Marketing training on the web for public library staff
Strengths & Weaknesses
Introduction to Marketing the Library Module 2
Module 1 is an overview. In Module 2 you will learn more about
the steps in the marketing process: internal assessments, market research, setting
specific goals, selecting promotion strategies, creating a plan of action, implementation,
and evaluation. In the exercises, you will work through the process and create your own
Begin with the Library Mission Statement
The foundation for a great marketing plan is to review the library mission, values,
and philosophy of service. This applies even if you are only creating a market plan for a specific product or service the library offers. It's possible to lose track of the prime directive for your library when sidetracked by new ideas and technologies! Always keep in mind the unique contribution that the library can make to the community, to your users in online communities, and among competing sources of information.
Follow the Steps
This is a summary of the steps you will examine in this module:
- Begin the marketing process by examining your library's mission or purpose.
- Assess library capabilities with a marketing audit, an internal assessment.
- Find out what products (services) your users want, and how they perceive the library,
through market research.
- Develop goals and objectives based on your mission and the results of your internal
audit and external research into what customers want.
- To meet goals, select strategies to promote your products that will work best, be
affordable, and reach your customers.
- Create a plan of action that describes all the steps needed to carry out the strategies
for meeting goals.
- Evaluate how well you have done.
Marketing requires careful planning and begins with understanding the
mission of the library. Marketing can help you succeed in your mission, establish a
positive image for the library in the community, and determine the best way to provide
service to users.
Throughout this module you will work on a sample marketing plan. The first part of your
plan is a statement of your library's mission or purpose. You may print
the form or copy it into your word processor.
- Select ONE service or one user group for the purpose of this sample plan, e.g.
reference, children's programming, an annual event, or pre-schoolers, non-English speaking
- Describe how marketing of this service or to this group will contribute to the library's
mission. For example, if part of your mission is to serve the community, you could say
that marketing will let the community know how you can serve them.
- If you do not have access to a library marketing plan, look at sample
library marketing plans from Module 2. You may also look at online plans for several types of business available on a
commercial site. Choose one or two of the non-profit plans to scan. These plans are more
complex than the plan you will be working on in this module,
but will give you an idea of the way that marketing audits, market research, and the whole
planning process are reflected in the final marketing plan.
Who is involved?
The 2008 Digital Future Project Report shows the average number of hours users spend online has increased to 15.3 hours per week. 16% of Internet users said they go online to find or check a fact at least daily, while 7% of users go online daily or more often to look up the definition of a word.
A growing number (21%) of Internet users said that their home page is a search page such as Google. Other common activities include e-mail (96%), Internet surfing without a specific destination (71%), looking for news online (60%), finding product information (43%), conducting online banking or other financial services (38%), instant messaging (37%), playing online games (35%), searching for humorous content (25%).
Follow all steps of the marketing process to build an effective plan.
Is this for you?
Module 2 is for staff who want to know the steps in creating a
library marketing plan.
Before you start
Read instructions for trainees
and for supervisors on the About page.
Use the links in the right sidebar of each page to visit optional
web sites for more examples, articles, or how-to tips.
Use suggested glossaries
for new terms and concepts and see suggested
bibliographies for further reading.