SXSW, the Austin based festival of film, music and technology, is famously hard to navigate.

Not only are there literally hundreds of talks going on across the entire city each day but, if you happen to be in the know, there’s also an endless array of parties to attend where you can find yourself hobnobbing with the best in the business.

If, however, you’re not super confident with the local geography, aren’t in with the right people or at a loss as to how to navigate the mind-boggling SXSW schedule, you’re going to feel a lot like you’re missing out. 

When I attended a few years ago there was another element that would shape your experience – whether or not you had a Samsung phone.

That year, Samsung was the brand that owned the show, and it wasn’t by simply slapping adverts all over Austin, but by playing into people’s very real fear of missing out (FOMO) that plagues every attendee’s mind.

In addition to the Samsung VR rollercoaster which had queues stretching around the block, Samsung ran two other popular activations.

One was a series of vending machines full of Samsung ‘swag’ placed around the city and only accessible to people with a Samsung phone (and it’s inbuilt payment system) and the second  was a series of nights out exclusively for those with a Samsung phone. This was the one that gave me massive FOMO.

Samsung clearly knows the power of FOMO and the fact that we, as people, instinctively want to be involved and know what’s going on. In fact, 69% of people say they experience this regularly.

But, smartest of all, Samsung used tactics that incite FOMO – and created an appetite for their brand – whilst also rewarding their existing customers.

Samsung recently took their FOMO marketing to a new level with the London launch of ‘Secret Menus’.

Partnering with four popular restaurants, Samsung customers can now unlock dishes on menus that no one else can access – the ultimate FOMO inducer for millennials in the city, and the best piece of surprise and delight for current customers.

There is a lot that B2B marketers can learn from this simple marketing tactic. We’ve talked about ‘hyping’ B2B products in the past, but knowing that B2B buyers are more driven by the emotional than the rational, a good old dose of FOMO is sure to drive interest in a brand.

And, like Samsung, B2B marketers need to think more about their current customers: how to surprise and delight them, how to make them feel valued and how to turn them into the envy of their peers:

  • Guest speakers at events that only your customers can attend, whilst everyone else strains to hear a muffled Louis Theroux through a closed door
  • Networking events at private members clubs for people that use your product, leaving others to ponder what great new contacts have passed them by
  • Valuable content pieces only available for a limited time and only to loyal buyers, that no one else will have the chance to see but will be sure to talk about


[Header photo: Jeff Qian on Unsplash]

Don’t miss your opportunity.

Get in touch if you would like to talk to us about putting some FOMO into your campaigns.


[Header photo: Jeff Qian on Unsplash]