Blog: Frank Kenna 

Frank Kenna (bio)
President and CEO
The Marlin Company

Thursday, 04 September 2014

Typical scenario: you’ve got a nice new, digital signage (DS) system and find that you’re not getting the readership you hoped for. After all, spreadsheets full of KPIs, and PowerPoints summarizing the last quarter’s results may not have quite the draw you’re looking for. You need something to attract people to the DS, something that they’ll find dynamic and interesting. How about sports?

Sports are a huge draw. Local, network and cable TV networks’ schedules are filled with various sporting events and bids for major events are in the billions of dollars. You can take advantage of this magnetic power in these easy ways.

Countdown clock – Assuming your DS has a countdown feature, set it to count down to the opening day of your employees’ favorite team. If you can paste the team’s logo in the background, even better (see example in photo above).

Team schedule – Copy and past your local teams’ schedules into a piece of content and put it in rotation for a week or so.

Play-by-play recap – Is there a big game going on during the workday? Find a website that does a real-time play by play recap (text, not video) and post it. People will be able to keep tabs on the game without disrupting their work schedules.

Golf leaderboard – Similar to the above, post a URL of a website that shows the leaderboard for the current tournament. This only has to stay up for one minute or less since the information is a quick read.

RSS feeds – Every major sports team produces at least one RSS feed that will automatically send info to your DS news in real time in text format. For example, here’s a page with feeds for all the Major League Baseball teams. I like this idea because they are a quick read and change very frequently, perfect for on-the-go DS viewers.

These 5 ideas are all tried-and-true; they’re easy to implement and change constantly, which is exactly what you want for drawing employees to your DS, where they’ll also read the important workplace content you’ve included. The cool thing is that you’re able to leverage the 100’s of billions of dollars spent annually on professional sports to attract your employees to your DS… for free.

Posted by: Admin AT 10:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

There’s a lot of disruption going on these days… have you noticed? Here are some examples.

The Amazon online model has got brick and mortar retailers on the run. According to this Forbes article, 34% of Americans say they do 50% of their shopping online, a 99% increase from 2006. Meanwhile, J.C. Penny’s, Sears and Target are closing stores.  

Uber is transforming the taxi industry by connecting drivers and passengers through smartphones – without any need for Uber to own cars or buildings or employ drivers. This has the taxi companies in defensive mode trying to outlaw this disruptive model, but that’s a losing battle in the long run.

Tesla has come out of nowhere with a top-rated and exciting car and has changed the rules of automobile sales. So far three states have outlawed that approach to “protect the consumer,” but this more efficient method will win out eventually.

The latest disrupter in the news is Airbnb, a company founded 5 years ago that matches up empty rooms in peoples’ houses and apartments with others looking for a place to stay. A recent valuation pegs the company at $10 billion, just behind Hilton, Marriott and Starwood.

I mention these examples because they caught their competitors by surprise. And they’re not even true competitors – they do compete with the older companies for business, but are in the process of replacing them and are in turn spawning their own competitors.  

Are one of these disrupters coming at your company… maybe just out of your eyesight at the moment? Or will a disrupter from another industry lure some of you employees away? Are any of your employees thinking of ideas to disrupt your company?  

These are good questions to ponder, as being prepared is much preferable to getting blindsided. One way to prepare is to make sure you’re truly engaged with your workforce. Do they know what you’re thinking and, perhaps more importantly, do you know what they are? Do they know you’re interested in their ideas – disruptive or not?  

With radical, new business models sprouting up everywhere, an engaged workforce is more important than ever. Put engagement on your 2nd quarter to-do list and disrupt yourself before someone else does.  

Posted by: Admin AT 02:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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