Episode 4: Is It Ethical to Use Fear in Marketing?

Season #1

If fear is used to persuade people to do things, is it ethical to use fear in our marketing communications?

Most people don't give this question a second thought. 

But Christ-following business leaders and professional business communications who are seeking ways to take a stand in the marketplace (should) ponder this question.

It is no secret that fear is an emotion everyone possesses, and it CAN be used to motivate good and bad action.

In fact, fear-based marketing and selling often unite under the guise of high-pressure tactics that try to get someone to make a decision quickly.

When done "well," fear-based marketing can leverage insecurities people didn't realize existed inside themselves.

The good news is that not all fear is bad. Some fear can create good changes, too.

There is nothing wrong with using fear in marketing communications when it is done authentically without manipulation.


In this fourth episode, we'll walk through four points:

  1. Why fear is a powerful persuasion tool.
  2. Common ways businesses use fear in marketing. 
  3. What The Ultimate How-To Guide says about fear.
  4. Ethical ways you can use fear in your marketing communications.


Specific points we'll address include:

03:04   How fear impacts decision-making

06:06   Fear-based decision-making in marketing and sales

14:36   The dangers of fear-based marketing

19:47   Overcoming fear through faith

21:43   Using fear ethically and authentically in marketing communications

27:32   11.5 questions to consider when using fear in your marketing


Resources mentioned in this episode: