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Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to attend a 60th birthday for some friends of mine. Which was a good time, in part because it always is fun to hang out with younger folks.

But I also had a chance to have an illuminating chat with someone who was a lot younger than me - a 25 year old woman whom I found to be enormously impressive. She told me about a startup company in Washington, DC, that is doing very interesting work ... and I thought there were some important similarities to what a lot of companies, including retailers and suppliers, ought to be doing.

The startup is called Engaged MD, and let me see if I can explain what they're doing. The company works with healthcare organizations to improve patient education and engagement. They've started by working in the fertility space, which can be a complicated and long road for patients. Essentially, they provide a series of educational experiences on video that help patients understand the road on which they are embarking, and then, after each educational segment, patients are quizzed so there is an understanding about what they've learned. This allows the doctors to have a better appreciation for what the patients get and don't get, and therefore deliver health care services that are more targeted and effective.

Now, I found this fascinating, in part because it seems to have so many applications to other health care issues and disease states. If the startup works, and I imagine that it will, the sky will be the limit.

This illustrates a larger truth about how to deal with patients ... and customers.

Education and engagement are critical pieces of any relationship, and it is something on which I think everyone trying to connect to customers should focus. More and more, no matter what you're selling, I think it is just as important to sell ideas as it is to sell this SKU or that one.

Ideas, especially the aspirational kind, create connections that can endure. At Engaged MD, I think, that's the bottom line. And I think that retailers and suppliers ought to take the same approach - look at the products and services that you're selling, and think about their applications, not just their size and price and margins.

Engagement and education. Pretty good tools for success, I think.

That's what is on my mind this morning, and as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: