Thursday, May 19, 2011

MLA Musings

Marketing As If Your Library Depended on it.
Presenter: Pat Wagner, Pattern Research

At MLA, I attended this CE class on Saturday, the 14th. I have always avoided marketing-type courses because I thought the information would be too obvious. It turns out that this class was very useful and focused more on understanding who your customers and how to speak to them.

The most important things I learned:

  1. Avoid being smug. We need to learn what our patrons really want and stop trying to convince them that our way is the better way.

  2. For each event/publication/class we should identify the target audience and play to that.

  3. Develop partnerships with users.

  4. Understand the difference between a feature and a benefit. A feature is what we can offer people, a benefit is what the user gets from the feature. This should be the focus of marketing.

  5. Be willing to change and/or eliminate what doesn't work.
There is a difference between Marketing Public Relations and Advertising.

  • Marketing is being aware of what people want and adapting to the change.

  • Advertising is about giving people a compelling reason to "buy" your product.

  • Public Relations is more passive, less specific and ongoing. It says "Remember me fondly and often".

Finally, the presenter suggested that we look at the activites we focus on and figure out how much time, money and effort we spend on each.

  • The Past - this is driven by what we are known for and what people love about us (books, journals, quiet space, etc.)

  • The Present - this should be driven by customer demands (mobile computing, e-materials, coffee bar, etc.)

  • The Future - this is about vision and what we might do that we have never done before (embedded librarians, 24/7 access, etc.)


Joanna Huskey said...

Thanks for sharing Molly! That's really interesting and something everyone can use!

Parks said...

Good blog. Especially about the difference between a benefit and a feature.

Dianne said...

Thanks for sharing Molly. You are right, it does seem like common sense, but it isn't always. Thank you for reminding us!