New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Book Review: The Library Marketing Toolkit by Ned Potter

This review is long overdue ...

Hats off to Ned Potter for writing a book to help librarians market their organizations. There are two exciting aspects of this book that brings a new perspective to the books that are already out there: case studies from around the globe and a working blog where he 'll update information.

We can never get enough books that encourage librarians to learn about the marketing process. My co-blogger Kathy Dempsey, did an amazing job of it in her book, The Accidental Library Marketer, and this book covers it beautifully as well. Both authors approach the marketing process as it applies specifically to the library field which makes a huge difference for librarians trying to figure out how to reach their audiences. Ned's down to earth tone makes it an easy read and less intimidating for those who might otherwise feel overwhelmed by it all. I love that he keeps reminding us that marketing is both valuable and fun.

So who should read this book?
I think just about everybody in the library. Administrators need to understand how the marketing aligns with the strategic planning process. Program developers will benefit by understanding the importance of creating programming that meets the needs of their audience. Web designers get some great tips and everyone will welcome learning about incorporating social media into the overall marketing plan.  Frontline workers will be able to visualize their role better and the entire community will benefit when the library incorporates partnerships into their planning. Ned also covers the integration of advocacy and marketing as well as discussing some ideas of marketing special collections. 

Real-Life Situations
The case studies add a variety of voices that help the reader envision how marketing could look for their library or specifically for their project or job. Of course the fact the he recruited the best of the best doesn't hurt either. I am sniffling a little that I'm not in it. 

Ned utilized his talent for interviewing to pull essential information from his marketing studies.  

This is a book you will want to read front to back 
and then leave on your desk for a handy reference

Here are a few gems to whet your appetite:

Katy Sidwell, University of Leeds, has sold over 35,000 tote bags. Labeled "the Sshhh bags" they released limited edition colors and turned the library tote bag into a phenomenon.
Ned shares a graph to demonstrate what a stakeholder audit looks like. (this is really cool.)

Kathy Saeed, NYPL, shares that their communication team surveys the Twitterverse  everyday looking for trending topics,  current events and popular content.

Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones, takes the cloak off of the secrets to focus groups!

If you are responsible for marketing any part of the offerings of your library, include Ned’s book in your reading list. 

If you are looking for some additional reading, Ned and I are both writing articles about marketing for Library Journal.

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