Bite Sized Marketing

Bite Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian (2010) By Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste, & Jonathon Silberman

I just finished this wonderful resource book for librarians. Although I have a bit of practice with marketing summer library programs, I am always looking for ways to improve my skills.

What I liked about the book:

  • Written by library related professionals & published by ALA
  • Up to Date-2010!!!
  • Broken up into sections of different types of Marketing (WOMM, Bringing Your Library to life with a story, How to Market Electronic Resources, Public Relations 101, Outreach, Advocacy, The New Marketing Tools, Design, Branding, Marketing Best Practices).
  • Informative and easy to follow directions
  • Included examples

So what is WOMM, you ask?

According to the authors, WOMM is ‘Word of Mouth Marketing’.  WOMM is the idea that 10 percent of the population influences the other 90%. We just have to reach the 10 percent, influence them and give them the tools to share the info. Hmmm… interesting.  Do people really trust information from people they know over a stranger? YES, of course. It all makes sense.  It reminds me of this movie we watched in University called ‘Merchants of Cool’ where the ‘cool kids’ influence the other kids, so marketing groups try to attract these cool kids and get them to wear and support their clothing.  THIS ISN’T A NEW IDEA.  So, how do libraries get such ‘influencers’ on board? The text suggests that we need to create a product that people can be passionate about, then get it into the hands of those people whose opinion other people respect. According to the authors, influencers are easy to identify. “Look for people with a charismatic personality and persuasive communication style and with a social network. Having influencers spread your message will dramatically increase your ability to get buy-in for your campaign (p.9)”. They may be leaders of social groups, influential bloggers, or community leaders, but don’t forget the kid on MySpace or leading discussions on message boards.

It is also equally important to give the influencers the tools to share their satisfaction, and let them influence people they know and drive people to use your product. Thankfully, libraries have now realized that they must keep up with trends to stay relevant. Since Web 2.0 technology (Facebook, Twitter, etc) has replaced the need for expensive marketing budgets, the new style of word of mouth marketing has emerged. These tools are great to reach any audience (especially teens) with messages about programs and services. When examining online library spaces for youth via Web 2.0, it is clear that influencers do exist. Giving young people an opportunity to voice their opinions will no doubt yield powerful results for your library.

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