Draft Marketing Strategy

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Never having worked in a library, this task is a little difficult as I can’t draw on any kind of personal exposure to such a policy/strategy. However, I think that all marketing strategies have the same goal: to increase an organisations’ customer base. So how can marketing ideas be used in libraries to develop a marketing strategy?

Public Libraries Australia provides an example marketing strategy which I found really helpful, along with Brown’s (2009) piece “Developing an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy“. After reading these, if I were to create a marketing strategy for a library I would do the following (or at least try!):

  • I would look at the library’s mission statement and objectives and consider how these can be incorporated into the plan.
  • I would look at the current library user base and compare that with demographic data to see if the library has any gaps in its reach.
  • Once the target market(s) has been selected I would then investigate where those people are.
  • Upon locating the target market, the sites that will be utilised can be investigated.
  • To decide which sites to use and which services will be promoted will require discussions with library staff and the target group.
  • I would also try to make use of free sites to start with as this will counter possible budget constraints.
  • Initially the time required to implement the strategy will be more than will be required to keep it going. Potentially a few hours a day will become a few hours a week. However, taking note of Brown’s suggestion, time requirements will be something that will be fully considered and monitored.
  • Finally, the plan will be written down. The advantage to writing down the plan is the transparency, accountability and direction a written document provides.

All in all, marketing is essential to ensure that potential customers know that you exist and that you can give them something they need. Libraries can no longer rely on their historical position as the holders of information. Libraries need to cut through the noise of the internet to maintain their place as hubs of knowledge, learning and community.

REFERENCES

Brown, AL. (2009). Developing an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy, in Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner (30 July), Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/developing-an-effective-social-media-marketing-strategy

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Why libraries should be on social media …

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The first part of this entry shows a comparative table of three local libraries use of social media and the second part discusses why libraries should be on social media.

the libraries chosen for the comparative table are all local libraries in the same region:

Wollongong City Library

Shellharbour City Library

Kiama Library

Comparitive table

Now for the second part of this post … Why libraries should be on social media.

I would like to point out that this is not a question, but a statement – Libraries need to be on social media. Access to information, once the sole domain of libraries, museums and universities, is more convenient and more cost effective than ever before. The following quote is from the introduction to my second assignment for this subject:

“In her article “If you are not online … do you exist?” (Grigg, 2012) Grigg makes the point quite clear: If your online presence is minimal, or difficult to find, customers will go elsewhere. In this age of ‘googling’ can the library afford to be the last stop for an information seeker/customer? (Behrends, 2012) In a 2007 report to Waverley Council, Wallace and Bathur note not only the decrease in State Government funding to Councils for Public Libraries, but that “[p]ublic libraries are no longer solely store houses of information. They play an important educational, cultural and social role within the community” (Wallace and Bathur, 2007, p.18-19). Further to this, Behrends (2012) argues that libraries need to have an online presence to push their services to users in preference to Google results.”

I could list lots of dot points as to why libraries should be on social media, but the above says it all: Libraries need to join the wider community and engage with users to provide the service the user needs.

As Vanilla Ice said: “Stop, collaborate and listen”. As tomorrows librarians, this is what we need to do today.

REFERENCES

Behrends, S., (2012). Libraries vs. Google in the 21st Century. Retrieved from http://theidaholibrarian.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/libraries-vs-google/

Grigg, J., (2012). If You Are Not Online … Do You Exist? Retrieved from http://socialdragonmarketing.com/if-you-are-not-onlinedo-you-exist/

Vanilla Ice. (1990). Ice, Ice, Baby. On To The Extreme [Cassette Tape]. Pyrmont, NSW: SBK.

Wallace, M., and Bathur, L., (2007). Report to Finance, Ethics & Strategic Planning Committee. Retrieved from http://www1.waverley.nsw.gov.au/council/meetings/2007Minutes/0709/documents/LibraryFunding.pdf).

Personal Learning Network — PLN

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I am really bad at visual exercises as I am an introverted learner (as well as someone who is always looking to learn new things), but I thought that this was an important task to try and complete. Whilst I could say that my Personal Learning Network (PLN) is everyone and everything and everywhere, I accept that that can be quite vague, so here goes …

My PLN looks something like this:

Kelly's Personal Learning Network

Kelly’s Personal Learning Network

I know this may look at little stark, a little empty, but I think it captures the essence of my current PLN.

Utecht (2008) identifies five stages of PLN adoption. In brief, these stages are:

  1. Immersion
  2. Evaluation
  3. Know it all
  4. Perspective
  5. Balance

He provides a graphic of his idea:

When I started reading Utecht’s post I was a little concerned about the apparent prescriptive nature of it, but was pleasantly surprised when, at the conclusion of the post, Utecht makes it very clear that one does not have to progress through these stages in a linear fashion, and that some people may skip ‘stages’ altogether.

The reason for my concern over linear progression through such stages is that web 2.0 is not particularly linear: in my experience it surges and ‘regresses’ and surges again. For example, a site may be very popular for a time and then loose favour, but then a different audience may discover it and begin using it for a slightly different purpose. Therefore, how that site is used today may not be the same tomorrow, so any knowledge gained from immersion the first time may not be entirely applicable the second time. Also, it shouldn’t be forgotten that people can be fickle and as their favour ebbs and flows, so do the technologies being used and with it, ones that you may have been a ‘know it all’ about!

As I don’t work in the information professions as yet, and my current employment does not allow much time to be spent with networking, I don’t have a lot of opportunity for immersion, but Nielsen (2008) does give some good advice that I will endeavour to implement! I see that I am somewhere between immersion and evaluation: that due to my current constraints, I evaluate as I use.

I look forward to exploring the possibilities that Web 2.0 presents for information professionals!

REFERENCES

Nielsen, L. (2008, October 12). 5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network [Web log post]. Retrieved January 31, from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com.au/2008/04/5-things-you-can-do-to-begin-developing.html

Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN adoption [Web log post]. Retrieved January 27, from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption

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