Blueprint for Your Library Marketing Plan: A Guide to Help You Survive and Thrive

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

"Marketing is about bringing them in and bringing them back. . . . [It's] a stance and an attitude that focuses on meeting the needs of users… Marketing is not separate from good practice. It is good practice."—Patricia H. Fisher and Marseille M. Pride, from the Introduction

In these challenging times, libraries face fierce competition for customers and funding. Creating and implementing a marketing plan can help libraries make a compelling case and address both issues—attracting funding and customers by focusing on specific needs. But where and how do you start?

Drawing on the authors' many decades of experience in marketing and as librarians and trustees, Blueprint for Your Library Marketing Plan offers a step-by-step program to get any library up to speed with minimal angst.

  • Lay the groundwork through strategic planning and data collection
  • Write the plan, including targeting the market, defining services, setting goals, and taking action to promote the library
  • Use marketing planning to create and position new and existing services and programs
  • Implement and track the plan then evaluate results

Reproducible forms and worksheets, quick start tips, strategies and models from other libraries, and resources for more information enhance this one-stop handbook. Librarians and directors in public, academic, and special libraries, marketing specialists, and students and instructors in library programs can learn to tailor marketing plans, prioritize services, and address community needs using this library-focused, hands-on guide.

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Chapter 1. Strategic Plans: Dust Catchers or Power Tools for Your Marketing Plan?
Chapter 2. Mining Data: Discovering Trends
Chapter 3. Developing the Marketing Plan: Getting Started
Chapter 4. Marketing Plan Introduction: Product/Service Details
Chapter 5. Target Markets: Will the Service Meet Their Needs?
Chapter 6. Assessing the Current Marketing Situation: How Does Your Service Stack up in the Marketplace?
Chapter 7. Setting Goals and Objectives with Supporting Strategies: The Art of Focusing Your Resources
Chapter 8. Promotion: Assessment, Goals, Objectives, and Strategies
Chapter 9. Implementing Your Strategies: Developing Tactics, Budget, and Controls
Chapter 10. Closing Thoughts: Summaries and Evaluation

Marketing Plan Worksheets
Worksheet 1. Strategic Planning Self-Grade Card
Worksheet 2. Data Collection—Public Library
Worksheet 3. Data Collection—Academic Library
Worksheet 4. Marketing Plan Template
Worksheet 5. Service Life Cycle
Worksheet 6. Service Competitive Audit
Worksheet 7. Semantic Differential
Worksheet 8. Positioning Map
Worksheet 9. Place and Price Audit
Worksheet 10. Goal, Objectives, and Strategies
Worksheet 11. Promotion Audit


Figure 1-1. Fix-It Tool Kit
Figure 1-2. Relationship between Marketing and Strategic Planning
Figure 2-1. Demographics
Figure 2-2. Occasions to Use the Library
Figure 2-3. The AIO Framework
Figure 2-4. Selected PRIZM NE Segments
Figure 3-1. Contents of a Marketing Plan
Figure 4-1. Service Mix: Length, Width, and Depth
Figure 4-2. Classic Life Cycle Curve, Adapted for Libraries
Figure 4-3. Service Detail: Completed Worksheet 4, Section I
Figure 5-1. Target Market Description: Completed Worksheet 4, Section II
Figure 6-1. Types of Competitors Facing Chat Reference Service
Figure 6-2. Competitive Audit: Completed Worksheet 6
Figure 6-3. Semantic Differential: Perceptions of Three Internet Search Alternatives
Figure 6-4. Positioning Map of Web Search Alternatives
Figure 7-1. Hierarchy of Strategies
Figure 8-1. Marketing and Public Relations Basics

Patricia H. Fisher

Patricia H. Fisher, an independent marketing and PR consultant, enjoyed 15 years as product manager with Verizon Communications. She has served in leadership and trustee positions for Baltimore County Public Library, Maryland Library Association, ALTA, and ALA. She is currently working toward her MLS at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland.

Marseille M. Pride

Marseille M. Pride is library director at Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary. Formerly Public Library Consultant with the Maryland State Department of Education, she has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations and served as college and university reference librarian. She earned her MLS from the University of Maryland.