Ok, here I go again. What could Netflix possibly have to do with your customers, or their eyes?
Netflix recently released its 3rd quarter earnings, which were much higher than analysts anticipated. Ok, great for Netflix, right? Well, yes, but see the possibilities here. Netflix ended September with 31.1 million U.S. subscribers, eclipsing the estimated 29 million subscribers that HBO’s 41-year-old pay-TV channel is believed to have in the country.
In addition, the debut of two exclusive series occurred during this quarter. They were the critically acclaimed “Orange Is The New Black,” and “Derek,” which also got largely positive reviews. In a Monday letter reviewing the third quarter, Netflix predicted “Orange Is The New Black” — a drama/comedy set in a women’s prison — will end this year as its most-watched piece of original programming yet, outstripping “House of Cards,” a hit released earlier this year that won three Emmy awards.
Alright, Nik…again, great for Netflix, but what does that have to do with me?
Eye strain. Lots and lots of eye strain. While there are no definitive numbers yet, the majority of news outlets believe that at least 65% of those utilizing Netflix are doing so from a computer/tablet/ipad. With the way Netflix launches entire seasons of shows at one time, subscribers will sit and have ‘marathons’, watching an entire season in 1-2 days. That’s somewhere between 10-20 hours of staring at a near point fixation spot.
And Netflix has no plans to curtail its programming. If anything, they will produce more and more programming, as well as purchasing entire popular series runs. While the concept of ‘Netflix eye strain’ may sound funny to some, let me give you an example most of us can relate to. At some time or another, we have all had one of those days where we did a ‘tv marathon’ of movies, etc. Maybe it was a rainy day. Maybe it was a holiday marathon. Regardless, most people have done this. Well, now Netflix allows anyone to have those marathons, any time they want, for a low rate of roughly $8 a month.
So, how do you take this information and turn it into profit for your business? Marketing, and specific questions at the time of office visit. Marketing-start producing a tongue in cheek ‘netflix intervention to save your eyes’ campaign on social media, or whatever creative idea you can use to play off this phenomenon. And in the office…ASK. Ask how much time your patient/customer spends staring at near point ‘smart’ devices-phone, ipad/tablet, and computer (oh, and let’s not forget the soon to be released PS4, which will have millions of people from 10 years old and up attached to a controller for hours at a time).
Eye strain. We all suffer from it in one form or another. Instead of presenting ‘computer’ or ‘office’ glasses, start presenting customers with ‘smart device’ glasses-glasses to enable them to spend the time they’d like on their smart devices without the strain they are used to having now. Educate them on giving their eyes a break, on walking away from the computer or device for 10 minutes every hour. Demonstrate the clarity they will have with a pair of no-glare treated ‘smart device’ glasses by trial framing them and having them pull out their phone or tablet.
And let’s say they don’t ‘Netflix’. Usually people fall into one of a few categories when it comes to smart device use: they are tv/movie watchers, they are readers, or they play games on them. Find out which they are, find out how much time they spend doing this activity, demonstrate and educate the benefits of smart device eyewear, and you may have extra sales, but you’ll also have a customer who thinks you are up to date on technology and the eye-and they will tell others.
Nikki DiBacco, ABO/NCLE, is an educator, writer, optical owner, and co-founder and ‘unmanageable’ partner of The Visionaries Group. Learn more at www.the.vg or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org