Thought Leadership

Finding the space to stay curious in an always-on marketing ecosystem

Curious teams are the most creative

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


In our always-on marketing working environment where ‘new’ is often mistaken for ‘better’ making the space to keep curious and make space for creativity is not always easy.  Between battling a multitude of media platforms and creating content for content’s sake, the day-to-day can end up eclipsing the bigger picture. In an industry that runs on creativity and ideas, making the space to be curious is business imperative.

It’s proven that curious teams are more creative. 92% of people in a Harvard Business Review survey credited curiosity as a catalyst for high performance, job satisfaction, motivation, and innovation. Despite this only 24% of employees feel curious in their job on a regular basis.

Making the space to stay curious, exploring culture and finding inspiration beyond our desks can ignite the sparks of great ideas which grow in genre defining work. Allowing time for rest, taking a moment to look up and embracing the joy outside the office can allow creativity to thrive. According to data from Creative Equals just 6% of creatives have their best ideas at their desk.

The summertime is the perfect time to step outside and embrace inspiration. So this August we asked industry leaders, where do you find the space to stay curious in our always-on marketing ecosystem?

Amadeus Redha

Amadeus Redha, Head of Marketing, Brandpie.jpg

Head of Marketing


As marketers, we work in the curiosity business. That’s why we become a little frenzied and obsessed whenever we hear about a new piece of tech (remember VR?). We need to start looking elsewhere for inspiration.

The Barbie movie might be the best source of this inspiration for any curious marketer. Its success didn’t come from an obsession with newness. It came from a deep and profound understanding of not only the cultural zeitgeist, but its core audience – anyone who used to play with Barbie.

The marketing team did a lot – the Malibu DreamHouse on Airbnb, the dozens of branding deals, the NYC Pride March, the list goes on. The campaign took on a life of its own – even my local cinema introduced a ‘Barbie-flavoured Tango Ice Blast’ (which was just their regular cherry flavour).

And their marketing budget was bog-standard for a $150 million movie. So why did it work?

They didn’t obsess over AI or augmented reality, or podcasting. They compounded on their wins through research. They released a ‘Weird Barbie’ doll after fans loved Kate McKinnon’s character. Google noticed Barbie search terms were skyrocketing, so Mattel sought to collaborate with the search engine to produce the pink sparkles when you Google the film’s name.

It’s a clear-cut example of why powerful customer insight can create wacky, loveable, and inspired campaigns.

Manfred Abraham

Manfred Abraham, CEO, Yonder Consulting.jpg


Yonder Consulting

Curiosity is pivotal for business leaders. The ability to continuously evolve in response to ever-changing market dynamics is what determines success and failure. Success hinges on businesses imaginatively exploring their opportunities and swiftly translating them into growth strategies. However, in an always-on ecosystem with competing priorities and a large volume of available data, this is hard! Businesses that truly understand how to stay curious and channel curiosity into successful execution will lead the market.

The trick is to start with robust, quality, and timely data that can be used to understand the impact of future business initiatives, rather than historical analysis. Extracting the right future-focussed insights will inform your strategic direction and execution plans. As a result, you’ll have a deeper, more authentic understanding of your customers (or audiences), fostering more meaningful connections. This is how you create customer-driven success. Put yourself at the heart of your customer. Help them achieve their goals and you’ll achieve yours. This is why Yonder exists, because it’s a discipline that businesses know they need, but find challenging.

Incorporating curiosity into everyday activities is one way to overcome this. For instance, when I go shopping, I look for interesting brand extensions or collabs and share them on social media. Of course, curiosity comes with risks… but people often don’t know the full proverb: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. Ultimately this serves as a reminder to balance curiosity with the ability to choose the right ideas and to effectively execute them.

Stefania Paolini

stefania, clockwork.jpg

Content Strategy Director


Homo Curiosus

Curiosity comes from the Latin cura, which means care.

Curiosity is an innate evolutionary advantage but is it possible to cultivate?

Curiosity is profoundly linked to attention so the first thing you need to do to sculpt your curiosity muscle is to tune out distractions by focusing your interests.

Yes, a list. This stratagem worked for the most curious human, Leonardo Da Vinci, so we are good.

Curious together

You have heard that “curiosity is contagious”, a very truthful vox populi, and considering curiosity as a networked endeavour or edgework (P. Zurn, D.S. Bassett) is a promising new perspective.

Translate it for us, mere curious mortals! Simply put, an easy way to engage and stimulate curiosity is to be curious together, about personal interests or just about each other.

This is the conceptual core of the very popular – in tech especially – “days of why”, i.e., days when teams freely explore topics of their choice.

Nurturing unbridled curiosity is finally en vogue.

Survival of the curiousest

Curiosity breeds innovation and ultimately success. It can be tricky, as leaders who want to maintain the manageability of our teams and processes, but love – and need – that rebellious stroke of genius.

In marketing, where keeping creativity vibrant sometimes feels impossible, fostering curiosity is a necessity. Your team’s curiosity is best served when your channels of communication are open, bidirectional, and allow idle exploration.

The risk of a laissez-faire approach is dispersion, so I usually go traditional: freedom in a framework. Fashion yourself à la Socrates: invisibly guide and bolster your team’s meandering, gently nudging them back as infrequently as possible.

Christianne Hamilton

Christianne Hamilton.jpeg

Head of Strategy

Spring Studios

At Spring we are about moving culture forward. This is about tapping into the energy that comes from the fringes and emerging subcultures. While the latest white papers, research and trend reports are fundamental inputs, it’s that connectivity to the front lines of creativity where curiosity and inspiration come alive. The truth is, we need to step out of our marketing reality to get in touch with grassroots culture that is bubbling up.

We have the good fortune of being a collective of multi-hyphenates at Spring, each with a love of craft, and natural tentacles into emerging culture. This fosters cross pollination, benefitting not only our clients, but us as culturally tuned individuals. We trade insights and experiences that move us forward, inspiring lateral thinking and new ways of tackling briefs.

For me personally, getting under the skin of the emerging culture of Web 3.0 over the last year has given me invaluable perspective in a sea of hyperbole. From the panels of digital-first designers and creative technologists at Metaverse fashion week last fall, to hearing first-hand about the vision and journeys of Unreal Engine creators, I felt closer to the realities and potential of the space. These first-hand encounters offered real insight into the creator’s journey, not to mention the bigger cultural questions they grapple with along the way. A case in point that shows how first-hand inspiration will always resonate more profoundly than a second hand POV.

Claire Bradley

Claire Bradley IMA-HOME.png

Creative Director


Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Don’t adjust your set, this isn’t a film review (probably because I didn’t “get it”).

It’s a summary of the world we live in – and the blessing and curse of a creative.

At work you obsess all day about adverts, influencers, call to actions – just to ‘switch off’ and be bombarded with adverts, influencers, and call to actions at home.

In this always-on existence, how can we find space to be curious?

Curiosity isn’t something you need to block out time for. It starts in your everyday. After all, marketing is understanding human behaviour. Remember, you too are human (I assume, unless you’re an AI chatbot).

So take off the headphones and listen to the sounds of the town. Eavesdrop when doing your food shop. Observe who’s on the Tube with you. Wonder if anyone else has your quirks. Or his weird sense of humour. Because curiosity is a mindset, even in the moments others don’t give a second thought about.

Just keep asking ‘why?’ Or who, what, how? It's all kids do. And remember how amazing it felt to be able to question everything everywhere all at once.

Ellen Durrant

Ellen Durrant Red Lion PR (2)[86].jpg


Red Lion PR

Being curious only makes us better practitioners, but when faced with a never-ending to-do list and overflowing inbox it can be one of the first things to get neglected. It’s easy to see how people can revert to type in such a fast-paced industry which is why it’s integral to work it into company culture.

When it comes to promoting a curious mindset, there can be some uncertainty. People assume they need to be wildly extroverted or creative, but we teach our team that there is space to be curious in the everyday. Whilst industry knowledge is of course crucial, we need to go beyond our bubble to deliver truly impactful work and stay relevant. From tuning into diasporic-focused landscapes and media that go beyond individuals’ lived experiences, to following influencers outside of our own algorithms, and challenging ourselves to mix up even the most everyday experiences. This can be as easy as finding a new place for that post-work drink. Like anything that needs work, it’s about carving out the time, holding oneself accountable, and leading by example.