How to Keep Up? Take a Breath, Read, Drink, Sigh ...and Create a Plan that Works for You

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Make a pot of good coffee. Or maybe you’d prefer to pour a nice glass of wine for yourself and take a comfortable seat. If we do say so ourselves, all of us at Vision Monday would like you to take the time to read all the particularly information-packed stories, trends and ideas packed into our April edition. Print or digital, or both. not just because we put a lot of effort into writing and building it. But because we want you to process the must-know info housed in two, closely related features.

One is our Megatrend Cover Topic this month illustrating some top-line data about the consumer’s new path to purchase. People are using new ways to explore, research and buy. Indeed, there is a revolution in how consumers travel to get to you and how they make decisions.

The other feature is our team’s extensive reporting from our 13th VM Global Leadership Summit (and related info posted online) which offered so much for our attendees at the live event to think about. We examined super-fast changing ways people are “Decoding the Consumer.” This year’s speakers illuminated the new tools speeding change in creating retail “experiences” that resonate with today’s digitally savvy and purpose-driven consumers.

Others shined a light on another really important trend for you to consider. Health care is Everywhere. Consumers are exploring wellness and lifestyle improvement options, employing tech to do that. They are bringing new expectations and some frustration into traditional health care settings. And major players from outside the traditional health care realm are speeding toward this space. Many forces are blurring the traditional boundaries of health care and retail.

It’s a lot to process, but we feel it’s so important. As we did at the Summit with a panel on stage, we believe optical ECPs, professionals and businesses can look at these Big Ideas and start to implement some changes.

Our Summit encouraged the value of prioritizing a short list. Is it capturing more data about real patient behavior and being brave to discard things that no longer work in your business? Is it testing one or two new ideas with technology to up your game in the dispensary? Is it starting a program to better link the image you’re putting out there via social media to what patients encounter when they get to your practice or shop?

The depth and pace of change can seem overwhelming—because it is. But the risk of staying in place is a greater threat. One of my most succinct takeaways from one of our speakers was the digital expert who said, “People need to know about trends, but can become focused only on what the mammoth companies are doing. They worry about consolidation and ask, ‘How can I possibly compete?’ The question, though, is not really about ‘big’ versus ‘small.’ The distinction today is between the ‘fast’ and the ‘slow.’”

maxelrad@jobson.com