Annie Silva LIS 688 12/3/2011 Before the Class While contemplating class options for this semester, I wanted to take classes that would be interesting, challenging, and a little out of my comfort zone,that would also be really valuable to me as a professional. When I saw a marketing class I was excited, because I knew how important it was to libraries, a little nervous, and really confused about what social marketing actually was. I remember talking to others in the program and all of our minds jumped to social media marketing, which, I know now can play a role in social marketing but isn’t the foundation of it. I honestly thought we’d be doing something along the lines of making Facebook and twitter pages, looking at good and bad examples, or maybe doing case studies or research. Looking back on it, I’m glad I was wrong. While those are all valuable skills, I think what I gained from the class is a less superficial understanding of marketing for library programs and services. I think the moment my perceptions of what the class would be about was when I read “Social marketing per se focuses on changing social behaviors. We can make a stretch argument here that we are doing that- libraries want people to use their services and programming so we are changing non-behaviors” Which Dr. Hersberger posted in the week one discussion board.
My Background I was a marketing major for my first semester in college, and took an intro to business class. I switched to English shortly after. I have worked retail once, and can think of a lot of really bad jobs I’d rather do than to do that again. I wasn’t good at encouraging people to spend money, adding on to purchases, or making people feel good about themselves superficially in the short term (and maybe regretting it later) in order to help a company, that didn’t seem to care about people, financially. It was also frustrating to work in a store with stuff I couldn’t afford, and the theory of working as hard as possible for minimum pay and recognition wasn’t my thing. This class made me nervous, because when I hear “marketing” my mind goes to “money”. I had to retrain myself not to make that leap. In week one I came to the conclusion “At least from what I know so far, that if there is proper planning and marketing involved, libraries and librarian won't have to sell later”, and it’s still resonates and is still something I need to be mindful of in the future.
Major Points I think the biggest and most useful thing I learned, on a large scale, about library marketing is that if it’s done right, it’s a process, not, “I want to have this event or this program, so I’ll pick a date and time, reserve some space, and make some fliers”. I found this graphic on Kathy Dempsey’s site, Libraries Are Essential. The graphic was originally published in her book The Accidental Library Marketer.
While I gained a lot from Kendra Kline Weinrich’s book Hands-On Social Marketing, it doesn’t contain many graphics or quick reference sort of items. As a visual learner, this really helped me understand the bigger picture and see what the next steps were. It was also easy to refer to quickly if I ever lost perspective of the larger goal. I also think that it follows the same basic steps as in the text used for class, but just offers a more visual format, so it was a good supplemental resource. It also reminded me that this stuff is researched and best practices are established. I also like that it shows marketing as a cyclical process, and that if you’re truly successful, the process doesn’t end. Needs and wants change, as do perceptions, attitudes and behaviors.
I think I’m naturally a dreamer and a thinker, and while working on the project I got hung up on the speculation about what people wanted and how to do it and all the wonderful things we could do to help people. To a certain extent this was beneficial and cathartic,
as Iâ€™d rather have a ton of thoughts and have to reign it back in, than be pulling at straws to get going. After getting it out of my system I think it made it easier for me to focus and helped to make the next steps clearer, however, I think at a certain point it started to stunt progress and action. If I had to do it again I would start with a basic survey to gage market views, opinions, needs and wants more immediately and use that to leverage ideas and conceptualization. Real life Applications While going through the class and various assignments, I started seeing good and bad examples of social marketing and marketing in general everywhere. While it may not be social marketing in the strictest sense, I couldnâ€™t help but think of a lot of the things we were talking about during the drama that would become all-online option classes in the department. http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/advanced-marketing-forbehavioural.html Posted 6th October by Nancy Dowd The 'M' Word - Marketing Libraries Marketing tips and trends for libraries and non-profits http://www.librariesareessential.com/library-marketing-resources/cycle-of-truemarketing/ Kathy Dempsey