Editorial: Delivering value - Day-By-Day

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By Len Monheit

From time to time, it’s important to revisit a bit of history in order to put immediate opportunities into perspective.

When my colleagues and I first became involved in NPIcenter, NPIWatch was a ‘whenever’ publication with a target frequency of about every two weeks. There were no Daily e-newsletters for the industry – there was no need and little ‘daily’ news. In fact, some of the print publications were primarily news-oriented. Over the past several years, the frequency of news and communication has certainly accelerated, as has the proliferation of vehicles to deliver this news and information. Some would say, in fact, that the vehicles have over-proliferated. Others argue that most, if not all, have inherent value.

If we expand our parameters to consider the use of the Internet and technology in general, the ‘because we can’ approach of six years ago, has evolved, in many cases, to a ‘because it’s valuable’, colored with a ‘because it’s neat’ flavor.

Establishing value, in the ‘e’ world, is an interesting concept. If you’re really and truly on the forefront, chances are that the value you offer won’t be perceived by the bulk of your audience. Sure, some will accept the proposition on faith, but if the organization has not established credibility and unique attributes, chances are it won’t have a chance to prove its value. The same holds true in any evolving, dynamic field or industry.

In many cases, establishing value involves either an investment, or the defining of a niche, or both. In either case, the organization develops and launches the solution, and actively demonstrates its value hoping that eventually, industry will buy on or consider the solution so fundamental to the way they do business that they cannot conceive of operating in the solution’s absence. This evolution is really the Holy Grail of implementing technology –your offering is widely accepted and adopted as the industry standard. It’s extremely ironic to note that often, the most successful originate as a niche either not identified, or deliberately left vacant by established leaders.

If we accept this argument, we are led to consider our current environment and the empty niches and the next evolution of the use of technology. I’ve written several times about industry communication patterns as it relates to events, and this is one area that we’re already seeing change. Perhaps the most successful single sponsorship I’ve seen was the MEG-3™ sponsorship of the memory sticks at last year’s NBJ Newport Summit. The event proceedings were all contained on the sticks given to each attendee.

We’re currently seeing attempts to take digital content delivery to the next communication level, we’re seeing the aggregation of information at point of order and point of sale to make business decisions easier and we’re observing numerous web-based educational efforts that will continue to increase in upcoming months. As all of these developments are evaluated, they and the current offerings they compete with will be measured, not only using the criteria of ‘what’s different’ but also, ‘what’s better’, and ‘better’, in this context, must deliver solid, bottom-line value. Some will fail the test.

The adage suggests that ‘information (or knowledge) is power’. Actually, having information that you can use, in a form that is readily useful – is power. If any of these elements are lacking, all you have is clutter – of mind or operations. And clutter often impacts efficiency so a corollary to the adage might be ‘improperly formatted information is paralyzing’ or something like that.

It is interesting to measure some of the new offerings we have seen as well as those we will see in upcoming months against these observations and parameters.

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