Using hairdressers for word of mouth marketing

Last year Liz Knowles and I featured this excellent clip about using taxi drivers for word of mouth marketing in our LIANZA marketing workshops:

At the end of this cool little video they make a reference to hairdressers being their next target as agents for word of mouth marketing. I’m not sure if they ever did this – have yet to find the YouTube clip.

Just recently I came across this article about the launch of the Right Royal Cabaret Festival in New Plymouth in June. And who was in the audience? Hairdressers! As TAFT chief executive, Suzanne Porter explains:

We targeted young hairdressers because they have a great ability to talk and they see so many different people every day that they can talk to about this event

I would think there would be lots of scope to invite certain professional groups, like hairdressers, along to events or launches in libraries. Has anyone out there tried this? Did it work for you?

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Kiwiana theme a winner [or catering for a library do on the cheap]

Recently we held a promotional event at Massey University Library for our academics, showcasing some of our newer services such as eTV and our Discover interface. Partly inspired by a Christmas do I went to last year, we decided upon a kiwiana theme for the food. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend so the cheap and cheerful fare of cheerios* and tomato sauce, sausage rolls, lamingtons, chips and dip etc made for a low cost catering option. And one we could easily put together ourselves. Sure we wouldn’t win any Heart Foundation ticks for it, but it was popular and fun. One I would recommend for those of us in New Zealand looking to entertain our library customers on a budget!

Kiwiana treats – Foxton Fizz, L&P and lamingtons

And we also served up a rather nice (alcohol free) punch.

*these are cocktail type sausages in NZ speak, not the cereal 🙂

I’m not saying it has to be cheese and wine … but â€¦

Welcome to my first guest post – this one showcases promotional events in an academic library. 

A big thank you to my colleague Heather da Vanzo, Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian, Massey University Library, Wellington campus

Libraries do need to up their game when it comes to marketing. Having worked in a variety of sectors, most recently in the Academic sector it’s clear that Libraries have moved from collection based institutions towards service based organizations – I’m just not sure we’re communicating the value of our collection to our clients.

Currently being in a small team our marketing has to be sustainable, we’ve agreed that 2 promotional events a year is feasible. We aren’t talking huge events – just 20-30 guests – again manageable and for us it allows us to offer a “hands-on” aspect to the session.

Tailoring the sessions to client needs is crucial – it keeps numbers manageable, but also ensures a clear message. So far our target audience has been postgraduates, researchers and staff but his could change, depending on the resources we market and the venue.

Heather da Vanzo presents at a Massey University Library event at our Wellington campus

As always it’s important we don’t reinvent the wheel so we’ve designed a check list of logistical tasks. The checklist ensures we can divide the tasks amongst the team and utilize a package of templates including a door sign, poster, bookmark and invitation email. Apart from saving time, these templates retain some consistency to the Libraries “promotion” brand.  We can easily change the colour and logo to match the theme of the promotional event.

Really it’s been about getting staff and researchers into the Library space and showing them the Library has what they need. Assuming we are familiar with the purpose of the institution and the needs of the clients, Librarians are in the best position to make the match between client and resource.  Essentially show clients our relevance.

We have offered, cake and coffee, cheese and wine, catering which doesn’t break the bank; but creates a welcoming impression with the client and gets them through the door. And it strikes a chord:

“Great session…..very informative and clearly presented…makes much more impact when you get a presentation rather than finding the info out by working through the data……and let’s face it….mostly we wouldn’t bother…….great cake too!” Associate Professor Ciochetto

We’ve found promotional events a great way to build relationships, promote our resources and look competent!

Note: Photo and quote used with permission