Thursday, April 14, 2005

Marketing on a budget

A friend of mine at ACRL mentioned to me that she felt a little overwhelmed by all of the ideas floating around at the conference. She works at a small library and didn't feel as though they have the staff to incorporate all of the ideas they would like. I've been thinking about this statement, which is why a recent article from the Chicago Tribune called, "Marketing needn't be complicated, costly to be effective," caught my eye. According to the article, the key is to think very carefully about what exactly you want to accomplish, which will then help you to allocate your resources accordingly. Essentially, simple things like knowing your customers and striking a rapport with them can compensate for the lack of a full-blown marketing campaign.

A previous post of mine (January 14, 2005) about READ posters describes one library's successful experiment with homegrown and inexepensive advertising.

Are there any librarians out there who have been able to make a little go a long way? Care to share?


ken marks said...

One of the best examples of making a little go along way is found at Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary. Richard Bland College is a two year institution and under Virginia Cherry's leadership has developed a marketing program that has been effective for the library. The library has a small staff and small budget so what they have done is remarkable.

Ann Tenglund said...

I agree with the Chicago Tribune article. You can do a lot with a printer and a photocopier. If, as the article suggests, you know your customers, you know where they are likely to notice your table tents, posters, and fliers. Your local newspaper, radio stations, and television stations may occasionally run a public service ad for you for free. And putting a paid ad in the newspaper might not be as expensive as you would think, especially if you are on a college campus. For example, an ad is only $23 in our campus newspaper--and that is affordable! And putting ads on our own Web sites is entirely free! We just need to find the time to do all of these things--which is what the ACRL attendee was expressing, and that is certainly a factor.