Marketing in simple Language is the art of persuasive communication to the targeted audience with the aim of persuading the audience to buy or use your services in order to maximize profits and enhance the reputation of the organization and the product or service. Relying on the past reputation and word of mouth appreciation from users may not be enough to ensure survival in the face of dwindling tax or government support. Effective marketing can overcome misconceptions, get the community involved and attract new audiences.
UNDERSTAND AND APPLY MARKETING THEORY AND PRACTICES. If you apply the theoretical knowledge and practices of marketing you will have no difficulties in selling your product.Remember you cant market what you do not understand. Take time to look at your product or service your offering and evaluate it to see if what you offer adds value to the users or clients.
ASSOCIATED SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
- Understand the basic principles of marketing and how they apply to library services.
- Conducts research to asses marketing landscape and to determine current position among similar business and organizations.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Conduct periodic review of the community to align needs with library services.
- Identify, analyze and prioritize targeted markets and audiences, and determine how best to promote library services that can effectively add value to users .
- Develop, implement and evaluate an ongoing marketing plan for the library.
- Set measurable market goals and objectives, including brand strategy.
- Highlight programming objectives that affect the overall marketing of the library.
- Develop consistent promotion and distribution strategies to meet the goals and objectives based on analysis of the targeted audiences.
- Consistent print and electronic visual communication standards.
- Provide marketing training (How to talk to media, how to promote services etc.) for all staff, board members and other key stake holders.
- Implements the marketing effort, maintaining records and clear communication with staff and stake holders.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and revises as necessary
Practical example of how this can be done is for example. Take these into consideration always.
- To introduce new service.
•To expand the library collection and membership. •To market the library, its collection and services. •To enhance and sustain the library reputation, recognition and the value it adds to the users. We must identify our strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. For example.
- We have more than 600 potential users including lectures.
- We have up-to-date information materials.
- We have professionally qualified staffs.
- Enhanced security system in the library.
Lack of consultation between lectures when purchasing books. This results in purchase of rarely used books in some subject areas.
- Lack of strong financial support
- Limited reading space in the library.
- Unbalanced student book ratio (4:500) students in some subject areas such as Environmental health.
- We have few computers in the library.
- Lack of public relations and and marketing skills among staffs.
- The library exists as a department. Financial support is given directly to the library. We have an opportunity of orienting first year students.
- We are funded though not enough for the library.
- We have professionally qualified staffs.
- Our location supports library usage.
- Students from other colleges are sent for attachment at the college.
3 C. THREATS
- A good number of books are damaged due to constant handling because of limited books that are housed in some subject areas.
- A slow realization by management that we need strong financial support poses a danger to the library and its collection.
- Lack of marketing and public relation skills by staffs poses a danger we may lose reputation.
The SWOT analysis have created an opportunity for us to realize our potential and identifying areas that need improvement as we embark on marketing the library.
We now know our position. How is our market mix going to be? The most difficult aspect is identifying new services and product to be Marketed. Our market mix is as follows; PRODUCT
- We have books on healthy subject areas.
- We offer photocopying services
- We offer internet services
CREATING A NEW SERVICE.
- Library automation. We want to introduce a database (winisis) which will help library users to easily access library materials.
- introduction of a reference desk.
- Documentation services. Or information dissemination.
- Who are our competitors? What are they offering that we don’t offer?
How much is there library fee. A research to be conducted on this.
This should be done by someone with at least some skills in marketing and Public relation. Must persuade people to accept an organization service /product. Identify the benefits users will get and convince them.
Communication channels to be used include: Leaflets, flyers, mass media Social networking websites ,open weeks, exhibitions.and taking advantage Of orientation program to new students. Also book fair.and the Agriculture and commercial show.
There must be a marketing slogan or message just like in any marketing programs.For example LET US GIVE U KNOWLEDGE
COST AND PRICING.
How much do you want to charge for your services? This may attract or deter people must be careful.How much will our market plan cost? All these need to be analyzed in conjunction with other stake holders.
BY MILIMO MWEEMBA