Marketing for Libraries Logo

Course Materials: Course Guide

Use the following guide to complete the requirements for this course.

Each person approaches the study of marketing and libraries in a different way depending on his or her personal and professional interests and experiences. Rather than dictating all of the required readings, this course provides flexibility by allowing you to choose areas where you'd like to explore in-depth.

bridgeThroughout the course readings, you'll find Bridge articles indicated with a bridge icon shown on the left. These are OPTIONAL readings. However they are often useful in completing the Bridge assignments or providing ideas for your final project.

You'll also find outside links that indicate READ, SKIM, BROWSE, or EXPLORE. It's up to you to decide whether these additional resources will be useful for your understanding.

The class contains seven Bridging Theory and Practice activities (70 points) and a final project (30 points). The guidelines for these projects are listed below.

Course Overview

Introduce Yourself (0 Points, required)
In addition to introducing yourself, let's share some of our favorite marketing campaigns in general and also in the area of libraries. Do you have favorite logos, billboards, or television commercials? Do you know of a library that does a great job with marketing itself an its services?

Marketing for Libraries

Read Marketing for Libraries.
Watch Video 1: Overview.
Read: Dempsey Chapters 1, 2

Bridge 1: Award Winning and Notable Library Marketing (10 Points).
Note: At this point, don't worry about the "marketing lingo". Instead concentrate on how libraries are connecting their products and services with their library customers.

Step 1: Go to the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relation Award to see lots of examples of recent library marketing campaigns in a variety of library types. Or, go to the American Libraries Featured Stories Archives and Library Showcase Archive and browse the topics that seem to be related to marketing. You might also check out the Programming Librarian to see how a particular program was marketed. Also, explore journal articles from this course. You can find a master list on the Course Resources page. Or, share a campaign from a local library or one you find online.

Step 2: See what you can find out about the marketing campaigns for three libraries. Think about the definitions of "service" and "social" marketing in your reading. Was this more closely related to service or social marketing? Write a short summary of each marketing campaign.

Step 3: Locate the websites for these three libraries. Browse the websites looking for the types of marketing approaches they are currently using. What approaches are they taking to marketing? How do they using their website to market their services? What are some specific examples? You must use screen captures to show examples from the websites that illustrate your points. Write about your findings including the URLs of the three library websites.

Step 4: Pick one product/service from each of your three libraries and speculate on the Ps (product, price, place, promotion). Feel free to add other Ps if you wish. Think about how marketing is changing in the 21st century. How might this product/service be marketed differently today than a decade ago?

Step 5: Reference your course online readings at least three times. You can cite something from the web pages or from the optional readings. I suggest submitting your assignment as a Word or PDF document attachment. Be sure to check that you've uploaded your assignment and it can be viewed by others.

Share your findings in one of the following three areas in the discussion area under Bridge 1:
Option 1.1: School or Academic Library Interest
Option 1.2: Public Library Interest
Option 1.3: Special Library Interest

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Campaign Summaries (2 Points)
Library Website Examples (3 Points)
Market Change Examples (2 Points)
Professional Citations (2 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Market Audit, Research and the Value of Libraries

Read Market Research and the Value of Libraries.
Watch Video 2 Market Audit, Research, & Value.
Read Dempsey Chapters 3-8

Complete Bridge 1: Award Winning and Notable Library Marketing.

Audience Analysis

Read Audience Analysis.
Watch Video 3: Audience Analysis.

Complete Bridge 2: Research and Analysis.

Bridge 2: Research and Analysis (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following three options.

Option 2.1: Marketing Literature and Market Research
Step 1: Read three professional journal articles on a current marketing strategy, technique or approach from well-respected journals such as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing Management, or Journal of Marketing. Summarize your findings. Provide complete citations and links if possible. These articles don't need to be specifically related to libraries.
OR
Select three professional journal articles on current topics related to marketing library services. You can find lots of ideas on the Course Resources page. Summarize your findings. Provide complete citations and links if possible.
These should be professional journal articles, not simply blog entries or web pages.
OR
You can select a mix of general marketing articles and library-specific articles.

Step 2: Discuss how each of the three articles used market research, market audits, or other strategies to collect data for use in understanding library user needs. If they didn't do any of these things, pick another article.

Step 3: Describe a library that you know personally. Discuss how the marketing strategies in each of the three articles could be applied to this "real-world" library setting. Create a specific, real or fictional example. For instance, how might you apply these marketing strategies for a campaign that markets your music collection or promotes your new "maker space program"?

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Article Summaries (3 Points)
Market Research Strategies (3 Points)
Real-World Connection (3 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 2.2 The Value of Libraries
Step 1: Synthesize the literature on the "value of libraries" in your library area of interest. Provide a list of specific "talking points" or big ideas that could be used in justifying libraries. Cite at least three sources you used.

Step 2: Discuss the concepts of Return on Investment and Cost/Benefit. How do these ideas fit with the broader idea of the value of libraries? Provide at least three specific examples.

Step 3: Apply one of the Library Value Calculators to a library that you use. Show and discuss your findings. What are the pros and cons of using this type of approach to calculating value?

Step 4: Provide three specific examples of how people derive value from libraries.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Value of Libraries Summary (3 Points)
ROI&Cost/Benefit Examples (2 Points)
Library Value Calculator (2 Points)
Library Value (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 2.3: Audience Analysis
.
Step 1: Read and summarize three of the following four articles:
Reducing Barriers to Resources by Listening to Our Users
'I Stay Away from the Unknown, I Guess.'
'If It Is Too Inconvenient, I'm Not Going After it:'
On the Trail of the Elusive Non-user

Step 2: Discuss how each of the three articles approaches audience analysis. What do they want to know from the library user? How is this information useful in planning? Cite specific examples from each of the articles.

Step 3: Describe a "real world" library product or service where you think a knowledge of the library user is essential. Invent some categories to help you describe current and potential users or use published categories. How is this information useful in planning and marketing services? How would your approach vary for users in different categories?

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Article Summaries (3 Points)
Audience Analysis Strategies (3 Points)
Categorize Audiences (3 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Market Segmentation

Read Market Segmentation.
Watch Video 4: Market Segmentation.

Complete Bridge 3: Services and Segmentation.

Product and Service Identification

Read Product and Service Identification.
Watch Video 5: Product and Service Identification.

Bridge 3: Services and Segmentation (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following three options:

Option 3.1: Match Segments with Services.
Explore library websites, blogs, and other sources for interesting new or innovative library products and services.
Step 1: Describe a service somewhat unique to a particular library type (i.e., academic, school, public, special) of interest. What is the value of the service to users? How can this value be enhanced by increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, or appeal of the service? What is the cost to the library? Use the Ps of marketing to describe the service.
Step 2: Identify and describe three different market segments. Discuss the benefits of this service to this specific group. Discuss how you would approach each group in a way that addresses their specific needs and interests. How can a knowledge of marketing better connect customers with this service to increase use?
Step 3: Describe the product concept in terms of core, tangible, and augmented levels.
Step 4: What are the direct and indirect costs of the product?
Step 5: Describe this product using the BCG matrix method. Is it a star, cash cow, question mark, or dog? Why?
Step 6: Where do you see this product on the service life cycle? Provide a visual. For help use Fisher & Pride's Worksheet.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Service Description and Value (3 Points)
Market Segments (2 Points)
Product Concept & Costs (2 Points)
BCG Matrix & Life Cycle (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 3.2: Service Encounter.
Analyze service encounters.
Step 1: Brainstorm examples of high, medium, and low contact library services.
Step 2: Compare and contrast the service blueprint and customer's journey map approaches to analyzing the service encounter. Discuss how touchpoint analysis could be used in each of these approaches.
Step 3: Create EITHER a service blueprint OR customer journey map for a library service. This should be a very detailed visual. Consider using online infographics tools to generate a high-quality visual.
Step 4: Discuss what you learned about the service encounter from this experience.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Service Encounter Examples (2 Points)
Approach Comparison (1 Point)
Service Encounter Visual (5 Points)
Service Encounter Reflection (1 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 3.3: The Library as Product.
Follow Brian Mathews' Library as Product Approach. Describe a special, real-world library. This should not be fictional. Describe each stage. Create lists, charts, and/or examples for each step. Create your own example for each of the four stages. Be specific. Be sure to use lots of examples. This should be a detailed discussion.
Step 1: Define the Product
Step 2: Identify Current Inventory
Step 3: Assemble Product Lines
Step 4: Design Product Portfolios

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Real Library Description (1 Point)
Product Definition (2 Points)
Current Inventory (2 Points)
Product Lines (2 Points)
Product Portfolios (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

The Market Plan and Cycle

Read Market Plan and Cycle.
Watch Video 6: Market Plan and Cycle.
Read Dempsey Chapters 9-10, Appendix A

Promotion

Read Promotion.
Watch Video 7: Promotion.

Complete Bridge 4: Plans and Promotions.

Bridge 4: Plans and Promotions (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following three options:

Option 4.1: Market Plans
.
Explore marketing plans provided or locate your own plans.
Step 1: Evaluate two marketing plans. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the plans? Do they have the elements of an effective plan? Do they provide enough details? Provide specific examples to support your evaluation.
Step 2: Compare and contrast the two plans.
Step 3: Provide specific suggestions that would make the plans stronger. Be specific. If you say they need to provide some type of evaluation. Provide at least three detailed suggestions.
Step 4: Be sure to include the URL of the plans or attach them as a PDF.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Plan Evaluations (3 Points)
Plan Comparison (2 Points)
Plan Suggestions (3 Points)
Plan URL/Attachment (1 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 4.2: Promotion Kits.
Organizations, agencies, and libraries share their kits online. Find lots of national promotion kits.
Step 1: Evaluate two of these kits in-depth. Compare their approach to the course readings and professional resources. Is this kit part of a service or social marketing campaign? How could it be adapted for use with a specific product or service? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is included and what is missing? What would you add to the materials? Provide specific examples to support your evaluation.
Step 2: Compare and contrast the two kits.
Step 3: How could one of the kits be modified to reach a different audience or address a specific service?
Step 4: How could the kit be expanded or enhanced? Provide specific examples.
Step 5: Be sure to include the URL of the kits you are reviewing.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Kit Evaluations (3 Points)
Kit Comparisons (2 Points)
Kit Modification (2 Points)
Kit Expansion (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Option 4.3: "Real World" Interview.
Interview a library director or person in charge of marketing for a library. You may NOT interview yourself.
Step 1: Provide a summary of the interview experience.
Step 2: Discuss how data has been collected in the past and used to inform marketing decisions. Provide examples.
Step 3: Discuss how marketing campaigns are planned at their library. If possible, share examples.
Step 4: Discuss the items that go into promotional kits for these marketing campaigns. If possible, share examples.
Step 5: Discuss the real-world problems associated with marketing and specifically promotion.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Summary of Interview (1 Point)
Market Data (2 Points)
Market Planning Process (2 Points)
Promotional Kit Examples (2 Points)
Real-world Problems (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Message Design, Branding and the Library’s Story

Read Message Design, Branding and the Library's Story.
Watch Video 8: Design, Branding, and Story.

Public Relations

Read Public Relations.
Watch Video 9: Public Relations.
Read Chapters Dempsey 11-14 & Appendix B&C

Complete Bridge 5: Message Design, Branding, and Public Relations.

Bridge 5: Message Design, Branding, and Public Relations (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following four options:

Option 5.1: Tell a Library Story.
Step 1:
Read articles and examples about libraries telling their stories. Summarize your findings citing specific articles and examples. Cite your sources.
Step 2: Share a few of your favorite library stories. What attracted you to these particular stories? Why do you think they are compelling?
Step 3: Create a list of steps in creating stories and using storytelling in library marketing.
Step 4: Follow your own steps and write a story. Share this story.
Step 5: How can library stories be used in marketing?

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Library Stories Summary (2 Points)
Favorite Stories Review (2 Points)
Story Steps (2 Points)
Original Story (2 Points)
Stories in Marketing (1 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 5.2: Branding.

Step 1: Explore library websites. Describe three examples of how libraries have used branding. Include screen captures as examples.
Step 2: Establish a brand for a particular service. Describe the three layers: visual, value, emotional.
Step 3: Create a brand including at least five of the following elements: name, tagline, logo, typography, graphics and shapes, colors, sounds, scents or tastes, movement or animation. Identify each of these elements.
Step 4: Explore design guidelines and visual identity pages used by libraries. Provide a summary of your findings. Be specific. Do a search for "library visual identity" also try the words "identity guidelines", "design guidelines", or "identity standards". It doesn't matter if they're your specific library type.
Step 5: Create a set of design standards that might be used by a library.

Reply Requirement:
Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria
(10 Points)
Library Website Branding (2 Points)
Original Brand (2 Points)
Five Elements (2 Points)
Visual Identity Guidelines (1 Point)
Design Standards (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 5.3: Elevator Speech
.
Step 1: Read about elevator speeches. What are the key elements and strategies? Provide examples.
Step 2: Write an elevator speech and video record it. You don't need to literally be inside an elevator. However record it in a location where it might actually take place (i.e. water fountain, parking lot, coffee room) such as a public place (not your bedroom or living room). You'll need to have at least two "actors". It's fine to use help (i.e., ipad with notes), but you shouldn't just be reading a script on paper.
Step 3: Share your video on YouTube, Vimeo, or another social network. Check out a great example at Vimeo.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Elevator Speech Summary (2 Points)
Elevator Speech Video (5 Points)
Elevator Speech Shared (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 5.4: Virtual Presence.
Step 1:
Examine six library Facebook pages in-depth. Use the class list for ideas. Describe each of the six. How are they using their presence to market their services? Provide specific examples (i.e., screen captures). What are they missing? What would you suggest? Provide specific examples. Provide the URL.
Step 2: Select your favorite Facebook library page. What makes it the best? Provide the URL.
Step 3: Create a list of 10 ideas that you identified as effective uses for Facebook in marketing your library. Provide specific examples of sample postings for each idea.
Step 4: Discuss the pros and cons to using Facebook pages in marketing. Be specific. What are some of the problems as well as some of the advantages. Cite at least three sources in your discussion.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Facebook Report (3 Points)
Facebook Favorites (2 Points)
Facebook Ideas (2 Points)
Pros and Cons (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Publicity

Read Publicity.
Watch Video 10: Publicity.
Complete Bridge 6: Public Relations and Publicity.

Bridge 6: Publicity (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following four options:

Option 6.1: Publicity Materials.
Create publicity items for a marketing campaign. The materials should all be associated with a single campaign goal. Provide an overview of the goal of the campaign, the central message, and the materials that might be used in publicity. Include at least five items total including the following items:
Step 1: Use an online generator to create a chart, graph, character, avatar, sign, picture, comic or other item for publicity.
Step 2: Use a QR Code somewhere on a publicity document.
Step 3: At least three print materials such as bookmarks, brochure, business card, flyer, newsletter, poster, or handout.
Step 4: At least one bulletin board, wall display, or table display. Take a photograph of the display.
Step 5: Your materials should be cohesive and professional. In other words, they should feel like they are all part of a single, unified campaign. Each item should be on a separate page (i.e., use a page break) or document so it could easily be printed separately and be "ready to go".

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Generator Use (1 Point)
QR Code Use (1 Point)
Print Materials (3 Points)
Display Materials (2 Points)
Overall Professionalism (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 6.2: Press Kit.
Explore press kits and build your own.
Step 1: Evaluate library press kits. Share three examples.
Step 2: Plan a press kit for a specific real-world library service or fictional library campaign. Describe the contents of the entire kit. You don't need to create all the items.
Step 3: Provide at least five of the following elements: fact sheets, talking points document, infographic, staff information, press releases, media advisory, photos, photo permission form, publicity information such as PSAs, flyers, handouts, and other materials. Describe why you selected each item to include.
Step 4: Your materials should be cohesive and professional. In other words, they should feel like they are all part of a single, unified campaign.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Press Kit Evaluation (2 Points)
Press Kit Overview (1 Point)
Press Kit Elements (5 Points)
Overall Professionalism (1 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 6.3: Blog and PSA.
Evaluate audio or video PSAs and create your own.
Step 1: Evaluate PSAs from library marketing campaigns. Provide three examples.
Step 2: Create a 30 second audio (could be a voki) or video public service announcement related to a specific marketing campaign of your choice. It should be focused on a specific product or service, rather than a general social marketing campaign.
Step 3: Embed this audio or video into a blog that you create for a real or fictional marketing campaign. Be sure to provide a text introduction to the clip so it has meaning for readers of the blog.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
PSA Evaluation (2 Points)
PSA Creation (5 Point)
Embedded in Blog (2 Point)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 6.4: Flash Mob.
Have some fun! Hold a flash mob. It doesn't need to be a huge event. Just give it a try.
Step 1: Explore the flash mob idea. Share your findings including at least 3 library examples.
Step 2: Share the planning stages for your flash mob.
Step 3: Hold your flash mob and video record some aspect .
Step 4: Share a video from the actual event.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Flash Mob Overview (2 Points)
Flash Mob Planning (5 Points)
Flash Mob Sharing (2 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)

Advertising and Sponsorship

Read Advertising and Sponsorship.
Watch Video 11: Advertising and Sponsorship.

Working with Consultants

Read Working with Consultants and Vendors.
Watch Video 12: Consultants and Vendors.

Community Outreach and Advocacy

Read Community Outreach and Advocacy.
Watch Video 13: Outreach and Advocacy.

Internal Marketing

Read Internal Marketing.
Watch Video 14: Internal Marketing.

Complete Bridge 7: Advertising to Advocacy.

Bridge 7: Advertising to Advocacy (10 Points).
Choose ONE of the following three options:

Option 7.1: Create a Case.
Analyze and create a marketing case.
Step 1: Examine the four case studies provided by Brian Mathews. Write a summary and evaluation of one. What do you think would be effective? What would you change?
Step 2: Create your own example case using his categories and approach. Mathew's cases are aimed at the academic library environment, however you can design an example for any library type.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Case Study Review (2 Points)
Case Study Creation (7 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 7.2: Share Marketing Knowledge.
Share your knowledge of marketing through writing an article for a professional library journal of your choice. You need to write a concise, interesting article. Focus on some aspect of ONE of the following five areas: advertising and sponsorship, consultants, outreach, advocacy, or internal communications. The article should be 500-750 words and include at least three professional citations along with at least three practical examples.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Professional Quality Article (3 Points)
Professional Citations (3 Points)
Practical Examples (3 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 7.3: Use Badges in a Library Project.
Develop a plan for using badges in a library project. It could be connected to any aspect of library services from a youth summer reading program or English as a Second Language (ESL) literacy project to a library advertising or advocacy project. The key is thinking about how badges could be used to draw library users into programs, projects, or services.

Explore libraries who use badges and share three examples. Compare and contrast their approaches. Speculate on how badges connect with their marketing plan.
Explore badges such as Open Badges and Canvabadges and discuss what software you would recommend.
Discuss the badge program. Design or identify the badges you would use. Create a handout describing the program and process of acquiring each badge. Describe how this project connects with an overall marketing plan.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Project Plan (4 Points)
Open Badges Pilot Project (5 Points)
High Quality Reply (1 Point)


Option 7.4: Revisit a Topic.
Look back over the options in Bridges 1-6 that you didn't choose. Complete one of these assignments.

Reply Requirement: Provide feedback, suggestions, and/or examples for a peer.

Evaluation Criteria (10 Points)
Criteria from the selected Bridge will be used.

Measuring Impact and the Service Review

Read Measuring Impact and the Service Review.
Watch Video 15: Impact and Service Review.

Librarians as Innovators

Read Libraries as Innovators.
Watch Video 16: Librarians and Innovators.

Final Project

Go to the Final Project page for detailed information about this project.


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