A couple of weeks ago I invited you all to complete a survey about marketing and libraries. We’ll,we’ve got some preliminary results that I wanted to share with you. Here’s some top line observations:
Most respondents see their facilities coming up short on identity, personality and image.
- Improving identity (communicating a clear alignment between what you offer and what your customers need/want) appears to be an area library marketers are most clearly focused on.
- Personality — improving service, relationships, affinities and empathy seems to be an area of greatest confidence for about a third, but a particular challenge for another third.
- Image is less often seen as a serious problem, but something that needs to be worked on.
- The personality issue seems to be largely about transition from a norm of passive response to customer needs to a more aggressive, market-interruptive manner.
Reading through the comments demonstrates how wide the marketing range is in public libraries. It clear that some are professionally driven and others are frustrated by the lack of momentum around marketing efforts:
“…we see a return on our investment in marketing and public relations; in our door counts, circulation.., program attendance and fund-raising. We have a strong brand. ” YEA!
“The director has not interest in telling anyone what the library can do. We are the Wizards of Secrecy.” Sad.
Without a doubt libraries are in transition — and it isn’t just the impact of eBooks or other trends. It is the transition to understanding the value of marketing and embracing the strong results that come from it.
As more results come in, I’ll update you. Meanwhile, make sure you take the survey if you haven’t already!