In our marketing survey we asked library marketers to share thoughts on the future of marketing in libraries. Just like the challenges, similar themes arise and some things sound familiar. Most noticeably we recognize the necessity of demonstrating value and awareness of the channel of social networking tools to push messages.
Some of your thoughts:
"I see it becoming more important as libraries fight for funding. Marketing and PR are needed in order to keep libraries and their services top of mind with the public and with potential advocates. We also need to continually illustrate how library services are relevant to the community and making positive impacts."
"I see them as the library’s voice to the community that does not come into the library regularly. We are responsible for letting this part of the community know our value to them."
"Helping libraries use social networking intelligently and strategically."
"As the arm of the library devoted to keeping the library relevant to the community.
I think they are quite necessary to create a realization about the library in the minds of the community."
"The consumer culture this day and age is media-hungry and mobile and is populated by technological sophisticates. Anyone with a cell phone or iPod, aside from the standard personal computer, has the means to consume media and information on the spot and on the go. Within the next couple of years, libraries and marketing departments will become ever more intertwined as it becomes clear that the marketing department is the library’s primary vehicle for not just promoting its programs and services and advancing its message, but pushing them all into the palms (literally) of patron’s hands."
"Marketing departments will likely increase in importance in the next couple of years. From the informal benchmarking I have done it seems we (academic libraries) are just getting started; we certainly have a lot to learn from our public colleagues."
"The economy makes marketing a hard sell, but also more necessary. I’d hope to see Marketing and Advocacy become more integrated. I definitely see a need for ongoing marketing in times of tight budgets – including internal marketing and communication to staff and stakeholders such as city councils and library boards."
"To position the Library as a vital and relevant part of the community. We need to increase our share of mind among users. Now is the time to do it, those who promote during economic downturns are the ones who will see the biggest increases when the economy turns around."
"With less money, I see more collaboration with other groups to develop cooperative programming and increase the public knowledge of library services."
"Increasing in importance; it’s about the criticality of letting taxpayers know about the quality services and collections they’re paying for."
"Extremely important in communicating to users, voters, funders the value of Libraries.
I think it will be even more important to market our library using Web based technologies since this is the shift we are seeing with our patrons."
It sounds to me like a lot of us are thinking the same thing in terms of the role of marketing in libraries….especially recognizing that the need for this discipline is only going to grow.