Informed Decisions: Trends, Influencers and Intelligence
Posted Sep 14 2008 3:11pm
Informed Decisions: Trends, Influencers and
deadlines, shifting priorities and crisis management can limit your ability to
stay current with important trends or sector developments. However, market information
is critical to identifying environmental factors and enabling actionable
intelligence that have a tremendous influence on your business. Simply put,
keeping up with what’s going on creates an improved context for making
informed, competitive decisions.
market intelligence delivers a frontline perspective. It reveals how influencers
are thinking about business issues that serve ( or should serve) as the basis of your strategic environment. Ultimately,
this knowledge can pave the way toward more grounded decisions on market
positioning, product changes and growth/profitability expectations.
Several key environmental drivers are on today’s radar screen – 2008 elections,
healthcare consumers and expectation economy. I am going to draw upon several
outside sources to provide a look at each subject.
Elections Universal health insurance, the uninsured and unsustainable entitlement
are themes of every Presidential hopeful’s rhetoric. Tracking their positions
and more importantly, the solutions they are recommending isn’t easy. But, the impact on your strategy for 2009 and
beyond is huge – future of Medicare, public/private partnerships,
pay-for-performance, SCHIP funding, employer mandates, and the list goes on!
The comparison highlights information on each Presidential candidate’s
position related to access to health care coverage, cost containment, improving
the quality of care and financing.
Healthcare Consumers Consumer directed healthcare, health savings accounts and
web-based tools to evaluate doctor or hospital quality and pricing – everything
points to a retail healthcare model where market dynamics require patients to
be more active in their financial, benefit and clinical choices. It’s a
marketplace where ownership, self-sufficiency, engagement and empowerment
describe tomorrow’s healthcare consumer.
Expectation Economy Over the last year I have discussed a range of issues around
the importance of the customer – segmentation, messaging, “health squeeze”,
satisfaction and retention. As part of tracking these trends, I have followed
an organization called trendwatching.com. It’s an independent trend firm that scans the marketplace
for the most promising consumer tendencies, insights and related business
Most recently trendwatching.com introduced the concept of Expectation Economy, an environment where
experienced, well-informed consumers maintain high expectations that they apply
to every product or service purchasing decision. These expectations are based
on the vast proliferation and accessibility of comparative consumer information.
It’s an economy consisting of educated, self-sufficient and convenience-driven
consumers. They have tough standards, are
intolerant of corporate missteps, and carry an aggressive voice thanks to the
blogosphere, social networking, and word-of-mouth marketing.