The Curious Case Of FOMO In Marketing



Fear is the most primal force and yet very motivating. Are you wondering, how fear can be motivating? Well, let me remind you of the time when missing out on an important assignment made you burn the midnight’s oil or just the thought of being late for an important meeting made you get up an hour early. Yeah, I am talking about “that” fear. In this post I will talk about how fear motivates people and affect their buying decisions.


Let’s talk a bit about FOMO:

I was reading an article about why Millenials are unhappy, and the reason was that we, Gen Y constantly live in a fear of missing out (FOMO) on things/events/people. Infact a study goes on to prove that 69% of Millenials experience FOMO when they are not able to attend an event. For millennials, “FOMO is not just a cultural phenomenon, it’s an epidemic,” the report reads.

While FOMO sound like an infectious disease, but it has created a very instant urge among people to buy experiences over things.

How To FOMO Your Product:

1. Experiences “Trump” Things: According to the study, experiences outdo things, which means that you should project your services or product as experiences that people can not just buy but live. Let me cite an example, let us talk about Apple, what are they selling? Phones, Laptops, MacBooks, well yeah that too but primarily they are selling experiences that pushes you to “think different”. If you are thinking that using Apple was a very cliche example then let me talk about a brand called Anouk, it is an ethnic brand for women, which propagates the message – be bold, be beautiful. It shows that wearing Anouk is a choice and not a compromise. This is a great example of binding experiences with brands.

2. Creating A Sense Of Scarcity & Urgency: Leveraging urgency has always been a smart tactic for marketers, but it has never been more effective than when used with the fear of missing out. People act urgently when they have the fear of not being able to buy or experience a thing. People purchase things on a flash sale (though the sale goes on forever) that they don’t even need in that moment. It is the fear of missing out which provokes them to buy. Scarcity and urgency go hand in hand. Scarcity incites urgency; if there are only one hundred seats in a particular concert, or one hundred products in stock, there’s a limited supply, and that excites the customer to take action in an instant.

3. Leveraging Exclusivity: People love to be pampered and what better way to pamper than by offering products that are meant exclusively for them. It gives them a sense of pride. Exclusivity can not only pull people to your brand but also result in loyal customers. Think of combining exclusivity with Loyalty Reward programmes, which is meant for a selected few customers. A lot of banks have exclusive loyalty programmes for a selected customers, who enjoy special privileges and the more they shop the more rewards they get, which in turn incites them to buy more.

The Worth Of FOMO:

I personally think that FOMO is extremely beneficial when combined with strategies such as creating a sense of urgency or building experiences. It can not only bring you new customers, big profits but also more loyal customer base. Have you tried FOMO, let me know in the comments section.