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Industrial marketing in the age of FOMO

Like it or not, Fear of Missing Out (‘FOMO’) is a significant force behind many of our professional decisions. For example, it’s the nagging feeling that makes us ask: “What if this is the one event that changes everything for my marketing results this year?”

So we pay the exorbitant registration fee, send out the team, and invest time and resources, hoping for a very happy post-mortem a few months later.

There’s nothing inherently negative about wanting to be part of the latest trends or being in the loop. But when it’s driven by fear rather than value, we need to take a step back and evaluate.

Every year, there seems to be a bunch of new (or more likely, relaunched) ‘must-attend’ events. They often succeed. But have they just mastered the art of FOMO marketing?

And this is not just an ‘event’ issue. With the proliferation of media outlets online, there’s a scramble to produce content, often at the expense of quality. The result? An overwhelming volume of ‘stuff’ that leaves us no wiser than before. Again, the driving force for many of us to subscribe or engage with these outlets is FOMO.

So, what’s the solution?

If there’s no data to go on, I believe we should trust our intuition more, and be confident in that. If something feels like it’s not worth it, it probably isn’t.

Our experience in the industry will have equipped us with a good radar for value.

Above all, we mustn’t fall for the temptation of thinking that the competition know something we don’t. Our contemporaries at other companies are almost certainly thinking exactly the same as we are. When a salesperson from a media organisation suggests that everyone else is in, we need to ask ourselves two questions:

  1. Are they really?
  2. Even if they are, was it just because of FOMO?