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Atomic Cost of Waiting Survey program for client TOA Technologies plugged on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien

It turns out that “waiting for the cable guy” costs the American workforce nearly $38 billion every year in lost time? That’s what TOA (Time of Arrival) Technologies’ 3rd annual Cost of Waiting Survey found. And Atomic conceived and designed the program.

Last week, this staggering statistic caught the attention of both David Letterman and Conan O’Brian. The late night show hosts both opened their respective monologues with references to the report, bringing national consumer attention to the survey’s findings and TOA’s solution to the “cable guy problem.”

TOA Technologies' software is used by cable companies and other providers to cut the wait-time window they offer customers and accurately predict in-home appointment arrival times for many global brands, including Cox Communications, Arhaus Furniture and Virgin Media. Its technology touches the lives of millions of Americans, but most consumers don't really think of the cable and delivery guy past their current service appointment.

So, how did Atomic get TOA, a business-to-business mobile workforce software company from Cleveland widespread attention from a slew of major national broadcast, print and outline outlets?

TOA came to Atomic nearly three years ago with the goal of obtaining more media awareness in consumer press, as well as business and trade outlets. Atomic’s strategic recommendation: focus on bigger picture consumer problems and answer the fundamental question: How much does all this waiting really cost customers and companies?

The first national Cost of Waiting Survey generated 18 pieces of media coverage in 2009, mostly in trade press. The following year Atomic expanded research to include the UK and Germany, while modifying the questions to hone in on popular themes from 2009 and identify new trends. Program materials included more in-depth reports, infographics and a video. US coverage grew 83% from the previous year — especially in the consumer space, with more than 30 media placements.

This year Atomic expanded markets to include Brazil, an emerging cable market, and engaged with IBOPE Zogby to help identify trends in the customer service space and reevaluate the survey questions, leveraging benchmarks of relevant statistics from previous years.

The 2011 findings gave Atomic the opportunity for a NYC media tour with TOA’s CEO, Yuval Brisker, who hosted pre-briefings with Fortune, CNN Money and Reuters. The tour and all messaging highlighted 3 key trends: social media’s impact on the space, the shorter fuse and higher expectations of customers across the board, and the need for a human element in customer service. Atomic’s focus on top-tier media and trade press generated coverage by media influencers and national outlets, including Good Morning America, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, CNBC and the Huffington Post. To date, the survey has generated 88 pieces of media coverage in the US alone, a 193% increase over last year and 360% more coverage than the first report.

The Cost of Waiting conversation continues to cycle, with Twitter mentions surpassing last weekend’s traditional and online news coverage and many of the national articles spurring strong opinions from readers, generating at least 30 comments per article. By elevating TOA’s differentiators and business model within key media interviews, the news cycle began to build into a problem and solution conversation — highlighting TOA’s business model and how they solve a frequent consumer need.

From Conan O’Brian to USA Today, more than 110 million people have read, watched or listened to news on TOA’s Cost of Waiting 2011 survey. That’s more than 1/36 of the world’s population — which is another stat we’re thinking of emailing to Letterman’s producers.

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