You know that feeling when you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see a friend on a great vacation? You wonder how long they’ll be there, what made them choose this vacation, or even how much it cost them. You’re excited for your friend, but you’d also love to be on vacation and get sidetracked searching for a place to go. Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a feeling of anxiety and/or concern that you have bypassed a rewarding opportunity or made an incorrect decision on where to invest your time and resources. Because we have so much visibility into what our friends and peers are doing on social media—and the nature of social media makes what they are doing look so rewarding—FOMO is more prevalent today than ever before.
FOMO is not a new concept. Just think back to when you were a child and one of your friends had a new toy. You also had to have it. Back then, FOMO was an easy issue to address. Your parents would teach you about sharing or being thankful for what you had. But what happens when FOMO begins to impact the lives of fully grown adults? Well, a 2018 study found that FOMO is felt by everyone, regardless of their age, and can lead to sleep problems, fatigue and stress.
While FOMO can have an impact on your personal life, it can also alter the future of an entire business, if not handled correctly. Think of all of the industries that have been disrupted in the past few years, and how the legacy industry leaders responded (or should have responded) to these threats. Hospitals tried to increase patient volume by advertising emergency room wait times and lost the trust of patients with inaccurate information. As soon as one hospital tried the advertising tactic, every other hospital in town wanted to be doing it, too, in spite of its ineffectiveness.
On the flipside, responding to innovation and creative business ideas is important for companies to stay relevant. AMC began a subscription movie service that overtook MoviePass with more flexibility and accessibility for customers—they responded to an innovation and created an experience that aligned with their customer’s journey rather than just following a trend.
For businesses, unchecked FOMO can cloud decision-making processes. Whether it be the desire to lead an industry trend, try a digital solution, or simply be thought of as an innovative brand, FOMO can cause processes to be skipped, projects to be rushed, and planning to take a backseat. In the world of digital, the difference between success or failure when introducing new solutions comes down to proper planning and aligning with your customer, not just keeping up with the latest trends.
In our latest insight report, Choosing the Right Digital Solution, we lay out the three pillars that must be in place when planning your next digital project. Learn how to manage FOMO in a competitive industry and accomplish your goals.