The Answer

Your on-hold program is terrible. You know it. Your callers know it. Yet you choose to do nothing about it. In fact, this is a problem many businesses fail to address. The question is, ‘Why leave it like that?’ 


Ancient Alien Theorists believe the answer lies deep within the shadows of Mars. This article will present the scientific reasoning behind this phenomenon which is grounded in the teaching of communication visionary, Marshall McLuhan, and the Personal Economic Principle by Knowledge Economist, T.C. McElligott. The solution for halting this audio pandemic is compelling, and has the potential to radically shift modern global business marketing theory.

McLuhan is best known for the phrase, ‘The medium is the message.’ His theory is taught in University marketing and communications programs across the country. But what does it mean? Simply put, the message is greatly influenced by the method (medium) by which you send it. Stated another way, the method you choose to communicate through is more important than the message you wish to share.

When Britney Spears wanted to end her marriage to Kevin Federline she sent him a text with the following message: I WANT 2 DIVORCE U. The message is pretty clear. But the fact that she chose the medium of a text sent an even greater message: This relationship is not worth working through. It’s not even worth the time to invest in a two-way conversation. It is barely worth a statement, sent in as few characters as possible. The medium she chose spoke volumes.

T.C. McElligott spent years developing his economic principle which can best be illustrated like this: Two cars are sitting in a parking lot. One is the 2017 Aston-Martin DB11 which you just purchased off the showroom floor for $200,000. The other is a used, 1989 Ford Ranger Pick-up you bought for your son off of Craigslist for $1,500. While you are in the store, you get a door-dent in each vehicle. Which would upset you more? The answer is pretty clear. McElligott’s Personal Economic Principle states, ‘The greater the investment, the greater the attachment to that investment.’ The reason behind your reaction is simple: You invested more in one vehicle than the other. Conversely, the one you spent less to acquire – means less to you personally.

The on-hold medium sends a powerful message. As a business owner, you are in control of that message. Even though you know this, you still subject your callers to a terrible experience when you place them on hold. Why? Thomas Paine answered that question quite succinctly. ‘What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.’

Somebody dents your Aston-Martin and you get red hot. Yet you don’t have the same reaction with a dent in the pick-up truck. This is largely due to the investment you made. Just because there is a disparity in price does not diminish the importance of both vehicles.

Let’s look at this in terms of advertising. It is natural to focus on your outdoor marketing budget for next quarter. After all, you’ve got Cable TV, Radio, and Bus Board ads planned. Naturally, with as much as you are spending, you want every detail perfect before the campaign launches.

However, the amount you spend annually for on-hold advertising requires equal attention – if not more. The used Ford Ranger demands your time, energy, and resources; not because of the amount you invested. The importance of that vehicle is based on the knowledge that your son will be driving.

Your focus is not based on the investment you made, but in the value of the person using it.

Each caller is important to you. Their time is valuable – you know it. What you might not know is on-hold advertising doesn’t have to be bad, boring, or repetitive. Rather than simply telling your caller their time is valuable to you, treat their time waiting on hold as if it really is. That’s our specialty at On-Hold Concepts – crafting creative, interesting, and attention-getting advertising campaigns for companies who choose to value their caller’s time on hold as much as they say they do.

Invest your time, talent, resources, and creativity in this amazingly powerful and intimate medium.

The solution for bringing an end to the audio pandemic of terrible on-hold programming infecting phone systems globally – and the philosophy that will alter modern business marketing theory is simple: Focus on the value of the people calling you rather than the amount you invested. Your change in perspective will bring the necessary change in on-hold programming your callers desperately need.

As for the shadows on Mars, the answer is clear. Aliens.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee