NTIS - Branding Services

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Don Hagen, NTIS, on Branding of Services (presented at the Libraries in Tough Economic Times event at NIH Library March 6, 2009 sponsored by ALA FAFLRT)

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NTIS - Branding Services

  1. 1. Date: Friday, March 6, 2009 Presented by : Don Hagen www.ntis.gov Federal Information Experts Bridging the gap between government information and those who put it to work
  2. 2. Libraries in Tough Economic Times Sharing the NTIS Experience
  3. 3. ALA Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table District of Columbia Library Association Washington, DC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association ALA Government Documents Round Table National Institutes of Health Library Thank you:
  4. 4. How to identify, market and promote the needs of the library customer to maintain value?
  5. 5. NTIS Background <ul><li>Collection, organization and dissemination of Government Scientific and Technical Information </li></ul><ul><li>No annual appropriation </li></ul><ul><li>All costs must be covered through fees </li></ul><ul><li>NTIS has had its share of tough times! </li></ul>
  6. 6. General Trends in Dissemination of Physical Media National Technical Information Service
  7. 7. NTIS Customer-Centric Approach <ul><li>Since 2005: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewed focus on understanding customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewed focus on academic and government libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewed outreach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application of marketing processes </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. A Word about Marketing <ul><li>Marketing is not (just): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing is understanding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The value you provide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To Whom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why do they see value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What else could your (potential) customers do with their time/money/attention </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. A Word about Positioning* <ul><li>If you understand your customer’s needs, your solution, and your competition, then you will understand your “position” within the customer’s or target customer’s mind. </li></ul><ul><li>* Positioning, The Battle for Your Mind (Ries and Trout, McGraw-Hill, 1981) </li></ul>
  10. 10. NTIS Customer-Centric Approach <ul><li>After one year of outreach through discussions at conferences, forums, and one-on-one conversations, </li></ul><ul><li>NTIS embarked on a two-year marketing process to answer the following questions: </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Marketing Questions Asked <ul><li>To understand the NTIS Position in the Minds of Our Customers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who do we do it for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why do they buy from us? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is our competition? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are we significantly better than them? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Initial Period - What NTIS Learned <ul><li>NTIS Name was well-known, but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many did not realize NTIS still existed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many had outdated perception of NTIS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NTIS information solutions and value not well understood </li></ul>
  13. 13. Re-introduction of NTIS to the Library Community <ul><li>February 2007 – NTIS launched DARTS as a joint project with GPO: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>240,000 NTIS documents and bibliographic records made available online to FDL members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No charge to users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intended as a reintroduction of NTIS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intended as a market probe of interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intended to solicit feedback from users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid product development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considered a success by GPO, NTIS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and users, but… </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Re-introduction of NTIS to the Library Community <ul><li>Users of DARTS wanted more: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier access </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NTIS wants an ongoing dialogue with users for product development and to increase usage of information products </li></ul>
  15. 15. NTIS Develops the National Technical Reports Library (NTRL) <ul><li>DARTS usage led to increased communication between NTIS and the library community </li></ul><ul><li>NTIS gathered requirements for significantly enhanced information solution through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct one-to-one discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of library market understanding </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. NTIS Develops the National Technical Reports Library (NTRL) <ul><li>NTIS employed rapid prototyping and an iterative development process to create the first version of NTRL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May 2008 through August 2008 – In-house development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>September 2008 through November 2008 – alpha testing with a small group of libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>December 2008 – more product development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>January 2009 through March 2009 – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beta testing with enhanced access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>April 2009 – official launch </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. NTRL Development Guidelines <ul><li>Customer input trumps inside opinions. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t build in extra bells and whistles unless customers want them. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop quickly, test quickly, fix quickly. </li></ul>
  18. 18. So Remember to ask yourself: <ul><li>What do we do? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do we do it for? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do they “buy” from us? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is our competition? </li></ul><ul><li>How are we significantly better than them? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Random Suggestions <ul><li>Be passionate about users. </li></ul><ul><li>Be proud of your work. </li></ul><ul><li>Add incremental value to everything you touch. </li></ul><ul><li>Measure meaningful stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>Embed yourself in research flows. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Web 2.0-3.0, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The future of special collections is very bright. </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy…critical thinking needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Library value…Shout it from the hilltops! </li></ul>
  20. 20. For More Information Contact Don Hagen, Associate Director Office of Product and Program Management 703-605-6142 [email_address] www.ntis.gov

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