Marketers know we are driven by emotions. The biggest is fear. But fear is not weakness, it’s doubt.
The only time we let desires drive our decisions is with our desire to avoid risk. In life, our desires are overwhelmed by our fears – they become our subconscious driving force.
It goes back to our animal survival instincts. And it’s the same in marketing.
Allaying fears will always beat satisfying a need
Tapping into people’s fears has always been a better marketing ‘tool’ than offering people what they desire, what they want. And it always beats what they need – the practical ‘need’ barely gets glanced at.
In other words, people buy benefits not features. It’s part of the old truth, that one of the strongest ‘benefits’ is reducing risks, allaying their fears. Allowing them to sleep well at night.
Identify the elephant in the room
So, what are some of the fears that can be highlighted in your marketing, and that are solved or removed with your service? What fears are at play when your customers are choosing between you and your competitor? Identify and address the elephant in the room.
Fear of failure or to be seen to fail is a strong one. In fact with all fears, the perception, of what others might think is the reality even if it’s wrong. So if there’s a chance you would be seen to be losing money, by the people you want to impress, it’s less likely you will buy or invest. Even if the potential for loss, in reality, is small.
Rejection is another big fear – of being turned down; of asking and not getting.
Other fears that play on us all include: The fear of losing the race (so don’t enter); of being seen to be stupid (so do nothing); of being different, but not in a nice way (so stick to the boring, monotonous routine?).
3 typical opportunities and how we justify rejecting them
Here are three typical opportunities that we are presented with in business – why do so few people take them up?
- Raising our profitability by introducing new Cloud software (“maybe, but I might lose money and credibility if there is a security breach”).
- Raising my profits with a new marketing approach (“maybe, but it might fail and it will be a very public failure. The whole industry will see it”).
- Being the most innovative company, the Thought Leader for our industry by introducing a new product range (“maybe, but we could just end up looking stupid”).
All of these fears out motivate our attempts to grow or to improve ourselves. Or to try to stand out from the crowd of competitors.
Fear of what our fellow man thinks is always more powerful than the desire to have something better.
As marketers, play on these fears. Use them to your advantage.
As a business manager, recognise them for what they are. Then ignore them.
Read about Lead Generation for your Business.