Here’s why you need to kick live television out of your waiting room

Having a television in your business is a great way to entertain people while they wait. In fact, the presence of a single screen can reduce perceived wait time by as much as 35 percent, making a 30-minute wait feel like 20.

Great! So you’ve decided to add a TV to your waiting area. Now what? Probably hook it up to cable or satellite, right? Familiar programming. It’s always on. What could go wrong?

By mindlessly hooking up the TV in your waiting area to live television, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity to market to a captive and attentive audience. Where cable and satellite miss the mark, Waiting Room TV picks up the slack and delivers entertaining and educational content to engage the people in your waiting room.

Cable Definitely Doesn’t Promote Your Business

A common objection to paying for Waiting Room TV is “I have no way of knowing it’s working.” That may or may not be a valid criticism and we’ll discuss it in more depth shortly. But for now, let’s look at the problem from a different perspective – How is cable or satellite driving business?

The argument is that a product that’s designed to entertain people in your waiting room while educating them about your products and services can’t be definitively linked back to a sale. Assuming that’s true, does that mean that cable TV can be linked back to any sales?

Subscriptions costs for traditional TV and Waiting Room TV are approximately the same. Both products are focused on entertaining. But only one integrates your brand and promotional messages.

So if you’re paying for waiting room entertainment, why wouldn’t you choose the option that works to promote your brand and to drive sales? (I say works to but the truth is, Digital Signage is actually quite effective)

It Might Be Promoting A Competitor

Let’s say you’re out shopping. While in a business, you see an ad for their competitor. It’s more relevant to your needs and saves you money. What are you going to do?

Chances are you’ll drop what you’re about to buy and head on over to the competitor’s store. And if it’s too inconvenient to do it that time, you’ll definitely consider going to the competitor first next time.

Giving the competition a potential megaphone into your business is dangerous. And with live TV, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Anyone can buy ad time. If your competition rolls out a TV-heavy campaign, they could be talking directly to the customers in your waiting area.

Do you really want that?

Not Everything Is About ROI

In the world of marketing, there’s hard marketing and soft marketing. Hard marketing can be directly linked to ROI, such as online ads or email campaigns. Soft marketing is more about raising brand awareness, engagement, and building loyalty.

You might think hard marketing is greater than soft marketing because of how measurable it is. But the truth is, both are important, and not mutually exclusive. Yes, hard marketing helps the marketer learn how effective their message is through data, but it has it limits.

Since people are able to filter their streams of content and tune out interruptive marketing and advertising tactics, the role of alternative marketing and advertising techniques that offer contextually relevant, informative, and/or entertaining content increases. In this consumption space, heavy-handed calls to action reduce the authenticity and efficacy of the tactic.

The Garrigan Lyman Group

Waiting Room TV provides a perfect alternative to the types of hard selling ads consumers are used to. A person can watch a clip from one of their favorite shows while at the same time being exposed to content about your business.

The average time spent in the waiting room can be anywhere between 5-30 minutes depending on where you’re visiting. That means marketers have a 5-30 minute opportunity to speak to an engaged and captive audience.

Consumers are growing tired of traditional interruptive marketing. But when they’re engaged with a business (such as being in a waiting room), they’re ready to pay attention.

If you want to try measuring the success of Waiting Room TV, include a graphic or two with an exclusive call to action. Chances are, you’ll find that a soft marketing platform can be just as effective as hard selling.

Your Audience Wants Information

A recent study set out to examine what patients were doing in the waiting room before seeing the doctor. What they found was that 20% of participants used that time to research health information on their smartphone and most were educating themselves on the symptoms before their appointment.

In other words, patients want to be informed when they go into a doctor’s office. And that same trend shows up in other businesses as well. Take automotive repair for example. When it comes time to explain why you should have your timing belt replaced while your car is already being worked on for a leaky gasket head, it helps the customer to know why the additional maintenance makes sense.

Think about all the nuances in your industry. What basic and helpful information should people be aware of? For a veterinarian, it might be things like how to prevent fleas, or what to do if your pet eats something it shouldn’t. Whatever industry you’re in, there are countless possibilities for the types of messages you can promote.

So… Educate Them

Consumers have access to unlimited amounts of information. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad (I’m looking at you Internet message boards).

Yet, at the end of the day, they come to you because you’re the expert source that they rely on for trustful information. WebMD hasn’t made doctors redundant – it simply fills a need for people who want to learn.

Step up and be the expert source that people want. Provide them with useful information. Share industry knowledge. When people feel informed, they’re more comfortable and better prepared when it comes time to talk.

So if you want to take control over your messaging in your waiting area and provide content that’s entertaining and informative, kick cable or satellite to the curb and replace it with Waiting Room TV.

You can keep the same type of entertainment content you’d have with cable, but alongside messaging about your products or services. Or you can focus your TV content  100% on educational and brand content. But the important thing is you get to control the message. After all, who understands the people in your waiting room better than you?

Interested in what Digital Signage can do for your business? Take the next step by requesting more information today.