A 2017 UC Berkeley study showed that people’s decisions (including purchasing) were disproportionately swayed by improbable but decidedly negative events. This outweighing of negative consequences when making judgements is something marketers have long been using in their tactics to influence buyers. Here’s how you can also make use of it in your marketing messaging:
Extreme and Unlikely Events
Using extreme and unlikely events is a great way to tap into fears in your marketing. Take the example of the recent iPhone 14 Pro launch. The three biggest new features are all based on these unlikely events such as the Lockdown feature in case of a cyberattack. How about the Emergency SOS satellite in case you’re out of cell coverage and have an emergency? Lastly the Walking Steadiness feature that can assess your risk of falling. What are the b2b implications of these? The cyberattack is certainly a good one. How about the recession? Or the fear of your largest client leaving? These are extreme and unlikely but if you base your marketing messaging on them, you can have the same success that Apple is having with its latest launch.
Fear of Competitors
One of the biggest fears to tap into for pitching businesses is their fear of their competitors. Messaging based on how they stack up or what they’re doing better than the market will definitely get you noticed. How about messaging about how they are different or how they CAN be different? Imagine an outreach email with the subject heading that reads: Are you as Good as (NAME of competitor)?. I guarantee a high open rate!
The fear of missing out isn’t just for tweens. It’s also for businesses and you can use this type of fear to wake up buyers to taking your calls or reading your messages once you tap into it. Here are some ways to do that: Ask prospects if they’re doing enough marketing or especially social media marketing as they should. This one is often a sore-spot for many owners. Another angle is to ask if they knew of or made the most of a certain trend in their industry. They will be wondering that themselves. Lastly, is there a new legislation that affects their industry that you can message about? Imagine a campaign with an outreach email that reads “Are You Ready For Bill x?”. Again, eyebrows will go up and interest levels will heat up in your message because FOMO is a real thing.
Fears are a good thing in marketing. When you know your target prospect inside and out, it’s easy peasy to get them to notice you…all through the use of their fears in your messaging.