A guide to Marketing your library and information service

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Marketing a library and information service is an essential skill for information professionals, whether they are from the corporate, public or academic sector. …

Marketing a library and information service is an essential skill for information professionals, whether they are from the corporate, public or academic sector.
Marketing involves three major steps - researching the organisational environment and identifying stakeholders; developing products and services to meet stakeholder requirements and finally communicating and delivering the messages. This often requires a different way of working for many information professionals and this cultural change is a challenge to many. The presentation comprises slides from a one-day training course that I have developed which allows delegates to work through their own case studies and and create their own plans for future marketing activities.

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  • 1. © SD Information Services 2013 1 Marketing your Library and Information Service to internal customers Shaida Dorabjee Information management consultant SD Information Services 2013 www.sdis.co.uk
  • 2. © SD Information Services 2013 2 Nightmare scenario  I don’t know who you are  I don’t know what your department does  I don’t know your reputation  Now, what do you want to sell me?
  • 3. © SD Information Services 2013 3 Marketing The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005 Management Consultant, Author Marketing is ‘satisfying customer needs’. It is as much attitude as action and as much perspective as planning. Marketing – An Introduction. Armstrong, Kotler, Harker and Brennan 2009
  • 4. © SD Information Services 2013 Internal Customers  As important as external customers  Includes all stakeholders:  Users  Non-users and  Budget holders  Decision makers etc
  • 5. © SD Information Services 2013 5 The Marketing Journey Three steps to success Research Developing products and services to meet customer needs Identifying/prioritising; Branding and packaging Your profile/behaviour/culture; Delivering the goods and messages; marketing plans Organisational context; The information environment; Customers/stakeholders; Competitors and collaborators; Yourself Communication and delivery
  • 6. © SD Information Services 2013 6  What are the key industry, national and international issues?  What is occupying the minds of senior management?  How has your budget changed in the last two years?  What’s new in research / your graduate programme at the university / your membership?  How are these functions themselves changing? Organisational context Research
  • 7. © SD Information Services 2013 7  What are other organisations’ information services doing?  How are the producers/suppliers of information and content operating?  Are overall budgets increasing or decreasing?  Is the focus of information services changing?  How is mobile technology affecting your service?  What benchmarking data do you have? The information environment Research
  • 8. © SD Information Services 2013 8 Finding out  Are you  A member of any senior management teams  Project groups  Good at asking questions  Good at your ‘lift talk’  Do you  Read the top level newsletters/magazines  Make friends with those in corporate communications  Talk to peers in your external networks
  • 9. © SD Information Services 2013 9  They all have different needs  Some stakeholders are not users of the service  Vital to segment the market and categorise each group of stakeholders Customers/stakeholders Research
  • 10. © SD Information Services 2013 Stakeholder categorisation (market segmentation)  By type of user and influence  Staff or students  Managers, Academic staff  CEO, Leadership Team  Budget holders  By extent of use  New staff/students (users)  Existing users who are established users  Existing users who do not (and perhaps should) use your services  By function  Scientists in a specific discipline  Staff in specialist departments 10
  • 11. © SD Information Services 2013 Stakeholder analysis  List your different key stakeholder groups  Rate Interest (in service/products) and then Influence out of 10 and then add together • This will help to clarify and prioritise what services should be provided and to whom 11
  • 12. © SD Information Services 2013 12 Internal and external collaborators – or competitors  Who are they  What can they offer  Can we collaborate with them
  • 13. © SD Information Services 2013 13  Your skills and expertise are also part of the information service  Do they match the characteristics required of an info pro?  What cpd is needed?  Individuals have to be promoted as well  You may need a plan for this Yourself Research
  • 14. © SD Information Services 2013 14 Ideal skills and expertise  Qualifications and experience  Writing, presenting, thinking on your feet  Passionate/enthusiastic about the service  Inquisitive mind - the wider organisational environment  Generating new ideas/thinking laterally  A business mind  Quick to adapt and willing to take risks  Higher profile
  • 15. © SD Information Services 2013 15 Personal attributes  The way you look, talk, think, and act  Communication – visible,verbal and vocal  Networking – understanding others  Influencing – persuading, managing, and influencing up  Personal power – charisma, gravitas, self- belief
  • 16. © SD Information Services 2013 16 Information/Stakeholder AuditsUnderstanding your market (stakeholders) in order to improve your service in line with business objectives and stakeholder requirements  Interviews, questionnaires or focus groups, social media  One-off poll on the intranet to a comprehensive study lasting a few weeks.  Qualitative or quantitative information  Resources used  Usefulness, quality  Behaviours, attitudes and perceptions  Opinions, suggestions, issues Don’t assume you know
  • 17. © SD Information Services 2013 17 Identifying the right products and services Prioritising development/introduction Branding and packaging Developing products and services to meet customer needs
  • 18. © SD Information Services 2013 18 ‘Satisfying customer needs’  Look at what you offer to the customer  Identify the right products and services through analysis - Cost vs Value matrix, SWOT or PEST analysis etc
  • 19. © SD Information Services 2013 19 Is it really worth doing Value Cost Low High Low High Plot each product/service according to value and cost
  • 20. © SD Information Services 2013 20 SWOT  Strengths  Weaknesses  Opportunities  Strengths  Of yourselves, a product or the service as a whole
  • 21. © SD Information Services 2013 21 The marketing mix The four Ps Tactical tools that have to be blended to produce the desired response in the target market • Product (solution) •Re-evaluate your offerings and address staff expectations •Pricing (cost, or ‘price’ paid by users): –Cost of resources –Time wasted in searching –Convenience –Ease of use • Place (convenience/delivery channel): –Mobile, I-pad, Intranet, web, etc –Project meetings, lunch ‘n’ learn • Promotion (communication): –To raise awareness and increase demand Plus two more… •Positioning •People
  • 22. © SD Information Services 2013 22 Case study - Executive Alerts  Alerts of top level activities provided to senior management  Much resource into creating and monitoring alerts  Repositioned to appeal to all executives as a ‘backgrounder’ to give them information on specific collaborators/competitors prior to company visits
  • 23. © SD Information Services 2013 23 Executive Alert  Identified executives as a new target market  Spoke to them about their work and information needs through market research  Evaluated the products and identified weaknesses in existing product  Developed – and repositioned the existing product to appeal to them  Rebranded the name and look of the Alert  Through product development offered an ad hoc service rather than regular Alert  Introduced a new delivery method via a mobile app tool  Tested it out on a few and improved through feedback  Cultivated champions and publicised its existence throughout
  • 24. © SD Information Services 2013 24 Branding in the Library  Logo  Typeface, style, colour, position (N.B. organisational style guidelines)  Strap/tag lines  Reminders eg expensive online databases or “From the Library”  Characteristics of information staff – you are also the brand
  • 25. © SD Information Services 2013 25 Identifying growth opportunities Product-marketing expansion grid (Ansoff’s Matrix) Market penetration Product development Market development Diversification Existing products Existing markets New markets New products Increasing risk Increasing risk
  • 26. © SD Information Services 2013 26  Develop the message you want to communicate  Branding  Has to be targeted  Everyone has to be involved Your profile/behaviour/culture; Delivering the message Communication and delivery
  • 27. © SD Information Services 2013 27 Delivering the messages  Six approaches  The way you operate  Influencing others  Using social media  Training  Broadcasting  Written communication Your profile/behaviour/culture; Delivering the message Communication and delivery
  • 28. © SD Information Services 2013 28 A marketing strategy and plan why, what, how  Aims of the organisation  Strategic aims of the library and information service  Evidence from research activities to support the aims and objectives  Objectives for the service  Segmentation of users  Specific tasks and timetable for achieving the objectives  Outcomes and benefits expected  Responsibilities, costs, timelines etc
  • 29. © SD Information Services 2013 29 A marketing strategy and plan Should:  Reflect the organisation’s strategic aims, style, timescales  Be supported from the top  Provide a framework for and guide to the work of your service  Win the hearts and minds of users  Win the hearts and minds of information staff  Demonstrate value, backed up by evidence
  • 30. © SD Information Services 2013 30 Measures of success  Availability  Access  Responsiveness  Reliability  Credibility  Authority  Accuracy  Understanding  Value of : The information resources The service The effectiveness of the staff
  • 31. © SD Information Services 2013 31 Measuring how well your marketing efforts have been  Usage of products and services is monitored and shows an increase  Formal and informal surveys give favourable and improved results  There is raised awareness of information services  You are asked to participate in info-related projects  You have some good examples and ‘stories’ to tell  You are recognised wherever you go!
  • 32. © SD Information Services 2013 3232 Thank you! Shaida Dorabjee E-mail: sdorabjee@sdis.co.uk Web: www.sdis.co.uk SD Information Services Trouble-shooting your information service 2013