Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I hope that you are suitably refreshed after your short break….. I have been asked to talk to you about How to successfully market your services in a dynamic environment
We have a service/product that needs to be marketed or advertised - so are we all clear on what that means within our respective organisations? How many of us aspire to buy a product/service that has a great brand image? Do we all have a favourite ad? Do you buy branded foods/toiletries/cleaning products? In this economic climate how many of you have used Aldi, Lidl, £land? 99p shops? We want more for our money and a clear value proposition. Our users require continued resources/services that we are expected to supply with less. So how to make that happen... marketing yourself and a library or information service is not a one-time-hit but needs to be a strategy that you are working on continuously. It is something that needs to be built, continually over time so that &apos;you&apos; as the &apos;face&apos; of a service/product repeatedly re-enforce what you are offering at every opportunity. Is this a natural activity given all the other pressures on us and on service managers - budget, staff, services - it is something that often gets put to the side... we get into a holding pattern....too busy - fewer staff - less ££ - so something gives; but it is just at this time that services and personal profiles needs to be put to the fore at all times – without profile and proven value it is too easy for information services to become a cost to be crossed off the spreadsheet!
Change is the new constant, so they say – so we better get used to it, and learn to operate in this environment Dynamic environment = always changing, not static
This slide is not ‘marketing’ – it is marketing communications – the final step in the process – if you skimp on the thinking before hand you could end up advertising the wrong thing, to the wrong people, using the wrong ‘brand’ image/associations/words/message So what is marketing?
Customer needs - understanding your local market; giving your customers what they want & need, not what you think they should want, or what you guess they might need STEP 1 - Identify your target market. Every successful service has a target market whether they know it or not. Even the local dry cleaner has a target market, which is probably all the professional people living within a five mile radius of their store. Their target market is geographic. So the first step you want to ask yourself is, &apos;Who is your target market?&apos; Can you segment it into several target markets, based on office locations, departments or job titles/levels – or on customer needs? Once you have narrowed this down then it’s easier to craft a message to that market. STEP 2 - Identify the problems that your target market experiences. Each market experiences its frustrations and pains. The secret to crafting a marketing message that will make your market sit up and listen is to identify their problem and the pain and suffering they feel as a result of that problem. Remember the old saying that goes, &apos;People don’t care about you, until they know you care.‘ Identifying your market’s pain and suffering tells them that you understand and empathize with them. You’ll also find that identifying the problems that your market faces will, in turn, help you narrow down your target market. For instance, perhaps I only want to target stay-at-home Moms that want to earn some extra money without leaving their homes. So the second step you want to ask yourself is, &apos;What is the problem they have and how does it make them feel?&apos; STEP 3 - Present your solution to your market’s problem – are your current services sufficient to meet these needs? What is your value proposition? The next step is to present your solution as a simple cure for all the pain and suffering your market is feeling as a result of their problem. This step is important in that most people won’t lift a finger unless they feel an urgent excruciating pain. Now, identify all the benefits of your solution and how those benefits will improve the life of your prospect and take away all their pain and anguish. Try to reverse any perceived risk that your prospect might have with taking advantage of your solution. Also, try to position your solution as being easy to implement. We are living in a &apos;Do-It-For-Me&apos; society and people don’t want to jump through hoops just to solve their problem. In fact, most people would rather pay the money just to have the problem solved for them. So the third step is to ask yourself, &apos;What is the solution that I have to offer my prospect? STEP 4 - Present the results you’ve produced for other people in the same situation. It’s not enough just to tell people you have a solution; you have to prove to them that your solution works. And you can talk all day about how you solved this and that problem, but people are skeptical and don’t automatically believe you. People will believe other people who are similar to them that have achieved positive results. In this step you’ll need to prove your results by giving testimonials from current and former customers and provide case studies of actual problems that were solved and the results that were achieved. The best testimonial is one that starts out by telling the prospect what life was like before applying your solution. It should be similar to the problem that you described in Step 2. Then the testimonial should tell the prospect what life was like after applying your solution. This part should mimic many of the benefits that you gave in Step 3. The most powerful case studies follow a similar format than that of testimonials. Your case study should be presented in three steps: 1. The problem 2. The solution 3. The results When presenting the problem in your case study, discuss not only the problem, but also the negative results that the company was experiencing and the associated financial consequences of the problem. When presenting the results, try to characterize all the benefits experienced as a result of the implementing the solution, how long it took to get those results (if it wasn’t a long time), and the financial implications to the company over the long-term. So the fourth step is to ask yourself, &apos;What are the results that your solution has produced?&apos; STEP 5 - Explain what makes you different from your competitors. As a consultant in the corporate world I helped numerous companies assess potential software and service solutions. First we would send out an inquiry, then we would ask the vendors to come in and demo their product or service. Often we asked the vendor about how they differed from their competition. You need to communicate your differences! Prospects are looking for you to communicate your differences. And those differences need to have perceived value to the prospect. It needs to be something they care about. Taking the retailing example, or that of any service company, can often provide some inspiration – think your insurance company, sky TV, your bank…
These are the areas I’m going to be focusing on. Audience = target market(s) Product = what type of information service(s) Message = what to say, how to say it + how to get message to target market(s)
You may think that you know your users and senior managers really well but things change and what we see can often be deceptive! What are the hot topics within your organisation that effect what you want and can deliver? Money, resources, desire to promote services? Being politically astute is a real necessity in this climate. Your internal users (clinicians, other staff) Your external network (academic users, other librarians) Your manager or manager’s manager Your manager’s peers Senior management/board/trustees
As a profession we seem to have had the same discussions for the last 20-30 Years. On of my colleagues’ early career started in Academia and at that time they needed to market their service to students….yet we are still agonising today on what the profession offers in terms of services and opportunities. Collectively we struggle with this but individually we need to clearly identify who we are, what we offer an organisation and how to develop both personally and professionally in our careers. How do you find out? ASK! Customer surveys - casual meetings in the cafeteria or elevator – arranged meetings to interview team leaders – attending team meetings = all opportunities to listen to your users (and your non / potential users – even more important) Service: Skills - yours, the collective team and individually User needs – what are they? How do you know? The dynamic of the team you have built will lean towards the type of service that you can offer. Value proposition – why pay (time, money) for what your service provides?
Questions to ask when considering what your service should consist of: What do I offer – does it meet users needs? Old marketing adage – you’re not selling a power drill; you’re selling a hole in the wall! Where do I want to take the service and is there a realistic path to get there? If missing skills / resources, how do you get them - how to have the confidence to build business cases for services/resources/ survival? To push your service forward for recognition and advancement? A clear analysis of your users needs, your current situation, the gap between the two – will help you put forward a coherent case.
Your service is stuck in the past and holding onto its provenance, it has always been offered/done like this and it has stood the test of time A high performance, sexy service - an ability to move quickly but at high cost. A good reliable service – put together with care, good quality but nothing special…… A service that offers that ‘special something’ - branded image of luxury in a box
Is this Boring? Meaningless to most doctors, healthcare managers, nurses – your users! So what? Why should I be interested in that? Fund that?
Unsure which way to turn?
Never enough time to think about what you want to say…. But if you can spend a few minutes once, to get your message on track, that gives your users confidence that what they want to solve their problem can be found at your door - then it does help bring a degree of clarity.
These sounds bites clearly articulate how you work, what the service is that you can offer your customer – it is the “What’s in it for me?” aspect that will draw people in. How many times have we heard users complain that they cannot find information but have done an exhaustive Google search? Has their tolerance to search been too low? Do they have the tenacity and intellectual curiosity to dig deeper - do they know where to dig? How to dig? That is what we do. Making information more accessible - be it via a LMS system, good indexing, good content bought into an organisation and above all good professional skills - these can unlock the big information question. Information literacy training of users may be a big ‘value add’ going forward.
Is your message clear, can you articulate about what you are selling, saying? Or is the difference just that you can stand on two legs! and stand out for that reason? All very well in theory – How does it work in practice? Being good at your job Delivering excellent services Being networked in your organisation Good external/professional networking Telling people about successes Where does Web 2.0 fit in? Blogging Social Networking Discussion forums, Ning groups Wikis Ning is the social platform for the world&apos;s interests and passions online. Millions of people every day are coming together across Ning to explore and express their interests, discover new passions, and meet new people around shared pursuits. Be involved! Be seen Have something worthwhile to contribute
Using the ‘let’s yell loud and they will then understand’ method is not going to cut it…. Selecting carefully what and to whom you communicate and how often is something to be considered. If you ask yourself the So What Question in response to each of these phrases then you can strip back to what skills I am promoting.
Your goal should be to move your users, and your managers, in the direction of the arrow. The number of times I interview disaffected information professionals who say, in a downbeat voice, “they never listen to me” “they don’t know what we do” “they don’t understand our work” Well that is OUR fault! It only happens if we haven’t communicated the right messages, to the right audiences, at the right times and in the right way. You can either turn your manager’s manager and the board into your advocates – or into terrorists who will see your department as nothing but a cost centre and a prime target to strike off the cost code list on their spreadsheet.
Team meetings – both listen ( = market research) and talk ( = promotion / marcomms)
The bottom line in today’s climate is that despite providing excellent service/ good marketing/ good relationships… .the reality is that sometimes services are diminished as headcount goes and services are handed over to non ‘information professionals’/librarians. It can often be pure economics without any consideration of services or expertise that is lost. Don’t take this personally, learn from what worked well, what did not and go find that next opportunity to keep your progression on track.
At times we all feel that were are more or less in suspension….and we keep hanging on…. The uncertainty is the killer but managing through change will bring to light skills that you never knew you did possessed!
Dynamic marketing how to market your service v1.0
Have you had a caffeine hit during
How to successfully market yourself and
your services in a dynamic environment
Health Libraries Group - CILIP
dynamic…. definitions (3)
• Capable of changing or being changed;
in a state of flux, not static.
• Characterized or distinguished by
continuous change or vigorous activity,
high effectiveness, energy, or force.
• Causative or motivating agent or force,
underlying an event or phenomenon.
• Management process through which goods and services
move from concept to the customer. As a philosophy, it
is based on thinking about the business in terms of
customer needs and their satisfaction. As a practice, it
consists in coordination of four elements -
– identification, selection, and development of a
– determination of its price
– selection of a distribution channel to reach the
– development and implementation of a promotional
• Marketing your service – doing
more with less
– Who is your audience?
– What is your product?
– What is your message?
– Getting Your message across
Who is your audience?
• Your internal users
• Your external network
• Your manager or manager’s manager
• Your manager’s peers
• Senior management
“The better we know our customers, the better the job we are
able to do for them”
Angela Cleaver, Head of Know-How, Matiland Group, Update, April 2010
Do you know what your service
should be offering?
What is your product/service?
• What benefits does it offer to my
• What problems does it solve for them?
• What other problems could we be
solving for them?
• What resources do we have?
• What skills & resources do we need to
get to where it could be?
What is your message? What do you
want to say?
What is your message?
• “I am a librarian”
• “I can find you a source of
• “I can order a journal article for
What is your message?
“I can make you 25%
more efficient in your
“I can make the
information you work
with 50% more
“I can help you
do your job”
“I can take a big
chunk of the stress
away from your
already stressful day”
Allen Hancock, Manager of Records Standards and Consultancy
Victorian Department of Human Services, Australia - Article in the RMS Bulletin
Practical ways to get your
• Attending team meetings
• Sending out email updates on:
• Assisting in tailoring CAS to
• Offering 1-1 information literacy
training to users
Other practical tools to communicate:
• Intranet - Wiki
• Inductions – interactive, practical
• Marketing collateral (brochures, posters,
• Communication Events – cake!
• Staff newsletter
Will dynamic marketing help keep
my service going?
• On its own….NO – you also need to:
– Demonstrate consistency and clarity of message
– Ensure the service is embedded within the
– Drive through change to reflect the needs of the
– Be a ‘Business Manager’
– Tailor your ‘marketing’ carefully
– Build a network of champions and raise your
reputation and credibility
Hold onto the values that you embody… And find
a way to allow your service to go the next level