Something as Simple as a Popular New Job Title Can Lead to New Revenue

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"We launched an association that exceeded our expectations in a few months," said Elizabeth Petersen, project director, Simplify Compliance, referring to the National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity. "We were looking at registrations for events and one of my product people noticed, 'There's a new title popping up and we had never seen this title before'—it was revenue integrity specialist. We started picking up the phone and calling customers, [asking], 'What does that mean?'"

"I don't really know," came the answer. "I'm isolated. I've been given this title. There's nobody else who does this in my organization."

"So we sent out a survey," Petersen said. "'Are there revenue integrity specialists at your organization?' We started doing focus groups and shadowing, and after a year we said these guys need an association. Getting folks to truly opt into something these days is very difficult. The first month that we offered a free resource, 2500 signed up for an e-newsletter. And in the first month and a half we had 400 people signed up for an association that didn't exist. It would not have come about... without talking to people."

Now there's a 2018 Revenue Integrity Symposium in October—exactly 168 days, 16 hours, 18 minutes and 15, 14, 13, 12... seconds away. (I love those little clocks.) And Revenue Integrity Week is coming up, June 3-9 where they will release new resources for members. HCPro previously achieved similar success with CDI Week for the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists, another group they run. Business Management Daily has also enjoyed success with a Leadership Challenge Week.

(Click here for my previous article on starting your own week.)

Here are four other interesting ways revenue ideas started: 

Respond to a direct request. "We would get a question from somebody [that might finish with], 'Do you have a competency model that does this?'" said Victoria Mellor, who helped lead Melcrum for 19 years before it became part of the Corporate Executive Board (now a subsidiary of Gartner). Because we had a smart person working on this, [we might say], 'Why don't we develop one for you?'" But Mellor added that an easy—and wrong—way out might be to say, "No we don't have one but we can give you this." You have to "look at that question in a bigger way."

Visit a customer's office. Visiting subscriber/member/customer offices can be a turning point. American Dental Association's chief communications officer Stephanie Moritz conducted a listening—and observation—tour of her members' offices. She saw that they were often busy but took time in the day to check Facebook. That led her team to try Facebook Live video streaming—and have success.

Look at what else your audience is following. At her BIMS keynote, Elizabeth Green, CEO of Brief Media, talked about the concept of the "one and only" being a key to renewals. When she saw how popular author Donald Plumb was in the industry and with her audience, she approached him and said that they could give him more exposure. That led to content that could be accessed daily—instead of a one-off book—plus the launching of a new app and a Q&A session at a popular conference. "No other conference has this amazing privilege," she could tell her audience.

Incentivize your subscribers to reach out to you. And provide several channels. EB Medicine won a 2017 SIPAward with a program designed to provide emergency departments with Clinical Learning to Eliminate Avoidable Risk. The program came about because a large customer group approached them in 2011 looking for a way to train its clinicians on risk management best practices. They had no supporting or reinforcing educational materials or test/measurement methodology, not to mention the lack of a route for users to earn much-needed CME credits for their lessons." EB Medicine won for Best New Success Story.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…