more of what people love,’ notion. If marketers truly want to establish brand awareness, they need to come up with inclusive strategies. A strategy that will target people who don’t like the brand as much or those who have their doubts about it.
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