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The Intuitive Customer - Helping You Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Oct 29, 2022

Neither of us is much of a runner. In fact, to get us to run with any kind of speed would require some motivation—like a tiger chasing us. That’s because fear is a powerful motivator. Fear is also a powerful tool for marketers to get customers or potential customers to care about something. 


So, why does fear motivate us so much? Safety is an important value for all of us. When it is threatened, we notice. In other words, fear is a strong emotion, which makes it hard to ignore or control. In some cases, you might even have an involuntary response as the fear you feel taps into something primal. Michael McIntyre provides an engaging and comedic perspective on this topic here. 


When you have something to sell, it can be challenging to cut through the clutter to get people to care about what you have. In fact, getting people to care about anything can be challenging, whether there is a potential sale involved or not. That’s one of the reasons that marketers find themselves using it; fear can get people to care. 


Political ads are big fans of this type of marketing. Campaigns use the opponent’s platform and voting record to scare voters about what the opponent might do if elected. Of course, the candidate campaign ad creators want voters to choose would never do those things. So, fear motivates the voters to give their vote to the political campaign’s candidate. It’s genius, and very common. 


In this episode, we discuss why fear motivates humans, how marketers can use it effectively and what marketers should avoid. Plus, we decide which mask Colin should wear for Halloween. Don’t miss out on the exciting debate.




Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience


Among other ways, Loss Aversion, which is part of the larger behavioral science concept of  Prospect Theory, is part of the equation in using fear as a marketing tool. You might remember that Loss Aversion describes that in our minds, losses loom larger than gains. To put it another way, we hate losing things more than we enjoy winning things. Loss Aversion is why we are sometimes motivated to respond to a marketing offer. We don’t want to risk losing something. 


Here are a few other key moments in the discussion:


  • 03:46  We talk about our newest part of the podcast, video; click here to subscribe to the Intuitive Customer video feed for the podcast. 
  • 05:36  We talk about how fear is a tool used by marketers because it is a powerful emotion that causes people to care about things they might not have before.   
  • 08:45  We review the concept of fear aversion, FOMO, and how these can feed into these marketing messages. 
  • 15:43  Colin recalls the work of British comedian Michael McIntyre and his bit about wasps and bees, which demonstrates how we sometimes try to control our very real fear.
  • 18:36  We explore why fear is so motivating to us and why we seek it out in “safe” spaces. 
  • 20:56 We explain how fear appeals are motivating, but you should do these things if you want them to work and avoid some other things to keep it from backfiring. 
  • 31:05 We share our practical suggestions for what you should do with this information. 


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Customer Experience Information & Resources


LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the 'World's Top 150 Business Influencers.' As a result, he has 290,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy as one of the best management consultancies for the last four years in a row. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University. 


Why Customers Buy: As an official "Influencer" on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 35,000 subscribers. 


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