Marketing the engineering library Megan Sapp Nelson, Asst. Professor of Library Sciences, Purdue University Libraries All rights reserved. 2009.
Objectives Discuss value and its effect on libraries and marketing Discuss the interplay of patron groups and value propositions Discuss tools that will help to implement a marketing plan
Challenges • Tech savvy undergrads • Busy grads and faculty • Competition • Availability of resources, including time
Our Value Proposition • The total of services that we have to offer to our customers.1 • Individual patron appreciates only snippets of total value proposition. • These represent high value services to that patron. • Our total value proposition should be the sum of services valued by some patron or patron group. • Marketing Goal: To establish value in minds of patrons 1Seiss, J. 2008. Determining and communicating value. One Person Library, Vol. 24:11, pp. 5-6.
Who Are Our Target Audiences? • Tier 1 Public Research Institution • Undergraduates • Graduate students • Faculty • Colleges of Technology and Engineering • Indiana residents • Researchers from other institutions
Disincentives • Too far away • Everything is already available on the web • Self-reliance • No reading culture • “They never have what I want…”
Value changes for each target audience • Variety of target audiences implies that a variety of services are considered “most important” • Also implies that some services are least valuable to each target audience • Example: Undergrads – value group study space in library; Don’t care about document delivery service • Example: Faculty – value document delivery to their office; Don’t care about 24 hour library service
Understanding patron groups = creating value proposition • Analysis of target audiences motivators (conversations, interviews, surveys) • Look at differences between patron groups • Is there a service that fills a pressing need/interest? • Indicators • Enthusiastic early adopters • Regulations reinforcing library use • Cultural zeitgeist
Identifying Useful Communication Avenues • Break up available avenues by target audience • Consider culture of target audience • Consider timeframe for event or service • Is it free or inexpensive? • How much time will it take to take advantage of the avenue?
Helpful Tools: Service Mix Evaluation • What do we do and how often do we do it? • Who are the target audiences of those services? • Steps: • What are your main service areas? Write them down along with any supporting statistics for usage. • Organize them into main trends or areas of support. Service Mix Evaluation reproduced from Fisher, PH, Pride, MM, and EG Miller. (2006). Blueprint for your library marketing plan: a guide to help you survive and thrive. Chicago: American Library Association.
Helpful Tools: Communication Avenue by Target Audience Chart • What are the available communication avenues? • What are the target audiences? • Which avenues reach which audiences? • Steps: • Gather all available communication avenues. • Sort by audience that uses it. • Note cost (free, inexpensive, expensive). • Note any instructions for using the avenue. • Note any deadlines.
Helpful Tools: Library Marketing Calendar • Organization • Plan both “planning time” and “implementation date”. • Creates structure. Library Marketing Calendar reproduced from Fisher, PH, Pride, MM, and EG Miller. (2006). Blueprint for your library marketing plan: a guide to help you survive and thrive. Chicago: American Library Association.
Helpful Tools: Project Initiation Form • Who is responsible for what? • When is it due? • What are the next steps? Project Initiation Form reproduced from Fisher, PH, Pride, MM, and EG Miller. (2006). Blueprint for your library marketing plan: a guide to help you survive and thrive. Chicago: American Library Association.
Conclusion • Investing time in examining primary patron groups and motivations is key to successful marketing • Marketing should be systematically included throughout programming • Tools are available to lighten the load a bit
Any questions? • Please contact Megan Sapp Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.