Have you ever bought something impulsively and realized later that you didn’t really need it? Or do you regularly check your phone to see what’s going on?
Humans are social animals and a part of our psychology is our inherited nature of being curious about everything happening around us. FOMO leverages this perspective on human nature.
What is FOMO?
FOMO is an acronym that stands for the Fear Of Missing Out. It could be missing out from any investment opportunity, news, trend, social media update, etc.
Marketers are fully aware of this fact and leverage this in their marketing campaigns. In simple words, FOMO makes one anxious and gives a constant urge to stay updated. We experience this in our daily life – FOMO urges us to check our phones, news, and updates regularly. It is an aspect of human behaviour which the marketers use to the hilt.
You may have been impacted by this Fear of Missing out without being aware! Specifically, in situations such as:
- If you see any product online and if it has a tag that says that ‘hurry only a few left’, it creates a feeling of missing out on the opportunity in a person’s mind, and he or she is more likely to purchase that product.
- When you see Ads repeatedly online or on televisions which say that a product or service is very popular and is being used by so many people.
- When you buy any product or service just because the offer had a limited timeline or the statement that many people had already bought it.
We may think that the buying decisions we make are solely ours and not influenced by external factors, but the reality is quite different, and that is what tricks the customers. FOMO in marketing is used to change a customer’s mind to urge them to purchase a specific product or service. It uses simple human psychology to influence the decision making of customers.
How is FOMO leveraged in marketing?
1. By creating urgency
You must have observed that many e-commerce sites or even offline stores, showcase products with a message that says ‘hurry only a few days’ or ‘only a few products left’. This creates a sense of urgency among people, and they are more likely to buy it and also make the buying decision quicker. By creating a need, people fear missing out on a good deal and end up making a purchase of your product/service or take an action that you would like them to take.
However, when you leverage any of the FOMO techniques in your marketing, make sure that you stick to your advertised timelines. Else, it may damage your brand image if you keep extending your offer deadline.
The offer states that the phone sale ends in a certain timeframe which creates urgency among people and compels them to make a quick action based on the perception that they may lose the deal.
2. Creating social pressure
Marketers create social pressure among people to make them take an action they want. When we see several people doing a particular thing and making a profit from it, we are more likely to do it.
For e.g.,- Here Neil Patel, one of the top digital marketing influencers, has displayed that he has over 300 million visitors per month to his own website, which conveys a message that people trust him which further creates a social pressure on people to follow him or check his website so that they don’t miss out what other people are viewing or learning.
3. Showcasing increased demand
When we see people doing a certain thing, it creates curiosity among us for that particular thing, and we are more likely to view it. FOMO is used here to use this customer curiosity to drive more sales and engagement.
You may have seen websites or e-commerce sites showing increased viewership or sale of a particular service or product. Thus, by showing high demand, they gain the interest of the user and boost their marketing.
For e.g., – Websites or e-commerce sites use lines such as “out of stock” or “sold out” to convey the demand for something. By creating a need, the user is trapped into thinking that this respective product or service is high in demand so it must be really good so the next time the user willingly buys the product or service even at a higher price.
4. Showing social proof
We are likely to buy a product or service or even engage with something if we come across evidence of trust shown by people by virtue of their reviews. Such reviews also establish the authority of a particular brand and marketers use this to boost their sales. The more trust a brand garners from people, the more customers they are likely to attract.
For e.g., -Websites often publish testimonials and client feedback. This generates trust among people and gives them social proof towards a product or service. The more social proof something has, it holds stronger trust and engagement among people. This fact is leveraged by almost all organizations big or small and helps them in earning more customers.
5. Exclusive giveaway prizes
This Technique uses FOMO by tempting people not to miss out on exclusive giveaways and discounts. You may have seen several brands doling out giveaways and prizes to people for accomplishing a particular task.
But how does it benefit them?
Giveaway prizes and discounts generate likeability towards a brand and people are more likely to come back later for future purchases.
Everybody likes a brand which takes care of them and by rolling out giveaways, and discounts, brands earn bounty points as people link this with trust and hope of more such offers.
For e.g., – Many Apps provide you with money or rewards on making a purchase or referring it to somebody which creates profit for both. You must have seen apps such as PhonePe and Google Pay provide you with scratch card rewards on a purchase of above rupees 150, so the user is more likely to use this application for payments because of the rewards they will gain in return.
FOMO is leveraged in marketing by using simple techniques through which you can push your audience to make instinctive buying decisions. You can also leverage FOMO to boost your sales or services among your audience by promoting limited-time offers, exclusive discounts, and convincing them enough that they will miss out on something.
Above listed are some of the ways how marketers use FOMO but it has even broader applications.
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