Industry Best Practice

Tactics and Best Practices on Effectively Executing the “Fear-Based” Marketing Strategy


Tactics and best practices on effectively executing the “fear-based” marketing strategy for a company whose products help secure companies’ data include Loss aversion, FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), Deadlines, VIP, Panic Selling, Fear of Missing Out (F.O.M.O) and Macro-Level Fear. Below, you will find more details.


  • The FUD tactics/strategy is the best for companies trying to sell against competitors whose products are similar either technologically or otherwise and also whose competitors offer cheaper prices.
  • In this tactic, the marketer recounts and expands on everything that could go wrong if the other competitor is chosen.
  • This strategy is usually successful because decision-makers often choose a marketing company even though they might be more expensive if the marketing company is perceived as the low-risk alternative.
  • This strategy has been used by several large companies including those that maintain data integrity such as IBM.



  • This fear-driven marketing strategy is based on one of the most basic fears: the fear of missing out.
  • This tactic is widely used by various companies, especially technology companies.
  • These companies come up with various product versions, programs, and products every year and convince users to buy them or else they’ll miss out on something better.
  • Most of the time, software or new product updates that comes with the launch of new programs and product versions don’t work on older products after a while.
  • Using this fear-driven tactic, they bank on consumers’ fear of missing out to sell their products.
  • This tactic is very successful as can be seen in the sale of smartphones which is at an all-time high despite the fact that there are always updated versions of the same phones every year.
  • F.O.M.O has encashed upon this fear and came up with a social proof marketing platform that increases sales and conversions by showing customer interactions”.
  • This has been proven to work for various companies including companies whose products help secure companies’ data (banking on the fear of data insecurity), dating websites (banking on an individual’s fear of being alone), among others.


5. VIP

  • This fear-based marketing strategy is on the basis that the consumer will miss out on some incredible deals if they are not a member.
  • This strategy is best among companies/businesses that put up a small membership fee such as buyers’ clubs (e.g. Costco).
  • This strategy is effective because people naturally want to be part of a select/special group of people or club that not everyone can get into and as such do all they can to get into the club.
  • Using this strategy comes with benefits such as giving members the privilege of skipping the line because they were traveling in business class or having an exclusive credit card that makes them feel special.


  • Although marketers and retailers don’t want to cause macro-level fears and do no cause it directly, studies have found that there is an increased consumption after events in the news that cause macro-level fears on consumers.
  • Under this strategy, companies use targeted promotions or send reminders (e.g., an item that was ‘saved for later’) to consumers following macro-level events, such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, controversial or fraudulent elections, disease outbreaks and more, tapping into consumers’ increased disposition to buy at those times.
  • According to marketing experts, “marketers could note these moments of fear and strategically target consumers with options and promotions to productively use the tendency to make choices in the present”.
  • This is because fearful consumers (especially consumed by macro-level fear) have been found to be more likely to make choices and take actions when they are afraid than when feeling other emotions.

Research Strategy:

In searching for tactics and best practices on effectively executing fear-based marketing strategies for a company whose products help secure companies’ data, we took advantage of reports from leading publications, expert blogs and reviewers, and industry databases to put together the best practices. We reviewed several sources on the best practices for effectively executing fear-based marketing strategies for a company whose products help secure companies’ data as well as other related fear-based marketing tactics and strategies that could apply to such a company. We found quite a number of strategies and practices, and we then selected the most common practices put together by experts and reviewers in the industry. These practices appear in almost all the sources we analyzed, so we have selected them as the best.

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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