Our Noisy World

We’re living in a noisy world. We’re living at gigabit speeds, a world of rapid change. Back in the ’70s, we used to see between 500 to 1,500 ads per day. In 2020, we see between 5,000 and 10,000. That means messages are coming at us at a rapid speed. Our TVs have gotten bigger and louder. Our phones went from being voice communication devices to computers. And, our cars have screens in them. While driving to work, the billboards can now digitally change. If you’re sitting in traffic, you could see five or 10 different messages from one billboard that used to see only one. Even your mailbox has become filled with ads. Your bills even come with ads on them.

There are so many different ways that all of this information is flooding us. And this information comes in one of two methodologies. It’s either from a positive or negative viewpoint or what I like to call a position of fear or a position of hope. As we think about what’s happened – this information overload has exploded. A lot of that has to do with the technologies at our fingertips. Our TVs have evolved into computers. Our computers are now TVs, and our phones are both TVs and computers that pile on text and email.

In The Year 2000

Back in 2000, that was supposed to be the information age, the revolution, right? There were no iPhones, Netflix, Google, any of that kind of stuff. Well, technically, Google was there, but it didn’t become mainstream until it started to become part of Yahoo. Think about back in 2000, we’re renting DVDs from Blockbuster. Newspapers are dying. And the reason they’re dying is that by the time they’re printed and delivered to us, there have been 10 new breaking news stories that are completely making what we get in our driveways obsolete.

So what do we pay attention to?

Change Happens Fast

Let me give you a handful of stats that I got from a video. You may have seen these videos before, called Socialnomics, and this is the 2019 version. In 2020,

  • The average person will have more conversations with a bot than with their spouse.
  • A goldfish has a longer attention span than a human being.
  • More people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush.
  • Two out of three people get their news from Facebook.
  • 93% of all buying decisions are influenced by social media.
  • People will soon trust Amazon more than they will trust their bank.
  • Monthly users on Facebook and YouTube are bigger than the populations of China, India, and the US combined.
  • 80% of all mobile consumption is video.
  • Two people join LinkedIn every second. That’s crazy.

And what it does is it invokes fear in us because things are changing so fast.


Fears can be categorized in two ways, they can be evolutionary or conditional. Evolutionary is the fear that’s hard-wired into us. That’s the fight or flight. The other fear is conditional. That’s the one that’s learned through a complex set of interactions with the world and by observing behaviors. That’s what advertising can do, it can build something in us like FOMO, which is fear of missing out. What we have to do is put a new face on that fear. You could look at fear from two different perspectives. One of them is

  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

and the other one is

  • Face
  • Everything
  • And
  • Rise

Obviously, the first one has a very negative connotation and the second one has a positive spin. When it comes to marketing, it really doesn’t matter whether you use a negative or a positive. It really depends on what you’re selling.

Next, products and services can be broken into two groups. They can be useful, practical, or utilitarian, or they can be pleasant, gratifying, or hedonic. There have been advertising studies that show when it comes to general promotion, there’s little advantage between negative and positive advertising. When it comes to problem avoidance, negative ads work better, but positive messages work better when you’re trying to promote a utilitarian or basic solution.

That means you don’t have to use negative or fear to stand out. You can use a positive message to stand out. Even when producing positive messages, this is a great utilitarian product, they use FOMO or fear of missing out.

You’ve certainly heard the phrase: “but wait, there’s more.” You can get twice as much if you just pay shipping and handling. You can guarantee they’ve optimized whether you are going to a website or picking up the phone and calling somebody. They’ve figured out how to get you to buy more product because you might miss out on a great deal. That’s the kind of thing that the fear does even with the utilitarian product.


We’ve got those two different fear acronyms. But I don’t want you to fear, I want you to hope. And I have an acronym for that, too. Hope stands for

  • Help
  • Other
  • People
  • Excel

Over the course of 40 years of doing business, I’ve learned some basic truths and they’re built upon relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is about customer relationship management. I’m not talking about the CRM as in the software, I’m talking about the philosophy of caring about other people.

No matter what you’re producing or selling, whether it’s a product or service, if you can give hope, help somebody better themselves through the messages that you’re sharing, you have a better opportunity to create a relationship that will grow into sales.

Here are the three components of relational HOPE marketing.

  • You have to be authentic
  • You have to be authoritative
  • And, you have to be accessible

That means you have to be willing to answer the questions, respond to their comments, and be engaged with people that engage with you. Messages of hope help other people believe, achieve, and succeed. I’m really not trying to come across as an evangelical preacher or a Tony Robbins seminar. What I’m talking about is if you produce positive messages and people are in the right place at the right time to need your help, you have a much better opportunity trying to help them by building a relationship with them with positive, hopeful messages than you do by trying to create fear or FOMO.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is this goes a long way to building that – know, like, and trust. I want you to walk away with something. And that is that every business is different. Every person is different. Every time somebody may be consuming what you’re producing can be different. But the bottom line is producing messages of hope that are authentic, authoritative, and accessible will help you build better relationships with customers in the long-term.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about content marketing through FEAR vs. HOPE. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?