1.4 Facilitator notes - Some key principles for marketing

Facilitator Notes
This document gives comprehensive facilitator’s notes for the unit
Course title
Marketing and promotion of electronic resources
Module title
Module 1: Thinking through the challenges
Unit title
Unit 1.4: Some key principles for marketing
No. of unit
Session day/time
Day 1 Session 4
Length of session
90 minutes
To introduce participants to some concepts for marketing in a library
context, and to the 7 Ps of marketing.
To help participants to think about why e-resources are of value, and
to use this to extract key messages to communicate to users; to assist
participants to identify different approaches to communication,
including social media; to assist participants to understand how to use
social media well.
Participant profile
See MarketingEResources-Workshop-outline.docx
Pre-workshop activities
Room layout
Set up with tables each seating four participants, with chairs in a
horseshoe around each table, facing the presenter (café style).
Number of participants
20 - See MarketingEResources-Workshop-outline.docx
Flip chart and pens
1.4 Facilitator notes – Some key principles for marketing.docx
1.4.1 Activity - Developing your messages.docx
1.4 Presentation – Some key principles for marketing.pptx
Slide 20 – you can add some slides with local examples of marketing
activities targeted to specific user groups after this slide
Equipment needed
Computer with PowerPoint, Word and Excel linked to data projector,
internet connection for facilitator’s laptop
Module/Unit outline
Timing (90 minutes)
Timing (75 minutes)
20 minutes presentation
25 minutes discussion
20 minutes report back
10 minutes presentation and plenary discussion
Slide Information
1.4 Presentation – Some key principles for marketing.pptx
The Facilitator has a choice:
Either: Copy slides from Powerpoint into this document before printing (instructions below)
Print note pages directly from Powerpoint.
To use Powerpoint feature to copy slides into Word.
In PPT presentation
 File
 Save & send
 Create Handouts
 Create handouts (again)
 Select Notes next to slides format
 OK
Word document opens, cut and paste slides into this file
Annex A: materials for activities – facilitator’s version
The facilitator explains some of the key concepts for library marketing identified by Ned
Potter, and suggests that some of these are also useful when thinking about e-resources
(note: Potter identifies 7, for simplicity the concepts which seem to be of most value to eresources are extracted below). These are:
That your aim should be to help users get from A to B more quickly and more
effectively. Your users are busy – so how can you improve things for them?
That you should think in terms of marketing a service, not a product. To do this
you need to be explicit about why something – eg a particular resource – is useful
to them – don’t expect them to work it out for themselves. You should also focus on
what will result from them using it – so that they can see the benefit – rather than
just the features. So in the case of e-resources, you shouldn’t tell them ‘we
subscribe to 30 databases’, but instead ‘we subscribe to information that you won’t
find on Google’.
Market your people, not just your products or your content. It is your people which
make your service particularly distinctive from other ways of finding information –
eg your people are specialists, who can help users navigate, make sense of and
understand information. He also suggests that you shouldn’t insult Google in order
to market your e-resources: people like Google, so insulting it will cause them to
‘switch off’ from the library, and make you seem out of touch. Instead, explain how
you can help them to use it more effectively.
Identify different value propositions for different groups. This means
developing distinct messages for distinct groups. A one-size-fits-all approach will
not work. This is really important for e-resources.
The value users gain is relative to the effort they put in. The value or benefit
that users gain from using a service – in this case e-resources – must be more than
the ‘cost’ to them – or the effort that they put in to access them. So even if e-
resources are free to users, costs include cumbersome entry routes, passwords,
registration procedures etc. All of these are barriers and obstacles for the user
which erode (reduce) the value to the user.
The facilitator then explains that when thinking about marketing, it can be helpful to
remember the ‘Ps’.
The 4 Ps: Marketers typically talk of 4 Ps which should guide any approach to marketing
Product (or service) – in this case e-resources
People – the skilled librarians and information professionals
Place – in the case of e-resources, this is online. But it’s important to show that it
was the library that put the content there (by arranging the subscription)
Price – e-resources may be free, but as explained earlier, there can be other costs
to users, particularly the time it takes them to access resources
Librarians sometimes add a few more Ps
Physical evidence
How can you explain the value of e-resources? Developing your messages
Participants are asked to return to the ‘average users’ they identified for their profiles. The groups
reform, and each takes a couple of these users and discusses how they would:
Explain how e-resources (in general terms) can help them. What are the key messages they
would wish to convey?
Explain what they have which is relevant to them and their interests
Identify what they would need to know about the resources relevant to that user’s needs – but
that they don’t already know, or aren’t confident about.
Explain how they would go about building a tailored hand out, poster or training session for
each user. What would they highlight? What would they choose not to mention?
The groups then discuss these, with the facilitator prompting and asking questions, and guiding the
discussion as necessary. The facilitator emphasises that it should be about making things relevant to
specific needs. So a presentation about ‘e-resources for chemists’ rather than a general presentation
about e-resources is likely to be more appropriate.
Once participants have completed the exercise, and depending on responses and discussion, the
facilitator may wish to suggest some of the following ideas. For each, a slide with a good example will
be given where possible.
A subject / faculty / college librarian’s blog?
A subject or faculty newsletter?
Putting a presentation together and making it available online
Recording a short video and uploading it to YouTube
Open days and events
Approaches to individual academics
The facilitator emphasises that it should be about making things relevant to specific needs. So a
presentation about ‘e-resources for chemists’ rather than a general presentation about e-resources is
likely to be more appropriate.
The facilitator explains that earlier we thought about where users start looking for e-resources – and
whether they visited the library website.
If we can’t always get users to come to the library website, can we get information and messages to
them in other ways? Rather than putting everything on the library website, can it be hosted
somewhere else, but embedded / linked to on the library website? If so, this could amplify your
Participants are asked to consider what channels they might use to get messages to users.
Suggestions might include blogs, Twitter, YouTube, emails.
The facilitator notes that users might be happy following the library on Twitter – but would never think
to check the library website for updates. Or they might follow you on Facebook, and then follow a link