Sunday, December 07, 2008
Last Thursday, Dec. 4, we had a "Marketing Bootcamp" at Ocean County Library here in NJ. The M Word's own Nancy Dowd organized this day-long, intensive event. There were two tracks; each lasted all day. One was on hosting a major fundraising event; the other was on word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.
I spent the day in WOM, learning a lot from Jeff Greene,
exec director of client services for Gold Group, which helps implement marketing plans. He discussed WOM and mobile marketing. (that's "mobile" as in phones, PDAs, etc.)
He made sure the crowd understood that WOM is not necessarily organic, free, or self-propelling. A good word-of-mouth marketing campaign is well-planned and has some work behind it. More importantly, you need to have something worth talking about. And not what you, the librarian, think is worth talking about; it has to be something that your target audience will be interested enough in to discuss and pass along.
Jeff gave way more info on mobile marketing than I can summarize here. This is a topic I hadn't paid tons of attention to before, but he convinced me that it can be worthwhile for libraries. I had no idea that more people in the US have cell phones than have cable TV, or that 64% of mobile users say they are frequent texters. He explained how you can use text messages as event reminders, overdue book notices, short surveys, and contests. Interesting stuff.
After lunch, Li Evans from Search Marketing Gurus talked about search engine optimization (SEO). Keyword research is the basis of all search, so your library's website needs to be coded in such a way as to come up on the top of results lists in search engines. This is basic and essential stuff; if you don't know whether your library is covered, check with your webmaster. Yesterday.
While I can't get into all the coding here, at least make sure you have a good "title tag" in your web page; this is what will help engines like Google and Yahoo! pick up your content.
The last act of the WOM track was Nancy and I. We walked the group through the steps of creating a WOM marketing campaign. After explaining the process, we had everyone choose one WOM project they'd like to do and then fill in all the steps they'd need to do on worksheets. We walked around answering questions and helping people shape their ideas. This way, every attendee would go home with a simple WOM camapaign all written out and ready to go. (We want to help ensure action!!)
Overall everyone seemed to enjoy the day and find it worthwhile. We were glad to have a crowd that was really engaged. We hope others will be interested in a day of sessions like this, learning about small campaigns that you can get going quickly. I'm sure Nancy will have some more details to add...
Posted by ~Kathy Dempsey at 10:06 PM