February 11, 2016

Ben Bizzle | Movers & Shakers 2013 — Marketers

Viral VIP

Ben Bizzle - Movers & Shakers 2013

Vitals

CURRENT POSITION
Director of Technology
Crowley Ridge Regional Library, Craighead County
Jonesboro Public Library, AR


DEGREE
English/Psychology, University of Memphis, 1990–93


UPCOMING PROJECT
“Words,” 2013 campaign that relies upon typography to promote the library “in a way that’s more art than advertisement”


FOLLOW
@benbizzle; www.benbizzle.com; www.libraryinjonesboro.org


Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images for Library Journal


Ben Bizzle isn’t just making waves in the library world—he’s made himself known to anyone with a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, or a YouTube account. In early 2012, Bizzle generated buzz around the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library through an eye-catching billboard emblazoned with the words “Spoiler Alert! Dumbledore dies on page 596.” The ad made the front page of popular social news website Reddit.

Bizzle’s knack for generating provocative, meme-like content with a habit of going viral on the web has been invaluable in developing his library’s dynamic marketing initiative. He’s also promoted the library through e-cards that pair simple illustrations with witty quips (“Concerts on the Lawn…It’s the closest you’ll ever get to being a groupie”) and through several YouTube videos, including “Book Club,” a parody of Fight Club that author Chuck Palahniuk linked to on his Facebook page.

Though Bizzle pushes boundaries with his edgy, subversive humor, he says, “There’s a method to the madness, a reason for the ridiculous.” These unforgettable ads have roused patrons into actively participating in programming: from 2011 to 2012, concert series participation increased 100 percent (from 200 to 400 attendees on average), and foot traffic to the library has gone from 1,000 to 2,000 people per day over four years. Meanwhile ebook downloads have risen over 2011–12 from 12,000 to 31,000 downloads and Freegal MP3 downloads went from 10,000 to 22,000.

“[His] marketing campaign has taken a business approach to a library problem,” says Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael Public Library, CA, who recently worked with Bizzle on a case study involving Facebook ads and libraries. “He’s willing to be bold, to take those risks that others are not willing, or able, to take.”

Share
Create the Library Your Community or Campus Needs
LTC Online Course Join Library Journal and a roster of design experts for our latest 4-week interactive online course. Starting January 27, 2016, Library Design Workshop will guide participants through complex issues of library space design projects such as space programming, fundraising, and finding the right design team.
  • Develop a roadmap to create a flexible library space suited to your community.
  • Inspiring ideas, concepts, and perspectives from leaders in the library design field.
  • Build a framework to create a robust report for key stakeholders.
Lead the Change logoLTC register Lead the Change
Library Journal's Lead the Change offers timely resources and tools to stay ahead of the innovations and changes impacting the library profession. Library staff at all levels can participate in hands-on live events, access insightful on-demand webcasts, and enroll in LTC Leadership Academy - Online, a new online learning program that will help staff learn essential skills to advance their careers, solve problems unique to their libraries, and put strategic plans into action. LEARN MORE

Comments

  1. Englebert Humperwhale says:

    “The Fonz: The Twilight Years”