Introduction to Marketing within
Academic Libraries
Jo Alcock - Evidence Base, Birmingham City University
Penny Andrews - ...
Learning outcomes
By the end of the workshop, attendees will:
Gain a greater understanding of marketing theory
and how it ...
Overview
1. What is marketing?
2. Service marketing
3. Development of marketing approaches
4. Organisation orientation
5. ...
What is marketing?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexpgp/3609715516
–UK Chartered Institute of Marketing
“the management process
responsible for identifying,
anticipating, and satisfying
cus...
“a management process whereby
the resources of the organisation are
utilised to satisfy the needs of
selected customer gro...
What is marketing?
Core management process
Assists organisations in improving current products/services,
and developing ne...
Service marketing
How does it differ "om product marketing?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/flavor32/2384350798
Unique characteristics of services
Intangibility (i.e. lack of physical element)
Variability (i.e. no standard, consistent...
–Grönroos (2007)
“the management of customer
relationships, and of relationships
with suppliers, distributors, and other
n...
Activity - the marketing mix
Product
Price
Place
Promotion
People
Process
Physical evidence
Development of marketing approaches
Shi# to relationship marketing
https://www.flickr.com/photos/blumpy/325853852
Evolution of marketing
1. Marketing is unnecessary 
2. Marketing is promotion 
3. Marketing is segmentation and
marketing ...
Organisation orientation
What is your organisation's focus?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdales/6602332085
Organisation orientation
My library's primary focus is...
Developing products and services of the highest quality for our
...
Organisation orientation
Focus Orientation
Quality Product
Increasing awareness and
encouraging use
Sales
Affordability an...
Organisation orientation
Product
14%
Production
14%
Sales
29%
Market
43%
Alcock (2011)
Academic libraries in West Midlands
Marketing library and information services
Overview and development
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/393093...
Marketing in libraries - background
Marketing in libraries is a way to understand user
needs and improve awareness of serv...
– Boden and Davis (2006)
“marketing your library service
should not be considered a luxury
but a necessity”
Marketing User behaviour
Marketing in libraries - today
Marketing in libraries seems to be growing in terms of
acceptance that it is important 
Bud...
Evolution of marketing in libraries
1. Marketing is unnecessary 
2. Marketing is promotion 
3. Marketing is segmentation a...
– Circle and Bierman (2009)
“the days when marketing was
thought to be posters and fliers is
over”
Case studies
Examples of library marketing approaches
https://www.flickr.com/photos/manc/1427691715
Case study 1
Situation
The library has recently subscribed to a new resource discovery service
Marketing options
Leaflets, ...
Case study 1
Situation
The library has recently subscribed to a new resource discovery service
Marketing approaches chosen...
Case study 2
Situation
We've just subscribed to a new online resource with teaching materials for trainee teachers
thanks ...
Case study 2
Situation
We've just subscribed to a new online resource with teaching materials for
trainee teachers thanks ...
Case study 3
Situation
We're running a drop-in information literacy session in the library this
lunchtime on effective sea...
Case study 3
Situation
We're running a drop-in information literacy session in the library this
lunchtime on effective sea...
Case study 4
Situation
We’re refurbishing the first floor of the library and need to let
users know
Marketing options
Poster...
Case study 4
Situation
We’re refurbishing the first floor of the library and need to let users know
Marketing approaches cho...
Marketing planning
Tools and techniques to help plan future marketing activities
https://www.flickr.com/photos/john/2307446...
–Example marketing message
“Our library has 3.4 million
resources to support your studies”
–Example marketing message
“Our library can help you get your
degree without stress"
Benefits, not features
Users are more likely to be
interested in how the
library can help them that
what the library has
Ho...
Consider user segments
Will a first year
undergraduate student
have the same needs as a
post-doc researcher?
Adapt message ...
Personalised approach
Services can be personalised
Each user will have unique
perspective and needs
Consider how services ...
Not just promotion
Remember marketing
encompasses more than just
promotional activities
Ensure all library staff are
invol...
Help at the point of need
Think about the situations
users may find themselves in
need of help, and consider
how you can ge...
Marketing communications plan
Service to be marketed
Audience to market to
Message to market
Communication channel to use
...
Marketing communications plan
Service Audience Message Channel Responsible Dates
Ebooks
Part-time
students
Resources avail...
Marketing planning resources
Planning and organising projects 
Rachel Smith, University of Durham
7 step marketing toolkit...
Marketing evaluation
Assessing the outcome and learning for future marketing activities
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kater...
When to evaluate
Evaluation is a continuous process, not just
for the end of the campaign.
Evaluate after every phase of y...
How to evaluate
How will you know if your goals were met?
How can you monitor performance?
How will you collect feedback?
...
Why did it succeed?
You can’t repeat success
without understanding it.
Were all your goals
SMART?
What were your success
c...
Failure is OK
Taking risks is important.
Not everything works the
first time.
Why did it fail?
What can you learn from
the ...
The importance of the right plan
The numbers say the campaign
was successful...
Did you reach all the people
you were tryi...
Good practice sharing
What examples do you have to share?
References
Alcock, J. (2011) Strategic marketing in academic libraries [online]. MScEcon. Aberystwyth
University. 
Boden, ...
References
Kumbar, R.D. (2004) The importance of marketing and total quality management in
libraries. Electronic Journal o...
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Marketing academic libraries

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The workshop will cover the fundamentals of marketing, including considerations for marketing library and information services. The marketing orientation of the organisation will be discussed, along with the societal shift to relationship marketing. A number of case studies will be shared which demonstrate different approaches to market academic libraries, with tips and advice for implementation.

By the end of the workshop, attendees will:
● Gain a greater understanding of marketing theory and how it applies to library and information services
● Be aware of a number of best practice case studies to learn from and apply the lessons learned in their own service
● Be able to plan and evaluate a marketing campaign for their service

Published in: Education, Business
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Marketing academic libraries

  1. 1. Introduction to Marketing within Academic Libraries Jo Alcock - Evidence Base, Birmingham City University Penny Andrews - University of Sheffield and Leeds Metropolitan University
  2. 2. Learning outcomes By the end of the workshop, attendees will: Gain a greater understanding of marketing theory and how it applies to library and information services Be aware of a number of best practice case studies to learn from and apply the lessons learned in their own service Be able to plan and evaluate a marketing campaign for their services
  3. 3. Overview 1. What is marketing? 2. Service marketing 3. Development of marketing approaches 4. Organisation orientation 5. Marketing library and information services 6. Case studies 7. Marketing planning 8. Marketing evaluation 9. Good practice sharing https://www.flickr.com/photos/benelwell/9009855796
  4. 4. What is marketing? https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexpgp/3609715516
  5. 5. –UK Chartered Institute of Marketing “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably”
  6. 6. “a management process whereby the resources of the organisation are utilised to satisfy the needs of selected customer groups... first and foremost an attitude of mind rather than a series of fundamental activities” –McDonald, 1989, in Wilson and Gilligan, 2005
  7. 7. What is marketing? Core management process Assists organisations in improving current products/services, and developing new products/services Includes: Staff Brand perception Methods of communication
  8. 8. Service marketing How does it differ "om product marketing? https://www.flickr.com/photos/flavor32/2384350798
  9. 9. Unique characteristics of services Intangibility (i.e. lack of physical element) Variability (i.e. no standard, consistent service) Simultaneous production and consumption Perishability (i.e. can't be saved) Lack of ownership
  10. 10. –Grönroos (2007) “the management of customer relationships, and of relationships with suppliers, distributors, and other network partners as well as financial institutions and other parties”
  11. 11. Activity - the marketing mix Product Price Place Promotion People Process Physical evidence
  12. 12. Development of marketing approaches Shi# to relationship marketing https://www.flickr.com/photos/blumpy/325853852
  13. 13. Evolution of marketing 1. Marketing is unnecessary 2. Marketing is promotion 3. Marketing is segmentation and marketing research 4. Marketing is positioning 5. Marketing is strategic planning 6. Marketing is enrolment [relationship] management Kotler and Fox (1995) https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/3191664147
  14. 14. Organisation orientation What is your organisation's focus? https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdales/6602332085
  15. 15. Organisation orientation My library's primary focus is... Developing products and services of the highest quality for our users Increasing awareness and encouraging use of our products and services Developing products and services which are most affordable and convenient for our users Developing products and services based on our research into our users' needs
  16. 16. Organisation orientation Focus Orientation Quality Product Increasing awareness and encouraging use Sales Affordability and convenience Production Research into users' needs Market Adapted from Rowley (2003)
  17. 17. Organisation orientation Product 14% Production 14% Sales 29% Market 43% Alcock (2011) Academic libraries in West Midlands
  18. 18. Marketing library and information services Overview and development https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/393093257
  19. 19. Marketing in libraries - background Marketing in libraries is a way to understand user needs and improve awareness of services through effective communication Marketing in libraries is not a new concept, but the term was not used until recently Marketing is frequently cited as unpopular among library staff (Lindsay, 2004; Singh, 2009; Kumbar, 2004)
  20. 20. – Boden and Davis (2006) “marketing your library service should not be considered a luxury but a necessity”
  21. 21. Marketing User behaviour
  22. 22. Marketing in libraries - today Marketing in libraries seems to be growing in terms of acceptance that it is important Budgetary, technological and societal changes have raised the importance of marketing and proving the library’s value Growing number of jobs advertised for librarians with qualification and/or experience in marketing (Dubicki, 2007) Transition in line with Kotler and Fox’s evolution of marketing model
  23. 23. Evolution of marketing in libraries 1. Marketing is unnecessary 2. Marketing is promotion 3. Marketing is segmentation and marketing research 4. Marketing is positioning 5. Marketing is strategic planning 6. Marketing is enrolment [relationship] management Kotler and Fox (1995) https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/3191664147
  24. 24. – Circle and Bierman (2009) “the days when marketing was thought to be posters and fliers is over”
  25. 25. Case studies Examples of library marketing approaches https://www.flickr.com/photos/manc/1427691715
  26. 26. Case study 1 Situation The library has recently subscribed to a new resource discovery service Marketing options Leaflets, posters, displays in library Inductions and training sessions Fresher’s Fair for new students Roadshow for academics and those who don’t visit library Social media Focus - ease of use, breadth of resources, or “better than Google”?
  27. 27. Case study 1 Situation The library has recently subscribed to a new resource discovery service Marketing approaches chosen Training and handouts for library staff Inductions and fliers within the library Roadshow for academics outside the library Focus initially on breadth of resources but changed to ease of use Hints and tips Remember to include library staff as a key audience Consider marketing activities outside the library as potential users may not visit the library Look at goals and audience carefully - social media hadn’t worked for this institution in previous marketing efforts Focusing on academics can be more beneficial than students - the former influence the latter
  28. 28. Case study 2 Situation We've just subscribed to a new online resource with teaching materials for trainee teachers thanks to a student recommendation. We'd like to raise awareness with other students. Marketing options Email to Education academics Promotion during information literacy session with trainee teachers Highlighted on 'Resources for teaching' blog for trainee teachers Announcement on Education VLE Fliers in library with information about resource Posters in 'Teaching Practice Collection' resource area
  29. 29. Case study 2 Situation We've just subscribed to a new online resource with teaching materials for trainee teachers thanks to a student recommendation. We'd like to raise awareness with other students. Marketing approaches chosen Highlighted on 'Resources for teaching' blog for trainee teachers Posters in 'Teaching Practice Collection' resource area Hints and tips When promoting to specific user group, target communication to them in particular
  30. 30. Case study 3 Situation We're running a drop-in information literacy session in the library this lunchtime on effective search techniques. Marketing options Email to all students Announcement in VLE Tannoy announcements throughout the morning in library Signs and fliers at library enquiry desks Library social media accounts
  31. 31. Case study 3 Situation We're running a drop-in information literacy session in the library this lunchtime on effective search techniques. Marketing approaches chosen Tannoy announcements throughout the morning in library Signs and fliers at library enquiry desks Hints and tips Consider the context of the service you are marketing - is it specific to a time and/or place?
  32. 32. Case study 4 Situation We’re refurbishing the first floor of the library and need to let users know Marketing options Posters, display, leaflets in library Social media Focus - information about disruption, information about new floor and study spaces, or visuals of new floor?
  33. 33. Case study 4 Situation We’re refurbishing the first floor of the library and need to let users know Marketing approaches chosen Display Social media Minimal focus on disruption, mainly visual focus Hints and tips Reuse existing materials where appropriate - display reused model used by estates for library staff Visual progress photos on social media can gain interest, and encourage users to take their own photos once refurbishment is complete
  34. 34. Marketing planning Tools and techniques to help plan future marketing activities https://www.flickr.com/photos/john/2307446365
  35. 35. –Example marketing message “Our library has 3.4 million resources to support your studies”
  36. 36. –Example marketing message “Our library can help you get your degree without stress"
  37. 37. Benefits, not features Users are more likely to be interested in how the library can help them that what the library has How are your services going to make your users happy? https://www.flickr.com/photos/timefortea3/3858337588
  38. 38. Consider user segments Will a first year undergraduate student have the same needs as a post-doc researcher? Adapt message considering core users and benefits for them https://www.flickr.com/photos/simpologist/42391997
  39. 39. Personalised approach Services can be personalised Each user will have unique perspective and needs Consider how services can be adapted to support their specific needs https://www.flickr.com/photos/csb13/57564217
  40. 40. Not just promotion Remember marketing encompasses more than just promotional activities Ensure all library staff are involved or at least aware of any new services https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_justified_sinner/2498066986
  41. 41. Help at the point of need Think about the situations users may find themselves in need of help, and consider how you can get to them, e.g. No results found after searching for resources Lost in the library Week before first assignment https://www.flickr.com/photos/evaekeblad/2326577823
  42. 42. Marketing communications plan Service to be marketed Audience to market to Message to market Communication channel to use People responsible Timescale
  43. 43. Marketing communications plan Service Audience Message Channel Responsible Dates Ebooks Part-time students Resources available whenever and wherever Library website Jo 02/10/2014 Ebooks Distance learning students All your research resources accessible wherever you are VLE Penny 14/10/2014 Using a spreadsheet with shared access for all staff can be useful to keep all information in one place, then can use this data to populate specific plans based on service, audience or channel.
  44. 44. Marketing planning resources Planning and organising projects Rachel Smith, University of Durham 7 step marketing toolkit Kay Grieves, University of Sunderland
  45. 45. Marketing evaluation Assessing the outcome and learning for future marketing activities https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/4330199412
  46. 46. When to evaluate Evaluation is a continuous process, not just for the end of the campaign. Evaluate after every phase of your plan. Evaluate every message and every channel. Evaluate your plan itself. Listen, and be prepared to change your plan.
  47. 47. How to evaluate How will you know if your goals were met? How can you monitor performance? How will you collect feedback? How will you respond to feedback? Remember to go beyond the numbers.
  48. 48. Why did it succeed? You can’t repeat success without understanding it. Were all your goals SMART? What were your success criteria? Why did you choose them? https://www.flickr.com/photos/cnhender/14511985102
  49. 49. Failure is OK Taking risks is important. Not everything works the first time. Why did it fail? What can you learn from the failure? What was good about it? https://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/8226451812
  50. 50. The importance of the right plan The numbers say the campaign was successful... Did you reach all the people you were trying to reach? Were your goals compromised by budget, resistance from colleagues or a reluctance to rock the boat? “The operation was successful, but the patient died” https://www.flickr.com/photos/decipher-reflections/4764825971
  51. 51. Good practice sharing What examples do you have to share?
  52. 52. References Alcock, J. (2011) Strategic marketing in academic libraries [online]. MScEcon. Aberystwyth University. Boden, D. and Davis, L. (2006) Developing a marketing mindset. Library & Information Update, 5(5), pp.38-39. Circle, A. and Biernan, K. (2009) The house brand. Library Journal, 134(11), pp.32-35. Dubicki, E. (2007) Basic marketing and promotion concepts. The Serials Librarian, 53(3), pp.5-15. Grieves, K. (2012) The 7 Step Marketing Toolkit [online]. Available at: http:// 7steptoolkit.wordpress.com Grönroos, C. (2007) Service management and marketing: customer management in service competition. 3rd ed. Chichester: John Wiley. Kotler, P. and Fox, K.F.A. (1995) Strategic marketing for educational institutions. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  53. 53. References Kumbar, R.D. (2004) The importance of marketing and total quality management in libraries. Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship [online], 5(2-3). Lindsay, A.R. (2004) Marketing and public relations practices in college libraries. Chicago: American Library Association. Rowley, J. (2003) Information marketing: seven questions. Library Management, 24(1-2), pp.13-19. Singh, R. (2009) Does your library have an attitude problem towards ‘marketing’? Revealing inter-relationship between marketing attitudes and behaviour. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(1), pp.25-32. Smith, R. (2013) Planning and organising projects [online]. Available at: http:// missrachelsmith.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/planning-and-organising-projects/ Wilson, R.M.S. and Gilligan, C. (2005) Strategic marketing management: planning, implementation and control. 3rd ed. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

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