Marketing Online Resources

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Ruth Lednicer, Chicago Public Library
ILA 2009 Annual Conference

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Marketing Online Resources

  1. 1. Marketing Online Resources Ruth Lednicer Director of Marketing Chicago Public Library
  2. 2. You’ve got the product – now how do you tell them about it? <ul><li>Chicago Public Library offers more than 80 online databases as well as online downloadable resources, all appealing to a wide array of user audiences. </li></ul><ul><li>The first step in this process is to break down who uses which resource and how to reach that group in a way they will hear the message. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Market Segmentation <ul><li>Who is the audience (students, business owners, medical professionals?); </li></ul><ul><li>How do they get their information (bulletin boards, newspapers, online sites?) </li></ul><ul><li>Where do they work, live, shop, relax? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the “influencers” in that market? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Once you establish who you are trying to reach, you can then develop a plan to get the information in front of them outside of the library: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website highlights </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Website highlights <ul><li>Popular Topic pages on Library website – CPL includes links to related databases. </li></ul><ul><li>All online and printed guides for programs such as One Book, One Chicago, Summer Reads for Adults, and the Summer Reading Program for children now include related online resources to help patrons learn more about the subject. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Training <ul><li>It’s one thing to tell people what resource they should use (and why) – it’s even better to show them. </li></ul><ul><li>CPL started training all its staff, along with other City staff on what databases we offer and why one might want to use them. </li></ul><ul><li>We started at City Hall and worked from the top down - </li></ul>
  7. 9. <ul><li>Our librarians offered training sessions to the Mayor’s Cabinet and then to any of their staff who wanted to learn what was available to them, for both work and for personal use. </li></ul><ul><li>Attendees told us that they were (a) surprised at all we had and (b) grateful to know the ways these resources could make their jobs easier. </li></ul>
  8. 10. Buy in by library staff <ul><li>Don’t forget your own library staff – we also offered training classes for CPL staff, at both an All Staff training day and throughout the year, so that they could effectively talk to patrons (and people in their own lives) about the resources and how they can be used. </li></ul>
  9. 12. Other training opportunities <ul><li>Open houses for small business owners – CPL cross-promoted these with other city departments who work with business owners; </li></ul><ul><li>Public schools – CPL offers training to teacher/librarians in the schools; </li></ul><ul><li>Other groups – we worked with students at a residential home to teach them databases which would help with their homework. </li></ul>
  10. 14. Dinner party influencers <ul><li>Don’t underestimate the power of “influencers” to talk up these resources in everyday conversations with coworkers, friends or even at a dinner party. </li></ul><ul><li>Once you win them over, these patrons (and staff) can be your best advertisers for your product with personal stories. </li></ul>

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