Recently several publications have been talking about FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), and predicting how it’s set to become a major player in future online campaign strategies. One article even talks about a “FOMO INDEX”, ranking brands according to the fear factor they command! Apart from the fact I’m a little shocked to see the word FOMO used in a business article so much, I also have some slightly different thoughts on the matter myself.
I understand that people don’t want to miss out on anything now a days (FOMO), but what I think they often really mean is that they want to feel included, there is a difference between those two statements, one is driven by a type of fear, the other by the much more natural human instinct of belonging.
In the last two years alone we have created 90% of the data available in the world, and the amount of data being produced is roughly doubling every year. What people suffer from nowadays is not actually information overload, its filter failure, meaning we spend a lot of time seeking out sources of content that are meaningful, and relevant to our daily lives.
Recently a study found that a 70% of people who consume news, do so purely for the sake of sharing it with others later in the same day, this essentially makes useful content an ever increasingly valuable social currency.
What brands and agencies alike have to get right now is learning how to become great filters by starting to behave a little bit more like editors. This is a media neutral challenge, yes a lot of it each year is increasingly becoming digital based, but at the end of the day it’s just as simple as helping people feel included, the more exclusive the inclusion, generally the more unique the brand offering.
The way this will happen is by us looking at a few different things:
- Filtering and creating relevant content / branded utilities (Through carefully planned social media profiles, and branded written or video content etc).
- Weaving that content in to a brand story that stands for something meaningful (i.e. not just a sales pitch), this helps create tribes and a sense of belonging.
- Making sure that story and content is available and constantly optimised for each, and as many media channels as possible (both new and traditional channels).
In this ever-changing world there are of course other things that need changing too, the whole client/agency business model for a start has not really changed much since the 60s. As the way people consume content is changing, so the way we buy and sell media is slowly shifting too, this will no doubt bring about some interesting, and much-needed change in business models across the industry. That’s a story for another day though.