Marketing As A Part of
the Corporate Library
Poster presented by
Deb Rash and Kristine Spanier
B&F and DAM Divisions,
SLA 2010 Annual Conference
Marketing is an organizational
function and a set of processes for
creating, communicating and
delivering value to customers and
for managing customer
relationships in ways that beneﬁt
the organization and its
stakeholders.(American Marketing Association)
Does this resonate within
corporate libraries that are
forever focused on
proving their value?
In January we conducted a
survey to ﬁnd out and our
results were enlightening.
Survey Conducted January 2010
• 162 info pros/librarians submitted answers.
• From all sizes of corporations ranging from
one to more than 1000 employees.
• Range of information center staff size -
40% have 2-5 employees, 19% have 1 and
21% have more than 10.
• Majority working in US or Canada but also
from UK, Australia, France, India, Italy and
Over 85% of survey respondents do not have a
written marketing plan.
Nearly 90% do not have a budget for marketing.
What platforms do you use to communicate your value to clients?
Email Alerts 118
Wall Postings 52
0 38 75 113 150
“Other” Platforms Used To
• Yammer (corporate version
• Business cards
• Open Houses
• Town Hall meetings
How Do You Determine
• Maintaining awareness of where people go
• Surveys and information audits.
• Keeping ears and eyes open.
• SWOT analyses.
• By identifying anyone who does the same
• “On a case by case basis when we become
aware information is obtained outside of our
• “Anecdotally, when our association members
mention that they have submitted similar
requests to their company information centers
or other associations they belong to.”
• “No real competition. We are the only ones
in the company with access to classiﬁed
An Ah - Hah Answer
• “We communicate
regularly with business
groups and divisions. If
someone is doing
something that we
consider to be
‘competition’ we assess
what our unique value is
and determine if it is
something we should
continue to provide, or
if it’s something we
should ‘give up.’”
How Do You Deﬁne Your
• All employees.
• Those who speciﬁcally use information to do
• Research staff.
• Professional staff.
• High level executives.
• Company clients and staff.
Deﬁning Target Audience
• “We try not to eliminate anyone, but some
groups are obvious - the ones who impact the
bottom line and bring money for the ﬁrm!”
• “The users and the non-users, plus
geographical, plus cultural ways of working.”
• “Segmented by business line and seniority so
varies by resource and service.”
• “We focus on the most strategic groups in the
company and the most strategic projects.”
What Goals Have You Set
For Your Marketing Efforts?
• Build awareness.
• Communicate value
• Contribute to
• Increase use.
Goal Setting in Practice
• “To not be seen as the ‘best kept secret within our
• “Deﬁne more speciﬁcally our services to assist our
stakeholders in understanding exactly what it is we can do
for them. Build relationships with additional stakeholder
• “To remain in the forefront of our organization, to be a
positive force in the organization’s success.”
• “We want to get more requests from our users.”
• “I have more work than time, so I don’t have set, formal
marketing efforts. I market by being a valuable team
player every day.”
• “Stayin’ alive.”
What Tactics Do You Use To
Reach Those Goals?
• Training sessions, events.
• Connecting with senior
• Providing constant value
• Give something to talk about.
• Being team players.
• Continuous evaluation of
services and products.
• Develop relationships.
• Do compelling work.
Tactics in Practice
• “We communicate compelling information, often, to
our clientele and to the whole corporation.”
• “Create buzz.”
• “Showing we are concerned about efﬁciencies as
well as costs without sacriﬁcing service.”
• “Develop relationships of trust.”
• “By providing comprehensive, timely, credible, and
accurate research and resources.”
• “Provide excellent information formatted in a way
that suits the requestor and can be used by others.”
What Have Been the Results
of Your Marketing Efforts?
• Increased awareness.
• Increased usage.
• Increased budget.
• Increased staff.
• Increased respect.
• Higher proﬁle.
• Higher integration in
company and culture.
• Still here!
Results in Practice
• “Increased service usage, more reﬁned user requests,
increase in salaries.”
• “We’re still in business! Seriously, we are no longer an
afterthought. We’re brought in right from the
beginning. We’re valued and we add value!”
• “We are ﬁrmly entrenched in the corporate culture.”
• “I am increasingly invited into high-level meetings and
am becoming more integrated into our planning and
• “Good feedback.”
• “Greater visibility, greater trust, more business, higher
Will you evaluate the results
of your marketing plan?
What Methods Do You Use to Evaluate Your Marketing Effort?
0 18 35 53 70
Do You Conduct An Information
or Communications Audit Before
a New Marketing Effort?
• The answer is mixed - some do
both, some do one and not the
other and some do not conduct
any type of audit at all.
The Audit In Practice
• “One-on-one interviews, including project
• “Surveys sent to one business segment.”
• “All deliverables reviewed and evaluated.”
• “Focus groups.”
• “Log research requests and analyze yearly
• “Track website usage and subscriptions.”
New Services As A Result
of the Audit
• Speciﬁc intranet
• Current awareness.
• Designed custom
• More database
How Has Your Marketing
Changed In Recent Years?
• Some more.
• Some less.
• More virtual.
• More global.
• Less traditional.
• More web 2.0.
Initiatives in Practice
• “Have tried to expand them beyond the physical headquarters.”
• “More time and effort spent on marketing. More use of online tools.”
• “Yes! Lots – no more paper communications, no more parties, less
scattershot training. The frill is gone!”
• “Always changing.”
• “They have been reduced to basics due to staff and time constraints.”
• “Virtually everything is done digitally now.”
• “From conventional to e-based using social networking software.”
• “Changed with the availability of technology and growth of the company.”
• “We have grown and scaled back our efforts depending on where we are
with our education effort of our new sponsors. Sometimes we need to
coast and remain under the radar for a while to survive, then we re-
What Has Been Your Most Successful
Recent Marketing Initiative?
• Newsletter/blogs • Current
• Open house/
social events • New product
embedded • Presentations
• Training/demos • Brand/tagline/
internet • One-on-one
What Has Not Lived Up To
• Open house/social events
• New service/product introductions
• Old school marketing
• Current awareness service/alerts
What Are Your Biggest Challenges
In Staying Visible?
• Access • Remote Users
• Acknowledgement • Staff Reduction
• Awareness • Support
• Budget • Time
• Global • Turnover
• Google • Value
Challenges In Practice
• “Some of our best work is embedded in
projects, reports, etc. by requestors, with
no acknowledgement that we participated/
supported their work.”
• “Challenge is breaking through the clutter
that our end users are constantly
• “An extremely tight budget that prevents us
from adding advanced services that would
be very well-received by clients.”
• “Learning how to service global clients.”
More Challenges In Practice
• “Competing with Google!”
• “Most people no longer leave their ofﬁce.
Everything is virtual and there is less face-
to-face and, in the end, that’s what makes
a relationship and keeps people thinking of
• “With a reduced staff just staying ahead of
the billable work so that we can continue
to develop marketing materials.”
• “Demonstrating the value of our services.”
Make marketing a core part of
your strategy so that the
connection between the services
you provide and success for the
company will become an obvious
part of everyday encounters and
your basic value proposition.
Thank you to all the
who took time out of their
busy days to answer our