Creating a Library Marketing Plan 1 – Getting started

I love library marketing. There are so many facets of this. It’s not just promotions or publicity, though they play a part. But it’s also the bigger picture. It’s about how your users view your library. It’s about how the library team work as a team to market the library in a certain way in everything they do, from creating a flyer to promoting an event to each interaction at the circulation desk. And yes, maybe it makes me weird, but the idea of creating a library marketing plan EXCITES me. 

Last year, our library team reviewed our strategic plan and proceeded with a name change for our library management system and learning platform. This name had been decided before I joined the team and fit with the library’s mission as outlined in the strategic plan. However, 6 months later another area of the school launched a platform with the exact same name and logo. It was a great opportunity to see what traction we had gained with our name and logo in that time. People were confusing the two, thinking the other platform fell under the library’ overview. As a library team, we spoke about our concerns and I approached our head of marketing to ask his advice. He suggested we had two options, change our name and logo or wait and see if the other platform continued to be used (it was in a trial period). While we waited to see how long the other platform would last, our marketing director suggested we conduct a brand audit. This would enable us to assess whether our current brand aligned with our missions, vision and goals and would also help us to select another brand, should the other platform continue to use our selected name and logo.

So, I created a brand audit plan. Auditing our library’s brand and creating a marketing plan was a long process, but I thought I would share our journey here with you. As it is such a long journey and is still ongoing, I’ll explore it in a post series.

As with most of my projects and forays into new territory, I start with research and reading, exploring what branding is and why I’d even need a marketing plan. Then I created a step-by-step plan for conducting the brand audit. Finally, we then used that audit to update our strategic plan and our marketing outreach. You’ll read about each of these steps in this post series. You’ll find all the posts here.