This week I received a copy of Bite-Sized Marketing, and thought you’d like to be aware of it. One of the authors is Nancy Dowd, whom you might want to follow if you don’t already. She writes a blog called "The M Word," focussing on marketing and libraries.
Available from ALA, Bite-sized Marketing focuses on word-of-mouth marketing. If you are looking for somewhere to start, this is pretty good. The book is easy to digest and straight-forward.
Of course (!) I have a few of reflections.
The complete title of the book is Bite-Sized Marketing, Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian. Now I know that many libraries — even most — can’t afford professional marketing staff, so I’m very sensitive to that. But isn’t it time that marketing professionals do this job? As my executive director so often says, "marketing is the last area to be professionalised in libraries." Why is that?
The book uses the word marketing, and so often that word gets confused with promotion. I’m happy to see that the authors state: "marketing is a concerted effort to articulate your value." Amen! And that "all good marketing always takes into account a customer’s need and includes an evaluation." Many times organizations (libraries, too) promote what they want, not what customers want.
Finally, I’m always cautious about word of mouth marketing. When combined with other strategies, it can be powerful. I’ve too often seen it used, instead, as a disguise for "cheap." It needs to be done because it is the right strategy, not only because it has a smaller pricetag.