The traditional marketing techniques for print resources, such as putting the new items on a “new book shelf” near the front door or keeping heavily used reference items at the reference desk, do not work for resources in an electronic format because there are no physical volumes to view.
Esthetic value Keep it simple and to the point Timely- when required- not during CATS and exam period Right audience- use appropriate databases as examples Acquire promotional tools from the publisher/consortium/parent institution - makes it more authentic Demonstrate search and access of e-resources at events initiated by the institution
Marketing of e- resources
Marketing of e-resourcesMarketing of e-resources
partnership workshop and meeting
Aga Khan University
Introduction to marketing concept
How to market e-resources
Overview of marketing tools
Importance of e-resources
Selection of e-resources
Libraries continue to move more of their
resources from print to electronic formats
The challenge of effective marketing of those
resources has become apparent
The traditional marketing techniques for print
resources do not work for e-resources because
there are no physical volumes to view
How then do libraries best connect their patrons
to appropriate electronic resources?
Making known of an e-resource
with an aim of increasing access and
use of a resource, to support
quality teaching and research
4Ps of marketing in the library context
Product: traditional image of the library as
the ‘brand identity’
Place/distribution: are products distributed from a physical
place, or is the intranet, or even Internet, used as a delivery
Pricing: how do prices for library products or services
compare with electronic Internet based current awareness,
document delivery or bibliographic services?
Promotion: will the library actively promote its services or
risk losing business to new information providers?
How to market e-resources:How to market e-resources:
Effective training is the most valuable
promotional tool of e-resources.
Helps to limit anxiety associated with electronic
Effective training approaches:
Top – down training
Training as part of library programme / project
One- on-one training- to individual users
Training as part of information literacy programme
(also known as freshman’s kitty”)
Organizing an open day:Organizing an open day:
Open days should be carefully
designed and used selectively.
It is good to accompany existing events or
Posters, resource guides
These are usually most effective when associated with the
launch of a new service or a special event.
These can be used to showcase e-resources
without the constraint of the website.
Subscription service is available via:
Open source guide, SubjectPlus is available via:
Lists of databases held or types of e-resources can be
featured. Do not incorporate too much information
Exploiting a library newsletter
A newsletter distributed by e-mail is an excellent way to
market the library, particularly if the library serves several
offices or departments in different locations.
Tips for a successful newsletter:
• Keep it short and snappy
• Feature some members of your staff in
each edition (include photographs)
• Highlight a success story. Did the information you
provided help someone win a research grant?
• Reiterate that you are here to help and encourage
questions and feedback
Resource of the month
A different resource can be featured every month
on the first welcome screen of the library website.
One can offer a short concise description of the
content, dates of coverage, and URL.
Usage is likely to go up in the month where the
database has been selected as ‘resource of the
Users interested in a specific subject area can
register for the alerting service by entering
their name and e-mail address.
New electronic resources that
have been included can be set on certain
status and a list of the resources with the
‘new’ status can be mailed to the interested
Other marketing toolsOther marketing tools
Share user names and
Share Uniform Resource
Locator’s (URLs); share
Branding: pens, writing
materials, flask disks and
E-resource online guides
Marketing tools ...Marketing tools ...
Pins: these are buttons
with a marketing slogans
e.g. Data junkie, data
queen, I love marketing
Word of mouth: formal
or informal gatherings
Screen savers for
Importance of e-resourcesImportance of e-resources
Increase in availability of resources
in electronic format
Reduced costs of computers and related
CHALLENGE: in-effective marketing of resources
Selection criteriaSelection criteria
e-resource MUST contribute to the Library's
mission of providing support for instruction and
research for its primary clientele
Authentic and reputable source
Within library budget
Technical requirementsTechnical requirements
Hardware & software – standard
Product must be net-workable
- What is the means of accessing data
(e.g., are passwords required)?
- Is the resource available at all times
(e.g. Internet resources)?
-Are there special security requirements beyond what the
library usually provides?
- Is the resource stable
(i.e., is the software "buggy")?
Technical ..Technical ....
- Is the data current?
- How often updated?
Does the content include abstracts? Full text?
Does the vendor have a good reputation and
provide good service?
Does the vendor provide support materials?
Electronic resources available toElectronic resources available to
Electronic resources have a direct or indirect cost.
Paid for- scholarly reputable databases – as direct
payment and access by individual institutions or through
consortium’s Access to resources through consortium’s
- 2 ways:
1. Negotiating for discounted access and usage of
e-resources with publishers on behalf of the client.
2. Negotiating for discounted through pulled payments
Resources ….Resources ….
Free - available through programmes
such as Research4life. Such programmes
negotiate for e-resources with the
publishers on behalf of clients.
In this model, cost of access to resources is pegged on
Free - open source in the Internet. In most cases NOT
Some users may harbor a distrust
of all electronic formats, while
other users may not be aware of
newly available resources that would meet their
The cost of e-resource (initial cost and the ever
increasing annual subscriptions)
Initial costs for infrastructure (hardware,
networking) and staff training
Marketing of e-resources is now well and truly
established as crucial to the
success of any service.
A major key to such success
is for marketing not to be seen
as a bolt-on extra, a luxury that is done when
the librarian has the time, but rather as an
essential component of service delivery.
Attempt to get the attention of the patrons
- be courteous, approachable and friendly
Improve the acceptance of the new service
- basic training on search and navigation
Enhance awareness of what is available and its value to
- basic marketing strategy; pins, poster, library hour, library
Guide clients to the appropriate resources
- carry out a basic needs assessment to understand your
user needs and to guide them to the appropriate e-content
Develop a feedback mechanism. This will assist improve and
develop an effective marketing strategy that best meets user
Cosgrove, J.A. (2006), “Drop Them a Postcard”, College and
Undergraduate Libraries, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 93-100.
Ellis, R. (2004), “Marketing of electronic resources: projects and
experiences”, Serials, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 57-59.
Evaluation Criteria and Indicators of Quality for Internet Resources."
Educational Technology, March/April, 1997.
Evaluation Procedures for WWW Information Resources: A Final Project
Report. Paper Presented at The Annual Convention of the Association for
Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), St. Louis, MO.] and
published as Wilkinson, G.L., Bennett, L., & Oliver, K.
Kendall, S. and Massarella, S. (2001), “Prescription for Successful
Marketing”, Computers in Libraries, Vol. 21, No. 8, pp. 28-32.
Leong, J. (2007), “Marketing Electronic Resources to Distance Students”,
The Serials Librarian, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 77-93.
Marie R. Kennedy. 2011. “What Are We Really Doing to Market
Electronic Resources?” Library Management 32(3): 144-158.
Millet, M.S. and Chamberlain, C. (2007), “Word-of-Mouth Marketing Using
Peer Tutors”, The Serials Librarian, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 95-105.