Before going to library marketing, lets understand the term marketing. Some consider marketing as a theory and some consider it as a process whereas marketing includes both. Marketing postulates the study and understanding of theories as well as their application in the fulfilment of marketing processes. In the language of professional, marketing is considered to include four P’s as product, price, promotion and place. These four terms could be found in the entire literature concerned or connected to marketing. In the study of library marketing, two additional P’s are included. These two P’s stand for prelude and postulate where, first one stands for marketing audit and the second one for marketing evaluation. These six steps have important applications when talking of library marketing.
Library Marketing: It is defined as a work of a plan that involves identification, attraction, service and support gain of specific individuals or group that fulfil the objectives of a library and the firm in support. Library marketing is all about providing a quality of customer services or services to a specific community. A successful library should have the calibre to drive the changing needs of its customers as well as the market.
Why seek market libraries?
Marketing applied to libraries is fairly new concept which is growing rapidly these days. As per some reports most of the libraries receive nearly 25% excess services than their targets. Libraries are believed to be inventory full of products and services i.e. information. There is also a fair enough rise in competition between libraries to meet end user demands.
What librarians should do to seek attention?
A library provides customers an environment that houses a number of options, profound options that could suffice a number of customers. But the question should be “How the customers will come to know whether such a library exists?” Advertisements have succeeded throughout the history of marketing, in grabbing public attention and turning them into clients/ customers. Thus advertisement could be used to draw customers to such a library.
In order to stay in business a library must also have the knowledge of customer requirements and market. A librarian must be aware of the changing customer demands and marketing trends and the library market must be able to provide required services with appropriate support to aid customers in solving issues regarding purchased goods and services.
How to start Library marketing?
Like every business, market libraries require should house a good management. It is the management that decides what resources to acquire and what type of services should be provided, moreover what type of customers to target. A library should have well defined management and organizational objectives before it plans marketing strategies.
What to consider when planning a marketing library?
It is essential to have a good management planning in marketing library moreover it is necessary to calculate:
- A dollar value for library services and resources
- A library’s dollar value
A dollar value for library services and resources is estimated by acquiring cost data of the information service operations and getting user estimates of beneficial services thereby calculating return on investment (ROI) through comparing cost of inputs and services sold.
A library’s dollar value is estimated by conducting shorts surveys to users which takes into account; number of times library met customers demands, time saved by the customers having an online library and user comments on library service. All reviews and statics are then collected and analyzed to report; the number of times library was able to meet customer requirements, Quality of service provided, money saved to employees, worth of service and library collection. Through the time consuming analysis of the above information, cost of operation and yearly statistics, a ROI figure is determined.