Have you ever been stuck sitting at home while all your friends are out at a party, concert, or event, only to find yourself wishing you were there? Although this sentiment is a bit of cliché and the driving story line behind many a teen movie, in reality, fear of missing out (FOMO) has been a call to action for generations. However, through the advent of social media, FOMO has never been a more powerful driving force in impacting the decisions of consumers, and no generation is more affected than Millennials. In fact, a 2014 Eventbrite survey found that 78 percent of Millennials would spend their money on a “desirable experience or event over buying something desirable.”
According to that same survey, 7 in 10 Millennials experience FOMO, and while that proves it’s powerful, it doesn’t show how it can it be harnessed. Fortunately, we can answer that question.
The notion of urgency is nothing new in the world of marketing, but it remains a constant because of how effective it is. Flash sales, pop-up shops, limited supply, and sign-up countdowns are all ways to create a sense of urgency and foster FOMO. As a result, it can entice the consumer to spend more money or perform a desirable action before “time runs out.”
Create Consumer Engagement
A recent study of Canadian millennials found that 68 percent had made a reactionary purchase because of FOMO triggered by witnessing someone else’s experience. It is for this reason that creating a campaign that leaves the consumer feeling as if they’ve had a collaborative experience with your brand is paramount in gaining their participation. By inviting your audience to interact with your brand, you are also encouraging them to share related content or their experience, which in turn creates FOMO in all your customer’s followers.
Although it is nice to think the biggest, brightest, and loudest forms of marketing are the ones that garner the most attention; few things can attract attention like exclusivity.
Everybody loves a secret, that is, except for the people who don’t know it. So by making consumers feel special and inviting them to join a loyalty program, provide them with special offers and content, or simply inviting them to an invitation-only event can do wonders to not only solidify your brand in their minds, but also create buzz among their own followers, ultimately growing your brand and fostering a sense of FOMO.
Or Just Forget Everything We Just Said
At this point, it should be clear that FOMO is an ever-growing force in consumer decision making, and while a great motivator, it can also be exhausting and anxiety filled. After all, who hasn’t been stuck at home, only to find themselves constantly checking social media for updates on everything that they are missing out on? And it is for this reason many marketers are deciding to turn away from FOMO, and are inviting consumers to unplug and interact on a personal level.
Create a space where digital products are left at the door and consumers are given the opportunity to interact with your brand, your products, or your services in an intimate, face to face setting. This can be a breath of fresh air for many consumers, especially at crowded events like festivals; and forgoing FOMO can prove that your brand understands the ever-elusive Millennial market, boosting awareness and loyalty.