Tuesday, June 16, 2009
SLA Members Creating Customized Marketing Plans
I'm following up on SLA as promised in my last post. I ran a workshop there over the weekend called Create a Customized Marketing Plan to Target Your Info Center's Clients. I spent the morning with 11 interested and engaged info pros who were committed to learning how to do good marketing, and I really enjoyed it.
I had attendees from varied organizations: insurance, medical, financial, food manufacturing, pharma, government, and agriculture. Despite their diversity, they shared many of the same concerns, particularly in proving their worth to retain funding and in attracting enough customers to support their organizations' goals but not so many that they can't keep up or can't do quality research for each one. To address those concerns, we talked about asking clients to comment on the value of the info centers' research reports, and on keeping track of comments and evaluations so the librarians would have their own data when it came time to prove their Return on Investment or to ask for more staff members.
Before we worked through the process of writing these mini marketing plans, I did several things:
* explained the differences in oft-confused terms
* talked about how to use everyday items as promotional tools
* warned the class about avoiding library lingo
* encouraged everyone to come up with a few useful soundbites to explain why library info is better than what's on the open web (at least for serious research)
This is a workshop I've taught a number of times, and the audiences always seems to get a lot out of it. One of my main goals is to get people to think about going through the steps of true marketing, not just doing bits of promotion for the products and services that they want customers to use. It's a whole new way of thinking for many in this industry.
This was a major conference for SLA because it was celebrating its 100 anniversary. There's no better time for special librarians to start fresh campaigns to prove their value to their parent organizations. I was honored to spend time with some who have the drive and desire to do just that.
Posted by ~Kathy Dempsey at 12:42 PM