American Business Brokers - April 2023




INSIDE 7824 Estero Blvd., 3rd Floor Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 1 2 Know When to Sell Your Business 3 Ways to Move More During the Day

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Thinking About Selling Your Business in 2023?

The Limits of Fear- Based Marketing

Does Your Marketing Rely on Scare Tactics? FEAR FACTOR

Fear-based marketing is as old as advertising itself. Many companies have succeeded in scaring their customers into opening their wallets. But despite its proven effectiveness, there are limits to fear’s ability to sell. So, when is amping up your customers’ anxiety a good thing, and when will it just make them tune out? Fear inspires us to take action. When we’re worried about our finances, safety, relationships, or social acceptance, we want to eliminate the anxiety as quickly and painlessly as possible. Therefore, companies can effectively convince people to purchase a product by introducing fear and promptly providing a solution. But while fear motivates us, it’s not the only emotion we respond to. Advertisers have long understood the best marketing generates strong feelings among its audience,

and research shows emotional triggers are effective selling tools. But should you always target fear when other options are available? Relying on fear can turn off your potential customers. For a start, people don’t like to feel manipulated. We’ve all seen overblown fear-based marketing that suggests catastrophic consequences in a relatively low-stakes scenario. Generally, we roll our eyes and turn away. And at that moment, we lose faith in the company’s willingness to be upfront and honest with us. Further, too much fear numbs us, and we become complacent. When every commercial on TV or email in your inbox presents a new threat, we no longer feel heightened emotion — and we stop paying attention. Too much fear also gives way to disgust; some things are so awful we don’t want to think about them. Consider those infamous SPCA commercials

showing abused and neglected animals. They may inspire some people to give, but most of us change the channel. Meanwhile, other brands like Disney rely on nostalgia, togetherness, and joy and have seen excellent results. Of course, making people feel warm and fuzzy about car insurance or mold remediation is much more challenging. But many companies have succeeded by turning the usual message on its head and focusing on peace of mind instead of fear. While fear-based marketing can work, it’s easy to go overboard. Only use fear in moderation, and don’t forget to close with a message of hope. You want to leave your customers feeling empowered, not helpless or manipulated.




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