Musings on Marketing

Rebecca’s Pocket led me into the archaic Jesse’s list, and I had to see if there was still anything live in there. Squidfactory is now a salehouse. While it may have evolved into this, I can’t help wondering if a star-up company got wise and picked an old blog title for the free accidental visitors it would bring their site.

Thinking about that led me into ideas of marketing. I ran a survey of my co-op Library’s student users two weeks ago, and we got some really key information out of it. I passed out surveys in the cafeteria and students returned them completed for chances to win groceries. Two students had never even been in the library. But worst of all, students often didn’t know more than half of the services we offer. Yet all of the respondents who used the library would work online there.

Conclusion: we’re not communicating effectively enough – we need to use the online environment, and do it in such a way that we actually provide a service targetted to their specific needs. If our users were customers, we wouldn’t be making very many sales.

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1 Comment

  1. Oh Shannon, that’s a good one. Fill out my survey and maybe win groceries. Perfect plan for poverty stricken students. I commend you!

    As to marketing, I am in total agreement that libraries need to be more agressive when it comes to alerting their patrons to the services, programs and materials that are available. When I was an undergrad, I believed myself to be pretty savvy when it came to knowing and using the library, but I now realize that I was just scratching the surface insofar as making use of available resources.

    I am in total agreement that communicating with the students via the online environment is the way to go. I also believe that there needs to be more faculty-librarian collaboration, with some of this ‘online marketing’ taking place on department websites and blogs, not just on the library website. Like you mentioned in your post, this could be one way of ‘targetting to their specific needs’. Another is creating podcasts of some of the ‘information literacy’ courses that are given to incoming students. If they can’t make it in person, they might find the time to watch it online. Anything is possible, but I believe you have to find them where they live, and it seems they live on the Web.


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