Fear Sells

Nothing motivates behavior – including buying behavior, whether B2C or B2B – quite like fear. Being a glass-half-full kind of person I wish it weren’t so, but that’s the reality.

Some fear is healthy and legitimate, and some fear is the byproduct of manipulation, feeding on people’s insecurities, ignorance and prejudices.

One thing I know: We’re living in fearful times because of the widening financial crisis and highly charged political season. There are many who will use fear to their advantage and profit from it, some unscrupulously.

I’ve worked on several B2B marketing campaigns in which fear was a legitimate motivator. For example, consider anything that requires security and protection, such as valuable company data. The fear of loss and resulting financial ramifications are a valid entry point for a marketing dialogue.

The point? Fear sells. As a marketer, use it responsibly. And as a buyer, beware.

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