On a + note


Authentic Marketing in 2012. #28: 2012

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on August 20, 2012

Traditional marketing, like print advertising, is dead or at best is dying.  Consumers and library customers are no longer paying much attention to newspaper advertising (unless you are a grocery store), billboards, flyers, or bookmarks. They just clutter up the circulation desk.  

A new marketing model is emerging and leverages the power of influence-based digital marketing and social media to promote sustained growth through customer relationships. The new model focuses on the kind of authentic relationships that turns users into library lions! What do we need to know about the new authentic marketing model?  

Libraries need to embrace the new, well informed customer who has researched and evaluated a purchase or title before even darkening our doors.  Several studies confirm that traditional marketing is no longer relevant or even embraced by our customers in their “decision journeys.” We hear this all the time at GPL.

The online experience needs to feel good, just like face-to-face experience! Social media is accelerated the need for the buying experience (online or in person) to be totally satisfying. For example, when you contemplate buying a TV or a book, you are more likely to ask a neighbor or friend — your peer network – to provide trustworthy information and advice. Authentic library marketing needs to replicate face-to-face experience as we pioneer online services and experiences.

► Who influences our customers?  Library land needs to understand better who our customers listen to, who shapes their thoughts about the library, and what they choose to read and view. Just think how powerful it would be if their chief influencer was a library blog or e-newsletter!

► How do we attract the influencers? Traditional marketing encouraged customer advocacy with cash rewards, discounts, or prizes. The new marketing model attracts opinion makers by helping them expand their networks, that is, make more friends and followers. The influencer craves exclusive/insider knowledge, such as the latest information through library program notices or new hot book reviews. Exclusive information is the currency of the new authentic marketing paradigm. We need to understand how to use this new currency!

Traditional marketing may be dead, but the possibilities of peer influence-based digital marketing hold much greater promise for creating sustained library growth through authentic customer relationships. We must first understand the model and then actively apply the model if we are to maintain or build market share and continue to tell the library story in 2012.

Kitty Pope                                                                                                 #28 August 2012 kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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