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Make Meaning – what meaning do you have?

Making a difference in a competitive marketplace. How do you do that? Many service providers (ISP) do so based on technological advantages, functionalities, and … price. In our opinion, it could still be done now, but not in the long run. In doing so, you end up reducing your value-added and your margin. The meaning you have for your customer.

In the world of the online workplace, competition is increasing, which also puts pressure on price. A rationalization is taking place, the smaller service providers are being bought out by larger organizations, but with very little broadening in technology and solutions. (See also our blog : Market Consolidation).

Value or Technology?

In positioning, even of the larger parties, the real value to customers, or target groups (if any) remains unclear. Speed, scalability, availability. But that is not a value. We see that as a given of today’s technology. That is where the law of inverse value applies. If you don’t already have that, what are you offering? Value is mainly focused on your customer, what can he do with that technology? What future developments can he complete much better with your technology now?

We are looking at this in a five-stage rocket.

Make Meaning - What meaning do you have


What significance (to society) do you have?

Often this issue coincides very closely with the ambition of the entrepreneur or entrepreneurs behind the service provider. And the group of customers grown by history plays into establishing your significance. One meaning may be, as an entrepreneur, you want healthcare facilities to be able to provide optimal care to their patients or clients. Or on an even higher level, making the Netherlands healthier.

That is a meaning, also called a mission or why, that matters socially, that also radiates that you as an IT vendor want to get the most out of technology to make “us” healthier.


Making meaning tangible

Stating an ambition is one thing, living up to it is another. To do that, of course, you have to get well into the skin of your customers. But above all, making choices. An ambition often crosses target groups. Because, a healthier Netherlands doesn’t just have something to do with healthcare institutions….

From those choices, you need to start describing the value of the technology you have included in your portfolio as a service provider (read our article on Portfolio Management here). How can nurses work better with the modern workplace, for example? What does your Microsoft Teams offering add to online conversations with elderly clients? Where does your solution touch on improving and simplifying communication with clients and patients? Now, and in the future.


Setting up your value

The next step is to set up your organization and portfolio to deliver this value. You must be able to translate what is going on within your (potential) customer group and what solution your technology offers for this. The design of your technology and portfolio can thus become very focused, and… possibly lie outside your own comfort zone. Adopt or support specific technology or solutions that provide value in your target market.

Target your organization accordingly. This never happens all at once, but start with industry specialists, for example. Train these, or hire them. Get sales who have worked in that industry instead of your competitor.


Disseminate your knowledge and vision

If no one knows what your your meaning is, what your mission is, no one will contact you about it either. All IT providers do something about marketing, do something about getting their message out. Even if it’s just a website. Which, for now, is very focused on the consciously capable buyer. The buyer who knows what he wants, who knows what technological solution he needs.

The other group, the unaware buyers, do not know. Who are looking for value for their company or institution. Who are looking for a new method of patient communication. They are curious to know where their sector is heading, they are looking for relevant knowledge, for guidance in future developments. You must then propagate that, you must share that. Your knowledge and vision about their sector, about developments and how they can deal with them from digitalization. In doing so, you become of great significance to this unaware buyer.


Engage in dialogue

Invite the people within your target audience for a dialogue. For a conversation about where they are in their development, how they view digitization and the value it can provide. In that conversation, you engage in dialogue about how the apparent complexity of technology need not be complex at all in the eyes of your interlocutor. Show how, for example, communication can take place, even with new technology.

Bring them into the conversation, outlines perspective. Create scenarios and sketch examples of “end-states” where they might be in 5 years. And how that in turn contributes to your meaning, by our example, how that helps make Holland healthier.

They are only five steps, and at the same time not the easiest to take. We help our clients with this, starting by bringing out the ambition, the DNA and its meaning for society.

Make meaning, we believe digitalization can greatly simplify society at all levels, leaving us more time for each other and for next disaster, the environment. But … not the way digitization is offered now.


Wil je meer weten of kennismaken? Plan een vrijblijvende afspraak met Thijs van Hofwegen, de oprichter van Force21.

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