Leveraging FOMO in your Black Friday marketing strategy

Patrick Tame, CEO of Beringer Tame, outlines how digital marketers can utilise FOMO, and offers examples of this type of marketing in action.

woman standing next to shop window

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a term that has grown in popularity over recent years as increased use of social media has propelled the phenomenon. It is not a new concept and it’s fair to say that we’re evolutionarily and biologically hard-wired as humans to feel FOMO. But with greater access to information about the world at large, your favourite celebrity or brand, or even your closest circle of friends, missing out is a very real and daily danger.

With such strong emotions associated with FOMO it has become a powerful tool for marketers to harness in order to target customers using the right techniques and via the right platforms. The retail sector has become increasingly competitive over the past few years and as such, it’s now critical that marketers are quick to innovate their strategies and tap into the emotional FOMO journey.

Following a turbulent year for industries – and as we enter into a second lockdown, seeing retailers once again have to shut up shop – we have seen ecommerce activity go from strength to strength. We have now entered retail’s ‘golden quarter’ which includes events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday – now known as Cyber Weekend.

These are some of the most fruitful days on the retail calendar and online sales this year are predicted to be 14% higher than 2019, a figure that could be even higher given the fact that physical stores will be closed. Marketing strategies are always ramped up during this period, but it’s essential that marketers ensure they engage with customers in a meaningful way to them.

With online shopping being the only option this Cyber Weekend, it’s imperative that marketing strategies help to feed the ecommerce sales funnel throughout this critical period, with FOMO being plausible to explore.

With this in mind, there are a few key ways in which to incorporate strategies that harness FOMO, especially in the lead up to this year’s Cyber Weekend:

A visual phenomenon

FOMO appears to be an inherently visual phenomenon which plays into the hands of social and print media. A consumer can drool over an acquaintance’s dreamy holiday pictures and then click on an image of a photogenic sunset and book an Instagram-friendly escape of their own. Seeing friends and family sharing images or hearing about incredible bargains stirs up our desire to investigate and ask, “what am I missing out on?”

The internet has only intensified our subconscious FOMO when it comes to seeing goods and services on offer. Although we may be intrigued, digital marketers still have to convert those curious eyes into sales over the course of the golden quarter.

A matter of urgency

Digital marketers can also adopt effective methods to create urgency around products and offers. Countdown clocks, RRP prices accompanied with drastically reduced pricing and ‘whilst stocks last!’ labels are all effective ways in which marketers trigger our FOMO, particularly on Black Friday.

According to data from Google, one in three purchases during the golden quarter are made on impulse. Creating urgency on goods and services, combined with our love for a bargain, is key when turning passive shoppers into active shoppers. With the transition to digital over recent years, marketers have turned their attention to mobile and social media as effective tools to instil this urgency.

The focus on social media

Retailers who are unable to offer their customers an engaging social media experience will simply be left behind in the digital world. Social media presence is vital, especially on Black Friday and is constantly forcing retailers to evolve. Retailers who are proactive in building and serving to a loyal social media following are making their presence known to billions of active social media users.

Modern-day retailers use social media as a tool to create chatter and awareness around their offers; ones which customers simply cannot afford to miss out on! Curiosity will grow amongst those who see an offer with a multitude of likes, shares and retweets. Gone are the days of marketers relying on punchy shop window slogans to attract customers and with many shoppers likely to avoid the high street this year, social media marketing on Black Friday will prove vital to a retailer’s success.

A Black Friday like no other

With no end in sight to the ongoing pandemic and its economic fallout, questions have been asked over the scale of this year’s Black Friday. Images of crowds manically wading through Oxford Street will not happen, but digital marketers should not be disheartened. This year has seen an explosion within the ecommerce sector and digital specialists must recognise this along with the emphasis on mobile shopping. With all of us sat at home scrolling social media and online retail channels,FOMO this Black Friday will provide a wealth of opportunity to deploy strategies into the digital marketplace.

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