Market this

You guys, marketing is not something that comes naturally to me. It really doesn’t. We have an OverDrive subscription as part of a consortium purchase that has been very underused because, um, people didn’t know about it, which is probably my fault. It could also be underused for a few other reasons. For instance:

  1. This isn’t a campus of fiction readers.
  2. Kindles, iPads, and other portable reading devices (including smartphones) are fairly rare here.

It’s my job to try and figure out if the service is useful to us, so basically, I need to figure out if people will actually use it if they know about it. That means I need a strategy.


I read Marketing Today’s Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students by Brian Mathews not long after I started working. I found his no-nonsense approach to students to be very refreshing and directly in line with my own experience working with students. I appreciated his tell-it-like-it-is approach to libraries in general, too. No BS here, thank you very much, just solid well-reasoned strategy with fully actionable suggestions.

So when it came time to formulate a marketing strategy, I pulled the book down from my shelf and thumbed through the post-it flags I’d left in there from last time. For this particular project, I found Chapter 8 Promotional Building Blocks to be the most helpful. I already had ideas of where I wanted to spread my message, and this chapter helped me identify a few more. From there it was just a matter of sitting down with a piece of paper and deciding how to roll out the message in an organic way.

Once I got into it and thought about it systematically, it wasn’t nearly as intimidating to design a marketing strategy as I thought it would be. A solid list, a time table, some strategic reminders in Outlook, and the handy marketing and outreach materials from OverDrive and I’m in business.

In other news, I’m thinking about adding a “recommended reading” tab on the blog. I really try to keep a professional book going at all times and spend a bit of time each week chipping away at it. A lot of times, the books aren’t all that great, or a kind of obvious. Usually when I read a great one I blog about it. They are all tagged “recommended reading” but it might be useful to have them all listed somewhere. What do you think?

One thought on “Market this

  1. […] what I want to read, then that’s probably what I should write. So, as a follow up to gaining confidence in marketing, here’s what the campaign to get the word out about OverDrive looks like in my […]

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