You’re likely familiar with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), which is not only a widespread cultural phenomenon but also a useful marketing approach. Convincing leads/customers there’s something to be lost if they don’t jump on board (or stay on board) is a tactic as old as time but one that has butted heads with a few digital barriers as of late.
One limitation is the way FOMO is presented. We are entrenched in a “me-centric” world of personalization. Communicating your brand’s value to a large pond of small fish doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to treat every customer as the big fish and speak directly to her, in a way that makes her feel special—and to want to not miss out.
Communicating your brand’s value to a large pond of small fish doesn’t cut it anymore
Equally as challenging is the newer concept of JOMO, which I just recently became aware. “Joy Of Missing Out” puts brands—and the digital marketers who guide them—in a precarious place thanks to the added challenge of detachment. In a New York Times article, Hayley Phelan speaks about JOMO in a tech-grounded vein, but with our devices being the very vehicle that delivers brand messaging, you can see how the rising desire for digital detoxes is a new hiccup in marketing strategy.
Just one added reason pull value content is more important than ever.
“Push vs. Pull” vs. “Pull Value”
The push-versus-pull blueprint is not new. Push marketing—outwardly focusing efforts on getting the next sale—can be effective, but it’s also time-consuming and oftentimes only provides short-term gains. On the other hand, an inward concentration on building your brand’s credibility and reputation brings long-term benefits. Forbes contributor Pia Silva illustrates it in fable terms: “If push marketing is the hare, pull marketing is the turtle.”
JOMO puts brands in a precarious place
What is new to the push-pull strategy is how—and more importantly why—users engage with the pull content you produce. Michael Mischker describes today’s positive engagement as “peak moments in a digital engagement journey” that wield the power to switch mindsets from "brand is dead" to "brand is relevant." In order to do that, content has to be unimpeachably valuable to the end user.
Mischker’s defining characteristics of pull value content are not revolutionary, but if you think about them in light of the FOMO/JOMO hurdles, it heightens one’s marketing responsibility.
- Immediately useful: How could the content change one’s mindset in that moment?
- Authentic and plausible: Savvy consumers can pick up on BS. If you’re inauthentic in messaging, users will dive headfirst into JOMO and not even worry about FOMO.
- Worth sharing: The more you can get your audience to participate, the bigger your fan community grows.
- Entertaining: This has become almost too broad of a term but can still be useful if you’re hyper-focused on your target audience’s needs/wants.
- Provides actual value: The first step to achieving this is recognizing your own value—what you do best. You then feel solidly confident in passing that value along.
The rising desire for digital detoxes is a new hiccup in marketing strategy
As a writer, I’m constantly aware of these five characteristics and their imperativeness in each and every piece of content I compose. It’s one of the reasons I’m such an insatiable researcher and am always in search of material that “hits all the beats” upon my content creation. And, even though I’ve been doing this a long time, I still keep a mental checklist to ensure I’m hitting all five.
One last note: There is somewhat of a generational consideration here, but the gap in the generational divide is narrowing. Gen Z, the most digitally-savvy generation to date, will be the new buyers/decision-makers in no time. They already demand relevancy across all channels, and they’re quick to bounce if you don’t deliver. We can all take a lesson from their digital habits and get ahead of the game.