Downtime as Up Time


Think of all the places you go and have to wait.  The places to which you bring a book.  Or if you aren’t prepared, places where you have to entertain yourself with your mobile or thumbing through magazine. Perhaps people watching. These are fertile marketing opportunities.

What does every airline have in common? Waiting areas near the gate.  Doctor’s offices? Motor vehicle? They all have chairs and TVs. Waiting and TVs are happy bedfellows. Good marketers should look to trump the TV and the romance novel as pass times in places where consumers are bored and waiting. And they should do so with relevant, brand endemic experiences. If you are waiting to get your car fixed at Toyota, forced to watch Good Moring America, what might Toyota do to better entertain you?  Perhaps provide a car service seminar or a change-your-own-oil video? How about at the doctor’s office, a free consultation on nutrition or a free yoga demonstration by a local gym.

We are a Fast Twitch society and it is getting worse. Running a Zen clinic in the US wouldn’t be a growth industry. Everybody always needs to be doing something.  Experiential marketing ideas, with on-brand product demonstrations, is a wonderful technique. If we look at consumer downtime as it relates to our products and think about ways to move them closer to a sale, (see also see Twitch Point Planning), we are competing on a level most marketers are not. What would Charlie Sheehan say?