Marketing libraries is it good for your health
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Marketing Libraries – Is it good for your health?. Professor Alan Wilson University of Strathclyde Business School. Key Marketing Themes. Developing a Marketing Oriented Service Identifying and Targeting your Key User Groups Delivering a User Oriented Service

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Marketing libraries is it good for your health
Marketing Libraries – Is it good for your health?

Professor Alan Wilson

University of Strathclyde

Business School

Key marketing themes
Key Marketing Themes

  • Developing a Marketing Oriented Service

  • Identifying and Targeting your Key User Groups

  • Delivering a User Oriented Service

  • Communicating and Promoting Your Services

The concept of marketing in the commercial world
The Concept of Marketing in the Commercial World

  • The whole of the organisation should be driven by a constant concern for its customers

  • Firms usually enter a business by creating products/services but stay in business only by creating and retaining customers at a profit

  • The whole business seen from the point of view of its end result, that is from the point of view of the customer

The concept of marketing in libraries information services involves
The Concept of Marketing in Libraries/ Information Services involves:

Define who users / potential users are

Focus on their needs

Co-ordinate all activities that affect the users

Meet Budget Requirements

User Satisfaction

Difficulties in adoption
Difficulties in Adoption involves:

Library and Information Service Managers may lose the emphasis on the user as they get involved in the complex and demanding process of managing the organisation as the central purpose of their activities.

Financial Management

Personnel Management

Production Management

Promotional Management

The User

Production orientation
Production Orientation involves:

  • The focus and emphasis is on having the latest service, technology and database

  • Little attention is given to marketing research and service planning

  • If users are unhappy, it’s because they don’t use the service properly

Sales orientation
Sales Orientation involves:

  • The focus is on volume of users, not on cost effective service provision.

  • The prevailing point of view is that all users should be given whatever he wants.

  • There tends to be weak linkage between true user needs and wants and the planning of the services to be offered

Financial orientation
Financial Orientation involves:

  • The emphasis tends to be on short range cost savings at the expense of the future sustainability of the service.

  • Cost reduction efforts may sacrifice service quality

  • The focus is not on user requirements but on internal considerations and reporting mechanisms

For the marketing concept to work
For the Marketing Concept to Work: involves:

  • All decisions must be preceded by the question:


  • When in doubt, ask the user.

  • Image is as important to the user as actuality: as long as the user thinks the decision will affect them, it does!!

For the marketing concept to work1
For the Marketing Concept to Work: involves:

Opinions about users’ views will no longer do, we must have facts.

  • With marketing research data, the number of bad decisions is reduced, as well as the number of arguments.

For the marketing concept to work2
For the Marketing Concept to Work: involves:

Loyalty to the organisation and the service is not as important as loyalty to the user.

  • When a wise organisation creates a successful new service it should immediately plan the next successful version which will destroy the first one: if you don’t users may seek that service elsewhere.

  • If the user thinks the service is good, it’s good. If the user thinks the service is poor, it’s poor. Educating the user to think differently is an expensive and time-consuming business.

Squares involves:

User segments
User Segments involves:

  • Users have different preferences and requirements when seeking information

  • The priority they put on each of these will vary

  • The different priorities will determine the user segments

  • Need to determine the different ways of delivering information to meet these different needs and priorities

Example of benefit segmentation in the toothpaste market
Example of Benefit Segmentation in involves:the Toothpaste Market

Marketing libraries is it good for your health

Example: Cabinet Towels involves:

Hand Drying

In Public


In Kitchens

In Staff Washrooms

1. Hygiene

2. Multi-use

3. Space saving

1. Vandal proof

2. Reliable Servicing

3. Inexpensive

4. Appearance

quality popular

1. Inexpensive

2. Low Maintenance

So what do your user segments require

24 hour access involves:

Info comes to user

Help to access correct information

Self help

Immediate availability

Updating service

Very technical information

Ability to browse

Somebody to gather the information

On-site resources

Free information

Most recent information

So what do your user segments require?

Prioritise the segments
Prioritise the Segments involves:

  • Determine the key target segments for your service

  • Who are the secondary or tertiary user segments?

  • Is this reflected in the way you run the service?

  • Remember, it is unlikely you can satisfy all of the people, all of the time.

The service encounter
The Service Encounter involves:

  • Moment of Truth

    • Perceived quality is realised when the service provider and the user meets

  • Interaction impacts on service differentiation and service quality

  • Interactions need to be managed

  • A service is an experience

The service encounter cascade
The Service Encounter Cascade involves:

  • Hotel Visit

    • Check in

    • Porter takes to room

    • Restaurant Meal

    • Wake up Call

    • Checkout

  • A failure at one point results in greater risk for dissatisfaction at each ensuing level

  • Same for a physical or virtual library visit

Questions that should be asked
Questions that should be asked involves:

  • Which phases of the user service sequence provided by your service most concern?

  • What goes wrong, why, and what might be done to improve it?

The user service sequence
The User Service Sequence involves:

Invoicing/ Charging for the Service

Finding out about the Service

Requesting the Service

Delivery of the Service

Packaging / Presentation of the Service

Providing Feedback

Market Research

Evaluation of the service
Evaluation of the Service involves:

  • Asking Users

  • User surveys ( various formats)

  • User groups / group discussions

  • Monitoring Complaints/ Feedback

  • Observation

  • Mystery Shoppers

Communicating and promoting your services what do we want to say about our service

Communicating and Promoting Your Services involves:What do we want to say about our Service?

The virgin brand
The Virgin Brand involves:

  • Quality

  • Innovation

  • Value for Money

  • Fun

  • Sense of Challenge

An integrated service brand
An Integrated Service Brand involves:



The Service





Communication decisions
Communication Decisions involves:

1. What are the communication objectives

2. Who are the target audience

3. How much can be spent

4. What message should be sent

5. What method should be used

6. How should the result be evaluated

Communicating with users

Personal Contact involves:

Telephone Contact


Public Relations

Direct Mail









Communicating with Users

Assessing communication activities
Assessing Communication Activities involves:

  • Does it address our objectives?

  • Will it reach the Correct Audience?

  • Is the Message Clear?

  • From the users’ perspective, is it jargon-free?

  • Does it have initial impact?

  • Does it attract attention by addressing potential user needs and suggesting how we can satisfy them?

  • Is it clear what the potential user should do next?

  • Is the style consistent with our other services and communications?

In summary
In summary: involves:

  • Develop a Marketing Oriented Service

  • Identify and Target your Key User Groups

  • Deliver a User Oriented Service

  • Communicate and Promote Your Services