On a + note

RIM’s Marketing retooled. #16: 2012

Posted in on a + note by Admin on May 28, 2012

Guelph Public Library is next door to the mighty Research in Motion (RIM, http://www.rim.com/), the makers of the BlackBerry and 10 other communication devices.  In recent months, RIM has faced a barrage of criticism for marketing mistakes and miscalculations.

For example:

►The recent BlackBerry Playbook marketing campaign focused on the device’s use of Adobe flash technology…not a barn burner!

►At their major marketing event, BlackBerry World, they unveiled the BlackBerry 10 platform featuring a touch screen. At the same time, they were running a full battery of TV commercials with a tour promoter who famously quipped “Try writing 1,000 emails on a touch screen.” Oops.

The issue is that RIM does not have a cohesive marketing plan that focuses on product strengths or that speaks to customers with one voice. BlackBerry customers are savvy and connected, so they quickly noticed the inconsistencies and disconnect.

Why should we care about this in library land?

As libraries develop marking initiatives, we need to reflect the needs of our customers, and the message needs to be consistent.

For example:

►If you are marketing the library as a time-saving device, eliminate some of the tedious and unnecessary steps to become a member or to download an eBook.

►What is the library’s best asset? Open 72 hours per week? Free internet access? Knowledgeable information staff? Great parking? Whatever it is, there has to be a clear, consistent marketing message conveying it.

Library customers also are savvy and connected, so they quickly will notice inconsistencies and the poor or vague focus of our marketing efforts. Plus, just like BlackBerry customers, library users are passionate and love us, so they expect the very best from us. Library marketing must be focused, consistent, and tell our story with passion and intelligence.

To the rest of the Blackberry story…

With the naming of a new Chief Marketing Manager last month, RIM shares took a 3% hike (that is .25 per share on the Toronto Stock Exchange).  We will see if Frank Boulben (formerly of LightSquared http://www.lightsquared.com/) can refocus and re-energize RIM’s marketing strategies.

We will all be watching and learning.

Kitty Pope                                                                                                     #16 May 2012



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