This presentation has a great round-up of useful books, blogs and websites on all things to do with Library marketing. Check it out:<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/KathyDempsey/where-to-find-library-marketing-info” title=”Where to Find Library Marketing Info” target=”_blank”>Where to Find Library Marketing Info</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/KathyDempsey” target=”_blank”>Libraries Are Essential consultancy</a></strong> </div>
Ned Potter interviews Terry Kendrick in Marketing Your Library | American Libraries Magazine. You don’t get better library marketing advice than this!
Definitions in the field of marketing can be rather confusing – many terms are used interchangeably. For instance people can talk about marketing when more correctly they are talking about advertising. These definitions from Kathy Dempsey’s book – The accidental library marketer (2009, p. 16-17) – are useful for demystifying some of the terminology:
Marketing is taking steps to move goods from producers to consumers. It’s determining what people want, delivering it, evaluating consumer satisfaction, and then periodically updating that whole process.
Public relations is a planned, long-term communication program (via various media) with a goal of convincing the public to have good will toward something. It’s helping people to think well of an organization, product or concept.
Publicity is sending a message via official channels such as news releases, newsletters and press conferences.
Promotion is furthering the growth or development of a product or service. It’s not just aiming toward good will; it’s encouraging people to use the product or service by telling those people how it would benefit them.
Advertising is calling attention to something through paid announcements.
Branding is a process with dual objectives: 1) establishing a strong link between a company and its logo/typeface/picture or name/phrase and 2) developing the “personality” of your product and service, establishing the characteristics that should come to mind when people think of you. Branding helps build loyalty.
Advocacy is getting people who have good opinions of your organization to speak others on its behalf, to convince other people of its value.
Stare at these definitions long enough and I think that even they start to get a bit blurry around the edges 😉
It is worth considering that in a marketing framework, advertising, promotion public relations and publicity are part of the marketing communications mix – which according to Kotler and Keller in A framework for marketing management (2009, p. 256) is:
the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade and remind consumers – directly or indirectly – about the products and brands they sell. They represent the “voice” of the company and brand and are a good way to establish a dialogue and build relationships with consumers”.
The other parts of the marketing communications mix are events, direct marketing, interactive marketing, word-of-mouth marketing and personal selling.
Because these elements that make up the marketing communications mix are the parts of marketing that we usually see, it tends to dominate our view of what marketing actually is.
And just to add to any confusion, I was chatting to a colleague at work about where public relations fitted into marketing – i.e. it’s a component of marketing. Well apparently according to public relations theory, marketing is a subset of public relations!
Ned Potter has a fabulous new marketing blog – The Library Marketing Toolkit. It is designed to be a website to support Ned’s upcoming book of the same name, as well as being a standalone resource for all things to do with library marketing. You can check out more about the blog here – and there is a link on that page to download a free chapter of Ned’s upcoming book 🙂
Ned’s book includes a small case study from yours truly – my involvement was very much a tribute to the power of networking on Twitter! Basically Ned called for volunteers to write case studies for the book, and eventually contacted me about writing one on email marketing. I’m absolutely thrilled he has included a link to this blog on his new website!
Heather Lamond, LIANZA’s president-elect, has recently blogged to promote the upcoming advocacy workshops that LIANZA is running in New Zealand. There has been slower uptake for these workshops and I thought I would pitch in and do some promotion.
One thing to be aware of is that advocacy and marketing are not the same thing. So if you have already attending one of the recent LIANZA marketing courses (co-presented by yours truly) you will be exposed to a different emphasis and pick up another skill set. As library marketing guru Kathy Dempsey says marketing is:
determining what people want, delivering it, evaluating consumer satisfaction, and then periodically updating the whole process.
While advocacy is:
getting people who have good opinions of your organization to speak to others on its behalf, to convince other people of its value
Dempsey’s definition does make it sounds like advocacy is part of what other people do for us, but as Heather points out:
we all, as individuals, need to have the skills, knowledge and strength to articulate our value and unique contribution (without having to wait or rely on someone else to do it). This is not just about negotiating library budgets or funding for new buildings, but about being able to tell our story in a way that makes a difference to those outside our profession
This doesn’t necessarily come easy to everyone, but I believe it’s important to do our bit to develop these skills, so that we can be advocates for our libraries, our customers and our profession at every level. You can find details of the workshops in Heather’s blog post – be sure to attend if you can 🙂
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.
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
One of the sessions I attended at the recent LIANZA conference was about the promotion of EPIC databases, with the session being presented by the vendors themselves. You can find all their presentations from the session on the EPIC website . Below are some of the ideas I took particular note of.
Most vendors provide:
– posters that either you or they can customise for you
– Search widgets for your website
– Training for library staff in their resources
Liza Fisher from Gale Cengage talked about “shelf talkers” to make the link between hardcopy and print – they can provide these for libraries. This is what they look like:
Liza also made a point that I whole heartedly agree with – you absolutely have to identify key content for your customers. In some library contexts promoting big databases can be overwhelming for staff and irrelevant for customers. Liza suggests taking opportunities to highlight journals that might appeal to your customers – for instance if you someone asks where the golfing books are this could be an opportunity to promote access to golfing magazines on the EPIC databases. This “would you like fries with that” approach is not so alien to us – it is an extension of our customer service values. As Camille from Britannica said at the same session, we librarians are in sales. Every great sales person worth their salt knows their product – and we have to know our products and resources too. Liza mentioned what they did at Auckland City Libraries a few years ago now where they ran a display competition between branches, with each branch promoting a different resource. In this way staff at each branch become familiar with at least one of the resources on offer.
In one of my earlier posts I included some ideas for promoting EPIC databases from the nz-libs list. Be sure to check that out – there are some great ideas there from libraries around New Zealand and staff training was a key tool. I also included a link to Julie Badger’s excellent article about the challenges of promoting library databases. If you only have time to read one article on libraries and marketing, make it hers 🙂