Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
What is the Fear of Missing Out?
Fear of Missing Out is the anxiety we experience when imagining a scenario we are excluded from. People often find it difficult to commit to a choice because they are worried that they will miss something better. The same experience makes people want to stay connected with that others are doing.
FOMO has a range of consequences and associated behaviours. The anxiety can lead some people to agree to anything they are offered, due to the threat of missing out on something. It can also cause people to defer making plans or decisions because they’re worried something better might come along. There is a correlation between Fear of Missing Out and negative emotions according to studies.
FOMO is a strong component of many highly-persuasive marketing campaigns. By creating the impression of momentum you can turn your product into a social occasion that consumers want to participate in. This can be communicated through a number of customer messaging formats.
- Displaying “Sold Out” offers, long after they are no longer available to buy
- Showing real-time data on stock levels
- Introducing countdown features for limited-time offers
- Turning customers into a part of the brand
Fear of Missing Out has become a major social influence as technological media and habits have developed around sharing personal images and updates. However, the influence of the effect extends beyond Social Media. Branding campaigns and marketing communications have also begun to use FOMO in more sophisticated, and increasingly persuasive, ways.