We had a thunderstorm blow through here one evening and the local news channels interrupted all programs to tell us Armageddon was upon us. The ubiquitous scrolls continued all evening with nothing newsy or important. Doppler radar was filling the screen with multiple colors with news terrorists flailing about in front of the blue screen. Yes a tornado touched down in a spot (they think) and blew around some tin and knocked over a couple of trees. It was March – it happens every year.
All the major networks had dueling meteorologists competing for viewership each trying to raise the volume and hyperbole to the point of frenzy. Somewhere Jim Cantore was smiling.
Television news departments were once the bastion of information, the town crier, the people you trusted completely (Walter Cronkite take a bow) and now they’ve dissolved to the point of the boy who cried wolf.
We have gone from inviting news broadcasters into our living rooms to having them throw themselves at us during our program viewing. These are acts of desperate people in an industry that is going away. Going away?
Yes going away. Network television with set viewer schedules, local news broadcasts at 6 and 11, and blackout ball games are going away. The internet provides people with unlimited options whenever they want to view them, sports leagues and college conferences are getting their own channels, and quality stories no longer have to reach the masses.
Customers now want the controls
How do you need to be reaching your customers differently?
Where do you find yourself shouting to be heard above the noise of the competition? It’s time to find a better way. The louder the noise, the more customers distrust the information they are hearing and then get angry. Remember the frustration over phone solicitation to the point we now have a no call list? Do you have any idea how many angry calls the stations got for interrupting programming and live sports events? People will find options to avoid the interruptions.
Consider how you need to be doing things differently in:
Getting your customer to want to hear your message
Letting the customer take the controls
Avoiding the old school methods of interruption “programming”