Our STC Rochester Council is working with Neil Hair‘s Marketing Concepts class at the Rochester Institute of Technology to develop a marketing strategy as we seek to redefine our value proposition as an STC chapter. Some members of the council had a status meeting with the Marketing Concepts class team earlier this week. The team is analyzing similar organizations in our area (ASTD, ISPI, IEEE, etc.) to determine how we compare on key activities and services.
The Marketing Concepts team’s initial slide was:
STC is the best network for excellence in technical communications
In our discussion at council and in following correspondence, we’ve had an extended discussion of what constitutes a Value Proposition. Although there’s been some confusion, including “what is networking,” I think we’ve decided that this is more of a Vision Statement than a Value Proposition.
Value propositions can be expressed in different ways. One way of looking at them is
Value = Benefits – Cost
When STC raised its dues for 2010 to $240 per year for International + Chapter membership, membership renewals plummeted. For many of the members, the perceived Benefits were outweighed by the Cost.
According to Rackham (stolen from wikipedia), a Value Proposition should include the following:
- Capability – what it is you do and how you do it
- Impact – what benefits or difference your capability will make
- Proof – what evidence substantiates your impact
- Cost – the cost (or risk) of your capability and impact
If our Value Proposition includes these elements, it’s obviously a bit more complicated. We would have different value propositions for members, employers in our community, etc.
What about Personas?
Usability practitioners use Personas to help programmers visualize the different users of the software they’re creating. A Persona is a fictional person whose “attributes” are based on different types of users and the business processes for which they might use the software. (This is obviously highly simplified.)
Could we use the concept of a Persona to help develop and articulate value propositions? Would it make sense to start with testimonials of specific members? Can I articulate the Value Proposition of STC Rochester for myself?
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