The Greatest Opportunity for Value Creation

October 5, 2012

It’s an amazing time to be a business executive.  Never before have we had the access to information that we have today.

  • Want to know how many people search Google using specific words or phrases?  Not a problem, you can have that information in an instant.
  • Looking for the latest insights into how to successfully generate leads?  No worries, Google has 3.3 million options for you in .34 seconds.
  • Want to know how to successfully implement performance management?  Google’s got 155 million options for you.

I think you get my point.  Getting access to information is easier and more robust than ever before.

While on one hand I love it.  I’d never be able to do what I do without it.  But, at the same time I find it overwhelming at best, and more often debilitating.  As we’re developing our new website, every task is difficult because it feels as though there is too much information.  Yeah, it’s easy for me to research keywords and once I know the words I want, finding someone who will “get me to page 1” is pretty easy.  The problem is making the trade-offs necessary to choose the words!

This problem exists in virtually every industry and for virtually every discipline.  In a world where companies like eLance, oDesk, 99Designs, etc. create a market of providers who bid against each other to do work, the most valuable white space for a small or mid-market company to create real value and become indispensable lies in curation.

Curation is the ability to create context, manage complexity and filter the noise for a select group of people that allows them to make decisions confidently and make progress towards achieving their desired objectives.

There are three important elements that must be present to build curation into your value proposition:

  1. You must demonstrate a real and deep understanding of your market place and customer base.  When a customer allows you to curate, they are in essence “outsourcing” their decision-making (or at least a core part of the decision-making) to you/your company.  This is a scary thing to do, so you must make your customers feel safe.  You do this by demonstrating that you understand them as well or better than they understand themselves.
  2. You must focus on compelling issues that are clearly connected to the critical results your customers are pursuing.
  3. You must orient your story/message to support two points:
  • That you understand where and how mistakes are made, and that you’ve got an approach to prevent those mistakes.  If all you do is tell everyone how good you are, it would reduce the fear.
  • Further you must focus on why what you do matters.  While you can use details and proof statements to support what you saying, they cannot be the focus of your message.
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