I'm very curious as to people's opinions on using negative messaging in marketing. I generally try to avoid it at all costs but know of at least one person that really believes in it. Have you used negative messaging? Have you seen results?
I think one of my biggest issues with negative messaging isn't the message itself; it is what someone potentially takes away from it. For example, when I'm reading an email or a webpage, certain words and phrases are bound to pop out at me and then can be associated with whatever I am reading about, regardless of the actual messaging.
For example if you're trying to sell me a software solution and mention in your messaging that many implementations fail, there's a solid 50/50 chance the word "fail" will pop out at me and my mind will automatically associate it with your software solution. Obviously this was not your message, or the goal of your message by any means, but by placing certain negative words within the copy, the reader has the ability to visualize nearly anything.
Another kind of negative marketing I see is 'consequences of inaction' marketing. For example, "If you don't buy product x, you will not achieve the same success as a person using product x." Is this effective? Perhaps it simply depends on what you are selling? What do you think?