Value Proposition: Innovu

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m participating in the Praxis internship program. As a part of that, I’m creating value propositions for potential employers, under the theory that they’re not hiring me because of some vague skills list I have, they’re hiring me for what specific things I can do for them.

The first company I chose to do a value proposition for is Innovu. Essentially, they collect and analyze data related to benefits and risk programs (such as employee healthcare and workers’ compensation), so that businesses can make sure that they can create the best possible programs for their employees and avoid fines from accidental non-compliance with Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations. Here’s where they talk about that.

As I was sifting through their website initially, though, I had a difficult time figuring out what exactly it was that they did. The first thing you see on their homepage is a giant picture of something unrelated to their product coupled with some words about benefits and risk programs, and a link. The link took me to a page that presumed I already knew what they were doing. Overall, their marketing copy was very vague everywhere, and my basic understanding after I’d been on their site for half an hour was “something involving healthcare?” Now, this is at least partially because I don’t know their industry, but still: I decided their marketing copy could be improved, not only to better pitch their product, but to better explain it.

The best explanation I found was on the page linked above, which you find if you get onto their homepage and, instead of clicking either of the links in their neat little scroll bar, you actually scroll down past the screen-filling image, then scroll even further past the three links to their different solutions (which will all take you to pages filled with vague copy), then click on the “Read More” link after the heading “Data Transparency In Benefit And Retirement Plans”.

On top of the unintelligible marketing copy, there were a large swath of images on the website which, though they had been recolored to match the color scheme, didn’t reflect the product at all. There were random pictures of strangely-cropped bar charts, blurred streetlights, collections of hazy colored dots and lines, and one picture of some peoples’ arms. They didn’t help explain what problem their business was solving, they didn’t complement the already-unclear text they were associated with. They basically existed for no reason other than to make the website look modern, because modern websites are supposed to include lots of images.

As I explored further into the site, I started finding some genuinely good marketing copy, but it was buried in strange places. Further, on their careers page (where I also happened to find out that they were looking for a JavaScript developer, a skill I have, though not to the level they want: they wanted two years’ professional experience and knowledge of full stack development), I noticed a very nice slideshow with that explained its points will and contained images that worked well with the text. This stood in stark contrast to the rest of the website, what with its vague text and mostly-unrelated images.

All of this brought me to the realization that they probably had an awesome web developer who had just been given very little in the way of images or marketing copy to go on, and thus had done the best they could with what they had. After that, I presumed, they had continued to build the site, around what they already had. It was probably on somebody’s to-do list to fix the marketing copy and images on the main parts of the site.

Taking things off businesses’ to-do lists is always a great thing to do, so I decided to use that as the meat of my value prop. I wouldn’t have a terribly strong case as a JavaScript developer alone, but if I combined it with a demonstration of my ability to diagnose business problems and my drive to fix those problems, I could have a unique and nice value prop where I could create value for them from day 1.

Here’s my current value prop. I’m planning on adding some images and doing some nice formatting in InDesign so it’s more visually appealing!