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FOMO: Why Experiential Marketing Works Best on Millennials

By June 27, 2016 January 5th, 2020 No Comments

It’s no surprise to me that people my age are more likely to spend FOMO

Buying stuff is fun. Owning nice things makes you feel fancy. But I’d rather attend a Justin Bieber concert (don’t hate) or take a trip to NYC than buy a new pair of shoes.

And I’m not alone. According to an online survey by Harris Poll1, nearly 80% of millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in. As a collective, we find happier and more fulfilling lives when we experience enjoyable moments. But that’s not the only reason millennials enjoy experiences. Think about it in social media terms; on Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat you see perfect photos, hilarious captions, and great times. It is customary to make your life to look interesting and unique on these channels. This is just social media 101:

more experiences = more photos

more photos = better social media

better social media = the better your life looks

And attending parties, concerts, picnics and other events are perfect opportunities to capture photos and add to your profile. Ever heard of “Pics or it didn’t happen.”?

With this information on hand, it seems that experiential marketing was practically made for millennials with social media. The need for an aesthetically pleasing online profile mixed with a little FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for the oldies who were about to Google the acronym) drives people to concerts and other venues. People can easily find themselves snapping pics with a brand’s watermark in the corner at a selfie booth or grabbing a free branded koozie from a BA.

Exhibit A: Here is a photo of some of my friends that went to a bar while the Blues were in the playoffs.


Bud Light was there to grant anyone a free beer who took a photo with their selfie frame. And sure enough, (with the incentive of a free beer, of course) my friends shared their photos on Instagram, captioning them with the hashtag “BudLightParty”, which is written all over the frame. My friend Joe here looks like he’s having a great time on his social media (creating a bit of FOMO for his followers), he gets a free beer in the process, and Bud Light gets some awesome advertising. Everybody wins!

Creating a hands ­on experience between a brand and a customer just makes more sense, and the rewards are even higher when millennials and social media are involved.

1 https://eventbrite-s3.s3.amazonaws.com/marketing/Millennials_Research/Gen_PR_Final.pdf