Monday, May 21, 2007

Targeting: How to do it

Targeting: How to Do it

1) Think backwards.

To target effectively, you must open to approaching your targeting efforts in the opposite way you typically approach marketing activities in your library. Don’t think of a program first; think of a group to target.

2) Think of them first.

Find out what groups or networks already exist locally and how your library might support their interests or efforts. A little online research up front can save time and reap marked results.

Although it is tempting to automatically think of a program and offer it at your library, this strategy is often less productive in the long run. It doesn’t leave much room for long-term buy-in from the target group and frequently involves a lot of assumptions about what the group truly wants or needs.

You may feel that the group really just needs to know that the library has resources available for them. However, the “what can we do for you” approach often generates new and interesting service opportunities that may not have recognized otherwise and offers a gentle segue for self-promotion. Taking the initiative to reach out and ask what the library might do for a non-user group can do wonders for your library’s PR image among the group members. It’s almost like practicing good manners.

3) Think about building a relationship.

In the library field, we are not used to proactively pursuing customers. We typically promote our activities through standardized channels and expect that interested people will show up. However, this isn’t a highly effective approach, particularly when attempting to reach groups who don’t regularly use the library. If we want to convince these nonusers that the library is a relevant place we need to find them and proactively reach out to them directly. We also need to learn a little about them, because as librarians we know that information is power.
For targeting to be effective, our focus should be on building a relationship, as opposed to just bringing the library to their attention. A certain level of individualized consideration is needed by the target group in order to gain their interest, participation, and loyalty. This approach may seem like more work at first blush, but it provides a much greater return in the end. It enables you to provide an outreach effort, program, service, or event to the people who actually care about it. It is the one case where “preaching to the choir” is highly effective.

Why Target?

Why Target?

“All organizations today are faced with rising customer disloyalty and shrinking margins. Yet some are enjoying surprising successes by focusing on individual customers, using technology to create long-term, individualized, one-to-one relationships. In as few words a possible, this strategy is based on the idea of treating different customers differently. Companies initiate 1 to 1 marketing programs in order to create more loyal, profitable customers, and to protect their unit margins from erosion. There are four key steps to implementing this kind of marketing program:
1) Identify customers
2) Differentiate them from one another
3) Interact with them
4) Customize some aspect of a product or service to meet their individual needs. "

From "The One to One Fieldbook: The Complete Toolkit for Implementing a 1 to1 Marketing Program" by Don Peppers and Marthat Rodgers, Ph.D

For your library this approach will allow you to:
  • Gain more supporters for your library.
  • Create a sense of loyalty toward your library.
  • Work smarter, rather than harder in your library’s marketing efforts.