New book: Marketing today’s academic library

Brian Mathew’s book is now out and is available here. You can read about it on Brian’s blog too.  I can’t wait to read it, he describes it not as a marketing book, but as a vision for public service. Nice. He says:

The academic library can become a place for experiences. It is not just for research and reflection, but also for creation, collaboration, design, and display. The library functions as a workshop, a gallery, a museum, a canvas, a stage, a lecture hall, a platform, a case study, and a showcase of student work. The future of libraries isn’t simply about digitizing all of our collections, but rather, it is about providing, encouraging, and staging new types of learning encounters. Instead of using marketing to try to persuade students to use our services, the library becomes the natural setting for academic activities–an environment where scholarship happens.

In many ways this sounds a lot like how public libraries (such as Puke Ariki) are now positioning themselves – as places for experiences.  As Judith Siess says in her review:

This doesn’t just apply to academic libraries. ALL libraries have to listen to their users—especially as the Gen Yers/Millennials and their successors come into the workplace. If you’re already a marketing expert and your library is full and loved and used, this is an optional purchase. But if you think you could serve your customers better, especially the younger ones, BUY THIS BOOK!

Twitter and your web strategy

Continuing along the theme of social networking applications and strategy planning –  there is a great blog post by Jeremiah Owyang about Twitter and how it might fit into your web strategy – this was posted in 2007 and with all the current interest in Twitter would definitely be worth a read. In his post Jeremiah links to another blog entry of his about measuring the impact of your social networking initiatives. A useful contribution to the tricky question of metrics in relation to non-financial marketing efforts. 

Thanks to  Joann Ransom who featured the link to the Twitter post on her Library Matters blog 🙂

Web2.0 and technology strategy planning – it’s all about the customer

On Wednesday I went to a workshop technology strategy planning workshop – organised by LIANZA and presented by Richard Hulser. This would be a very useful course for those writing a technology strategy – either those who hadn’t done one before, or those wanting a refresher on what a good model would be. Sometimes courses like this don’t tell you anything new, but they the remind you/clarify your own thinking/confirm what you already know. It would have been useful in that context for me in previous jobs I’ve had, not so much the one I have now.

 I was probably expecting a bit more of web 2.0 focus – and although this was mentioned it really wasn’t the central focus of this workshop. Having said that the workshop did remind me that while there is a lot of appeal in leaping in and giving things a go (particularly to help you learn about something), when it comes to utilising social networking technologies in customer services, this is probably better done in response to meeting a customer need/identified service delivery requirement, in the context of the overall organisational strategy.

The key thing for me is how we assess those needs. I think librarians still have a way to go to get good at this – we need to get better at  at gathering information about our customer needs, and analysing the information we already gather via surveys, feedback forms etc. 

 Further to this – Why Web2.0 projects fail

 As I have typed up my report for work I came across a very interesting blog post by Meredith Farkas who talks about why 2.0 initiatives fail – which gives some good food for thought about what you need to consider to make them succeed. 

I’ve summarised some points here, as they are quite relevant to technology strategy planning as it relates to web2.0:

  •  social software implementations need to be tied to institutional goals – the library’s strategic plan
  •  web2.0 technologies need to be planned for in a strategic way
  •  first need to understand the needs of your population (patrons or staff) and then implement whatever technology and/or service will best meet those needs
  •  need to have clear goals in mind from the outset so that you can later assess if its successful or not
  •  social software can be a pet project for an individual staff member, it is important that cross-training takes place so that if that person leaves or gets too busy, the initiative continues
  •  web2.0 technologies are easy to start but keeping them going takes time and effort. You need to plan how you will maintain the technology e.g. adding content, updating the software. “Libraries need to plan for the implementation and continued maintenance of 2.0 tech in the same way they plan for the technologies they pay a small fortune for.”
  •  Library staff can end up abandoning web2.0 projects because they aren’t given enough time to work on then
  •  Before a project is abandoned try to figure out why it didn’t have the impact hoped for – is more promotion needed, are there barriers to usage (difficult to make comments, add content etc), are staff comfortable with the technology, has training been offered
  • Just because a web2.0 technology isn’t a good fit now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future (worth remembering!)

Marketing and the 7Ps

I found a nice little summary about marketing on the Chartered Institute of Marketing website. The document* “Marketing and the 7Ps : a brief summary of marketing and how it works” is exactly that – it covers:

  • what is marketing
  • why marketing
  • 7Ps of marketing
  • Planning for a marketing strategy
  • Future trends in marketing

all in less than 10 pages.

I like their definition of marketing:

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably

Of course libraries aren’t normally in the business of making a profit, but you could easily translate “profitably” to another concept like “cost effectively.”

* Link checked and ok Dec 2009. Leave a note in the comments if it doesn’t work for you 🙂

Social networking sites more popular than email?

They are in Australia according to a report today: 

SOCIAL networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are now more popular than personal email with Australians spending one in every 10 minutes online inside their “virtual homes”, research shows.

And it is not just young internet users who are behind the trend.

The biggest surge in social networking was among 35 to 49-year-olds, while almost a quarter of Facebook users were over the age of 50.

Nielsen Online’s Global Faces and Networked Places report, released yesterday, found the use of social networking and blogging sites in Australia jumped 4.9 per cent last year.

It would be interesting to see if there is a similar trend in New Zealand. Certainly from my own viewpoint I am communicating with most of my friends and family far more via Facebook than via email these days.

ALIA – online course – Promoting and Marketing Library and Information Services

Spotted on the NZ-Libs email list this morning:

ALIA and ScHARR (University of Sheffield, UK) bring you Promoting and Marketing Library and Information Services


In these tough economic times, gain an understanding and appreciation for the value and importance of marketing and promotion in any type of library or information service and you will be able to:

* Identify considerations when selecting specific marketing or promotion methods for use within their own library or information context.

* Identify and evaluate approaches that might prove successful within the context of a local libraries awareness week.

* Describe the main considerations when planning and implementing a marketing strategy.

* Engage with fellow participants in discussing issues connected with the marketing and promotion of information services.


When: Monday 23rd March – Friday 8th May 2009


Cost: $220 for ALIA & LIANZA members $300 for non-members


Registration and more information is at: Enrolments close 6 March!

If I wasn’t already studying I think this would be something I’d be interested in looking at!

Trends – some information sources from the internet

This post is not strictly marketing or strictly libraries but I put this list together for one of my colleagues who asked me about useful websites for information on changing consumer and societal trends. This is based on the sorts of sources I used when I worked at Fonterra.  The Futurist website is always an interesting place to start. Some of the others are useful for mining details from – for instance the Datamonitor reports are hugely expensive, but you can access the tables of contents, and they give an excellent idea of what’s in the report. Some others are a bit crazy, but hey if you are in the business of coming up with new ideas anything is worth considering I think!


 Datamonitor – New Developments in Global Consumer Trends –

They say:   This report based on a vast array of primary and secondary research provides a comprehensive snapshot of global consumer behavior. Structured around Datamonitor’s well-established mega-trends framework, it offers added clarity, new detailed insight, future trend predictions and intuitive recommendations for marketing and product development.

I say: Report from 2007. Very expensive but there is free access to a comprehensive table of contents which lists the trends included in the report.


Datamonitor – Evolution of Global Consumer Trends – Market Analysis Report

They say: There are 10 global consumer mega-trends that will determine successful NPD and marketing strategies in the next 10 years. This report, in presenting new data to reflect consumer values, attitudes and behaviors, offers a more detailed breakdown of how the mega-trends have affected consumer behaviors, how they evolved in recent years and how they are likely to evolve in the future.

I say: Report from 2005 but still relevant as the trends are predicted to cover the next 10 years. Very expensive but there is free access to a comprehensive table of contents which lists the trends included in the report.


Top 10 forecasts for 2009 and beyond from The Futurist

They say: Each year since 1985, the editors of THE FUTURIST have selected the most thought-provoking ideas and forecasts appearing in the magazine to go into our annual Outlook report. Over the years, Outlook has spotlighted the emergence of such epochal developments as the Internet, virtual reality, and the end of the Cold War


 Annual trends

 Trends 2009 from the Hartman Group

They say: At The Hartman Group, leading-edge customized research and consulting blend to understand the complexities of consumer behavior. We pride ourselves on understanding nuance. We dig deep to get at the underlying motivations and behaviors that make a difference to brands, innovation, marketing and business development.

 Business ideas


They say: HartBeat is The Hartman Group’s FREE online newsletter, providing insight, analysis, information and strategy to give business leaders the knowledge and vision to build sustainable brands. 

I say: link provides access to previous issues of the newsletter Consumer trends and insights from around the world


Springwise | New business ideas from around the world says of Springwise: Springwise *A blog-style site devoted to spotting trends as these emerge from around the world. The site allows so-called “spotters” to submit trends, so in some cases the trends presented appear to be part of a company’s marketing campaign. But in many cases the trends are interesting, if not unique, and fun to read.



Research reports from Australian market research company McCrindle Research

I say: Many of these reports focus on generational segmentation e.g. segmenting markets by generations X, Y, Z etc.  See:

Seriously cool: marketing, communication and engaging with diverse generations

From the report: This white paper provides a big-picture analysis of our changing times and generational shifts, and points to some of the drivers of the generational debate. In the process it delivers insights into both marketing strategy and the marketing and communication tactics that will result in deeper engagement with the diverse generations


Trends, Ideas and New Marketing Methods:

They say: “Marketers are always experimenting with new ways to reach and satisfy customers. In this section we provide information on new ideas and methods marketers are using to gain an upper hand on their competition”


Marketing Stories and News for Marketing Trends:


Google directory for business

I say: Try a search from here on trends for more links


New Zealand demographic trends