Negative social proof is often used by marketers to persuade people to do something by highlighting how many people are doing the opposite. Unfortunately, it’s usually counter-productive, so should never be used in fund marketing.
For example, governments often run negative social proof campaigns, by publicising low voting rates – in the hope that it will persuade people to turn out and vote in the next election. But studies show it doesn’t work because people often think ‘if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t I?’ And financial marketing often uses negative social proof by concentrating on the message that large numbers of people neglect to invest. But this could be counter-productive, as it gives potential investors little impetus to act. Instead, it may be wise to send out messages that focus on the large numbers of people that do invest in funds and, even better, in your particular fund.
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