Friday, December 19, 2014

Marketing of academic library services P- 02. Academic Libraries

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

Marketing of academic library services

P- 02. Academic Libraries *

By :jagtar singh,Paper Coordinator


1 / 1 Points

Question 1: Multiple Choice

Marketing is considered essential in academic libraries because it has….
  • Correct Answer Checked information resources, manpower and physical resources
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked building and furniture
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked rules and regulations
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked none of the above
1 / 1 Points

Question 2: Multiple Choice

Marketing strategy consists of…..
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked product, price, place, and promotion
  • Correct Answer Checked market analysis, user analysis, organization analysis, and competitive analysis
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked product analysis, market analysis, and pricing pattern
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked all of the above
0 / 1 Points

Question 3: Multiple Choice

Methods of promoting library services include----------
  • Wrong Answer Checked advertising, public relations, personal meetings, etc
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked personal selling, library guides, newsletters, etc
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked internet, e-mail, listservs, etc
  •  Un-checked all of the above
1 / 1 Points

Question 4: Multiple Choice

three additional ‘Ps’ in 7Ps model are………
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked power, people, and position
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked people, producers, and proprietors
  • Correct Answer Checked people, physical evidence, and process
  • Wrong Answer Un-checked process, practice, and people
3 / 4 PointsFinal Score:

True or False

1 / 1 Points

Question 1: True or False

channels of distribution are the component of ‘Place’ mix
Correct Answer Checked True
 Un-checked False
1 / 1 Points

Question 2: True or False

Marketing is not product-oriented but customer-oriented
Correct Answer Checked True
 Un-checked False
0 / 1 Points

Question 3: True or False

Marketing mix is a one time decision
Wrong Answer Checked True
 Un-checked False
1 / 1 Points

Question 4: True or False

Marketing mix needs continuous review
Correct Answer Checked True
 Un-checked False
1 / 1 Points

Question 5: True or False

Marketing strategy is not useful for academic libraries
 Un-checked True
Correct Answer Checked False
1 / 1 Points

Question 6: True or False

Personal contact with library users is not an effective promotional method
 Un-checked True
Correct Answer Checked False
5 / 6 PointsFinal Score:

1.0 Introduction

In recent years, there has been tremendous increase in the number of educational institutions as well as the libraries to fulfill the objectives of higher education. The importance of libraries in these institutions has rather increased in view of the trend towards improving the quality of education as per the quality control mechanism established by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). It has, among other things, affected the functioning of the academic library as well. The academic library is established to further the cause of education which goal it has been serving since long. Academic library, by definition, is a service agency in which users have been the first priority. However, the present emphasis on service suggests a proactive stance rather than a reactive one. The library services therefore must be promoted among their users not only to increase awareness as to what their library is offering but also to give quality services. This leads the librarian toward marketing the library services in support of the teaching and research objectives of the academic institutions. 

2.0 Concept Of Marketing

Marketing assuming more significance in business and industrial organizations, it has become a function of management. It may, however, be pointed out that marketing is different from selling. One sells an automobile, but marketing is looking at transport needs and offering a vehicle that satisfies a transport need. One sells books and periodicals, and even information, but markets a solution to a problem. Marketing is, therefore, an aggregate of many activities such as promotion, advertising, etc. But promotional activities, as observed by Saracevic and Wood, do not constitute marketing, they are only one of them. Marketing means something different to everyone. But the central concept in marketing is in being customer- and not product-oriented. The focus of concept of marketing now is the customer, do identify customer, satisfy the customer, and keep the customer. So why, Michael Porter, a Harvard University professor, offers a simple, but quite comprehensive definition: “Marketing is anything you do to get or keep a customer”.

In this context, the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as “the management process that identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer requirements profitably”.

Philip Kotler, a well known marketing authority on marketing, has defined it in its new context as “the analysis, planning, implementation, and control of carefully formulated programmes designed to bring about voluntary exchange of values with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives…and using effective pricing, communication and distribution to inform, motivate and service the markets”.

Blaise Cronin, on the other hand, defines marketing as a marketing style based on a service philosophy with the following characteristics:
  1. User/client-orientation rather than product/materials or process-orientation.
  2. Concern for quality rather than quantity.
  3. Emphasis on effectiveness rather than efficiency.
  4. Stress on the benefits to be derived by the user/client rather than the intrinsic merits of the service on offer.

The interpretation of marketing has been changing with the change in times. According to Theodore Levitt it is now being viewed in a broader context as “a customer-satisfying process, not a goods producing process”. This is why marketing is said to be “a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others”.

From the above definitions, it can be stated that the concept of marketing is quite dynamic, and therefore valuable to all the organizations engaged in the production of goods and services.
In the context of libraries, marketing means sufficient change in the traditional attitude of librarians towards acquisition, organization, processing and retrieving information. The basis of library services should be to help its users to solve their information gathering and processing needs. The academic library must adjust its services, policies, and procedures to the requirements of the users.  

3.0 Need For Marketing

Invariably, within an academic institution, the potential as well as actual users are unaware of the services library is providing to them.  They feel satisfied by whatever services and facilities they are getting from their library, and are unwilling to explore further than what they are receiving.

As library professionals, we also make assumptions about what our users want and need, and accordingly continue to provide services that we feel we should deliver, regardless of their value to our users.

In order to create awareness among users about library services, and perhaps also to create desire for these services, build understanding of the value of the services, increase the level of usage, and expand the user base, a successful marketing strategy is necessary.

In recent years, the need for marketing of library services has gone beyond the traditional approach particularly since marketing has spread to non-profit organizations like libraries and information centres. Kotler argues that marketing need was felt and marketing philosophy has been successfully applied to nonprofit and public organizations. 

Marketing is considered essential for the following reasons:
  1. The libraries invest huge funds on collection, processing, and storage of information resources. It is usually observed that these valuable resources are put to a meager use which by implication is wastage of precious funds. In view of the increasing cost of information there is need for the promotion and use of information resources.
  2. The needy users have casual or almost need perception because of which they do not demand and use information resources. In view of the inadequate resource utilization, information marketing is essential to facilitate need perception of the needy and thereby create demand.
  3. Information is considered as the fifth need of man; hence users must be conscious of their needs for information. Lack of realization of this aspect puts one to disadvantage and deprivation of proper information use. Marketing of information based services will eliminate these lacunas and make the needy an information rich user.
  4. The information providers must not confine themselves to their corners; they must come out and promote their services effectively to ensure their optimum use.
  5. As marketing creates and increases demand for library and information services, the image of library and status of information providers (librarians) will improve as well.

4. Functions Of Marketing

Marketing being a management function, business organizations create customer interest in their products and services. In the same way, it is appropriate to libraries as well. Its functions include such tasks as analysis, planning, implementation, and control. These are briefly mentioned below:

4.1. Analysis

The foremost task before the marketers is to undertake analysis of the customers, markets, and competitors. Such an analysis helps to investigate specific market and customer needs to target the appropriate customer groups.

It is also important to know the strengths and weaknesses of an academic library by using SWOT analysis. The strength (S) of a library lies in its ability to satisfy customers; while weakness (W) being the internal factor reduces the ability to meet the user requirements at larger level. Opportunity (O) lies in the potential to improve the ability for user satisfaction; while threat (T) can reduce the ability of the library as an organization. 

4.2. Planning

Under the planning stage setting of objectives, making choice of target markets, marketing strategies, etc are covered. Development of long range marketing plans, new products and services development, etc are included to reach out to library users. 

4.3. Implementation

This stage includes such activities as recruiting staff, allocating tasks, making budgets, and organizing such activities as will lead to promote library services.

4.4. Control

Progress is evaluated against objectives and targets in this stage. But if need arises corrective measures are also taken to exercise control over the marketing of library services and products as follows:
  1. Performance standards are set
  2. Progress of marketing goals is measured
  3. Results compared with the standards
  4. Changes are made to stay on track.

5. Marketing Strategy

Broadly speaking, a marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase use of services and products and achieve a sustainable advantage.
According to Philip Kotler, a marketing strategy should be centred around the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal.
Marketing strategy is a method of focusing an organization’s energies and resources on a course of action which can lead to increased sales and dominance of targeted market niche. A marketing strategy combines product development, promotions, distribution, pricing, relationship management, and other elements. It identifies the marketing goals of organization and explains how those will be achieved within a stated time frame.
Marketing strategy of a product and/or service is the formulation and implementation of marketing programme to support the perspective of strategic marketing.
It determines the choice of target marker segments, positioning, marketing mix, and allocation of resources. It is most effective when it is an integral component of overall strategy of an organization like an academic library.
Essentially marketing strategy deals with interplay of three forces known as the strategic three Cs, viz., the customer, the competition, and the corporation (i.e. organization). Most marketing strategies focus on ways in which the organization can differentiate itself effectively from its competitors by delivering better value to its customers in terms of high satisfaction level. 

5.1. Marketing Strategy in Academic Libraries

As the marketing strategy focuses on user needs and wants the producers also produce such products and services as would be meeting their information needs. To develop a marketing strategy for libraries and information centres, they would use certain analyses and tools. The main components in any strategic plan are as mentioned below:

5.1.1. Market Analysis

The market analysis will help in knowing the potential markets where exchange may take place. For library and information services, the market constitutes of end users like the clients, the parent institution, the government, and other funding agencies. Once the market is identified, its size may also be determined which is likely to affect the demand for information services.

5.1.2. User Analysis

User analysis will help the library staff to know about library users in detail.  It will be established as to which user group or/and individuals shall be making use of information services and products. The users can even be further categorized to make the services more useful to them.

5.1.3. Organizational Analysis

Library being an organization in itself, knows well its market of users. Accordingly, it designs its services to offer to different user segments. This analysis would be based on the available resources, attitude of authorities, experience of staff, and so on. Such an organizational analysis helps the library to know its strong points which it may ultimately turn into opportunities of marketing its services and products. 

5.1.4. Competitive Analysis

In this competitive world, libraries also need to know, like other organizations, about their potential competitors in similar other institutions. Libraries, for example college libraries, compete with one another in getting more and more amount of grants for fresh acquisitions, more staff, more equipments, and above all for providing more services. While understanding competitive analysis the user segment as well as information services/ products of competitors must be evaluated. Such an analysis will help to compare user needs and wants, and thereby designing library services. 

6. Elements Of Marketing

Saracevic and Wood have identified the following elements of marketing as essential for marketing the library services and products:

6.1. Market Research and Analysis

It implies research into analysis of information needs and wants of different segments of potential users, their communication patterns and habits, economic and other constraints, and other characteristics which influence the choice of an information product or service. Such an analysis of the market is deemed to be essential before venturing into marketing any product or service. It helps in knowing the actual or potential user of the organization.

Librarians have the option of following any of the available market analyses tools: exchange system analysis, image analysis, user satisfaction studies, product life cycle and product portfolio matrix. Such an analysis may help to determine as to which library services are declining in use or which are performing better. Librarian can accordingly review them for improving and plan market strategies.

 This would include suggestions on alternate information products and services that would satisfy needs and wants of each user segment. It would also include evaluation of usage of library services. Market research, like any other research, is a combination of (i) assumptions, (ii) facts, figures and observations, and (iii) human imagination and judgment.  

6.2. Product/Service Development and Targeting

Development of a product/service has to be targeted to the needs and wants of given segment of users. It also involves consideration of alternatives, determination of the criteria and procedures for selection and evaluation, analysis and synthesis, and overall production and delivery of service.

6.3. Costs and Pricing

Information processing involves costs, there is no such thing as “free” in the present times of market economy. The costs and pricing of information products and services, therefore, need to be worked out. Cost of information refers to all expenditures incurred in production and delivery of products and services. Various pricing schemes, such as marginal cost, cost recovery, past prices, variable price, cost plus benefit, etc. can be used. 

6.4. Promotion

Promotion of a library service/product should be considered in terms of communication to and with specific user segment, and not just an announcement. Library services can be promoted by means of brochures, pamphlets, posters, guides, handbooks, advertising, publicity, exhibitions and demonstrations, and personal approach, etc. promotion should be a continuous activity based on an optimal mix of different approaches. 

6.5. User Education

The aims of user education are to:
1.      Communicate about a service or products and how it fits in a broader framework and concern of users.
 2.      Explain the basics of its structure and function, limitations and problems.
3.      Explain in detail its benefits.
4.      Explain in detail the way it can be accessed and used.
5.      Explain clearly direct and hidden costs, requirements, conditions of use, etc.
6.      Elicit comments and evaluations from users for improvement of the service.

The main role of user education is to ensure the credibility of the service /product and trust, in its worth and to increase understanding, know-how and skills in using information.

6.6. Dissemination

Dissemination pertains to the conveying of information to users through given channels, and includes the spreading about, distribution and delivery of information services/products. Some of the important channels for dissemination include:
  1. interpersonal delivery
  2. group personal delivery
  3. strategic placement
  4. in-house dissemination
  5. local depositories
  6. mass media
  7. broadcasting/telecasting
  8. mail
  9. telephone
  10. computer networks

.7. Evaluation of Services and Products

Evaluation of academic library services and products are required on a continuing basis. It should be based on users’ criteria placing value on the following: 
  1. Quality of information provided (i.e. precision, accuracy, credibility, recency),
  2. Scope of information provided (i.e. completeness, comprehensiveness, and coverage of topics),
  3. Appropriateness to user needs (i.e. fitting the need, level, language, sophistication, information overload, understandability, ease of use, etc.),
  4. Hassle in getting the information (i.e. time lag, paper work, ease of access, red tape, etc.),
  5. Costs (i.e. direct price paid, hidden costs, etc.).

7.1. Concept

The concept of marketing mix can be defined as a process related to an exchange, and marketing management is the set of activities that facilitates this exchange. The marketing activities have been traditionally described as marketing mix which has been defined as a se of marketing tools an organization uses to pursue its marketing objectives. 

McCarthy classified these tools into four broad groups, which he called the four Ps of marketing, namely Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Marketing mix is regarded as the key concept to perform marketing functions. But according to Elliot De Aze, marketing mix is the planned package of elements which will support the organization in reaching its target markets and specific objectives.

Borden is said to have started the use of the term “marketing mix” in 1964. But Borden derived the term “marketing mix” from James Culliton who described marketing executive as a “mixer of ingredients” who prepares plans to satisfy the target customers. Borden liked the idea and identified a set of twelve elements in marketing mix which McCarthy refined further and defined the marketing mix as a combination of al the factors at a marketing manager’s command to satisfy the target market. Thus McCarthy, in his classical model regrouped Borden’s twelve elements into four or the 4Ps.

However, there have been divergent opinions among scholars about the number of Ps. Some intend to add one more P to the existing 4Ps, some 3Ps, or some even suggest as many as 15Ps in marketing mix. In this backdrop Chai Lee Goi expresses serious doubts about the role of marketing mix as a management tool in its original form and raises the need for more Ps in the present environment.

It may, however, be mentioned that marketing mix is a powerful concept because it makes things easy to handle, allows the separation of marketing from other activities of the organization, and delegation of marketing tasks to specialists.

7.2. Elements of Marketing Mix

The traditional 4Ps need to be artfully blended to get maximum benefit out of it. In the present day client-oriented market philosophy, the four Ps can be translated into 4Cs of marketing as mentioned below:
  1. Product -------------------------- Customer needs and wants
  2. Price------------------------------ Cost to user
  3. Place------------------------------ Convenience
  4. Promotion------------------------ Communication

7.2.1. Product

Product is the first and most important element of the marketing mix. Kotler said that “A product is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need”. A product includes physical goods, services, experiences, events, persons, places, properties, organizations, information, and ideas. The product offered to the customer is for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that would lead to the satisfaction of want or need. 

The credibility of the product will make the reputation of the library as a source of up-to-date information, knowledge, learning facilities and assistance. The understanding of the customers’ specific requirements and the environment in which they are operating is essential in developing a product and service which is likely to be accepted by them. 

7.2.2. Price

All information processing involves costs, but all information services or products may not involve a price for a customer. Saracevic and Wood refer costs to “all expenditure incurred in production and dissemination of products or services”.  Pricing, therefore, is the key component in not only determining the price to be charged to the users but also, as stated by Sue Henczel, “in establishing the overall value of a product”.

Price is the only element that generates revenue for organizations. But price is all around us. We pay rent for a house, tuition for education, fare for train/air travel, wages for a worker, honorarium for a lecture, and so on. From the customer viewpoint price is cost or the amount charged for the benefit of using a product or service.   

Product or service price can be based on the following two factors: Internal Factors

The following internal factors have impact on the price of a product or service:
  1. Cost of the product: It means total cost that includes fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs generally do not change even if the volume of production undergoes a change. But variable costs change proportionately.
  2. Marketing objective: If the objective is survival in the market the company can stay as long as it covers fully the variable costs and a part of fixed costs as well. If the objective is market leadership, a low initial price may be enhanced later.
  3. Marketing mix strategy: Sometimes price of the product or service is fixed after giving due consideration to other mix elements like place, promotion, etc.
  4. It is important as to who is fixing the price. In some organizations the price is fixed by the management, while in some others product managers take pricing decision. External Factors

The following external factors also influence the pricing decision for a product/service:

i.   Nature of market or demand: As it has its influence, the relationship between demand and supply should be analyzed.

 ii.  Competitors’ costs and price offers: While fixing the price competitors’ costs and price offers of substitute products should be taken into account

iii. Other environmental factors: These may include economy, industrial boom or recession, inflation, government policies, etc as these may affect pricing decision. Librarians’ Dilemma

In the emerging market economy, library and information professionals are also considering pricing their services and products. There is a general feeling that:
  1. Library users will not realize and recognize the value of a service/product unless it is priced.
  2. The budgets are shrinking, and the governments are impressing upon more and more organizations to become financially self-supporting.
Library professionals may, therefore, consider of cost based pricing of their products and services. 

7.2.3. Place

Place is most commonly referred to as distribution channel or intermediary. It is the mechanism through which the services/products are moved from the service provider/manufacturer to the user or customer. Place should be according to the convenience of the customers comprising management of distribution channels, physical distribution of services, etc. Distribution Channels

The marketing managers use such distribution channels to display or sell their products/services to the buyers as distributors, wholesalers, retailers, agents as intermediaries, etc. the choice of distribution channels depends upon such factors as the nature of product/service, nature of market, intermediaries, marketing environment, etc. Physical Distribution

It includes all such activities as would help the manufacturers to supply right type of product/service at the right place at right time. By following this strategy it is ensured that the products/services are easily accessible to the target customers. Place and Library

The significance of place for a library was made amply clear in Ranganthan’s laws for library science, when he emphasized the need of  establishing a library  at a central place in an institution or a convenient place in the society. If it is not so conveniently located its services are not likely to be used most effectively.

But in the present computerized environment, where LANs and WANs are becoming common, howsoever inconveniently a library is located its online services and resources are likely to be easily accessible to the users.

Similarly, an electronic database can be accessed and used anywhere in the world provided there is network connectivity.

But as of now Indian academic libraries have to achieve much in terms of computerization, LANs, etc. their location assumes much significance in rendering easy, efficient and effective services. In addition to ‘Place’, other important components in this regard are opening hours, rules for lending documents, help from library staff, signage, and so on.

i.    Sign System
The importance of signposting is evident from the fact that once inside the library, a user generally looks for various signs to locate his/her area of interest.  Van Allen has rightly said: “A good sign system can communicate the intentions, the spirit and the theme of the library as well as directions”.  Most of the directional type enquiries, which consume a lot of time, shall not arise at all if there is a good sign system. However, signposting should be clear, easy to read, and noticeable.

7.2.4. Promotion

Promotion refers to communication with customers, i.e., it starts with the understanding and targeting customers. Sue Henczel believes that success in an organization lies in knowing who the customers are, what they require, and most importantly, how you can provide it to them in way that makes it valuable to them. Information about the products and services (brochures, web sites, etc.) can then focus on not only the services offered but also on the solutions provided to their problems.

Various methods of promotion form part of promotion. Kotler and Keller have listed some of the methods for promoting products and services. Advertising

It includes all forms of paid, non-personal communication and promotion of products, services or ideas. Advertising appears in print media (newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers), non-print (radio), electronic (television, cinema), outdoor advertising (posters, bus/rail sides), in-house newsletters, professional society journals, and so on. The advantage of advertising is that it reaches out to a large number of people. However, it does not have a mechanism of providing any feedback.

There are examples of libraries and information centres in India where they frequently advertise their services in newspapers with a view to bring in awareness among the target user groups.

i.    Library Guides

A library guide is the most basic form of promotion, although its range and style will vary from one institution to another. It usually provides an outline of the more important services: hours of opening, borrowing and copying facilities, enquiry services, etc.  There may be either one single such ‘guide’ for all types of users, or if possible, more guides can be produced for specific groups of users such as post graduates, undergraduates, research students, faculty, etc. But cost in terms of money and manpower has to be balanced against the apparent benefits.
ii.  Newsletters and Leaflets
Newsletters and leaflets are not only good but effective means of information communication. In a library, a newsletter can be used to introduce new features, new services, new web sites, new journals and e-journals, online services, new databases, new products, etc. which may be of use to the users. A short but crisp newsletter should be produced regularly so as to make impact on different user segments. It also promotes the higher profile for the library.  Leaflets can be displayed on notice boards in and out side the library at some prominent place to make them more visible.
If not feasible and economical, an alternative would be to prompt administration for a column in the campus newsletter or magazine whether produced by the institution or students or both. This is a more economic way of making users aware of the library services. Sales Promotion

It often attracts those customers who switch from one brand to another, looking for low price and good value. It includes such activities as displays, exhibitions, demonstrations, discounts, rebates, free gifts, etc. in a market where brands are highly similar, sales promotion can help increase in sales, but it may not be a permanent increase. The use of sales promotion has been popularized since the late 20th century due to such factors as increased sophistication in sales promotion techniques, greater pressure to increase sales, rise in number of brands, decrease in the efficiency of traditional advertising, etc.

Displays of products and services help in creating an atmosphere to encourage utilizing fully the resources of an academic library. Many libraries have floor space for regular displays to promote their services and resources. Books and other information products well displayed immediately on receipt in library may attract the attention of many a user. The importance of library resources and their purpose immediately gets noticed. Personal Selling

This method seems to be more persuasive as it is oral, face to face communication with one or more prospective buyer/s, making visits and presentation in homes or in fairs, for the purpose of selling a product or service. In the present times, personal selling is considered most effective tool for promoting a product or service and also building customer relationship.

Personal contact is regarded quite effective method for promoting library products and services. The simple courtesy of meeting the potential users with smile, politeness, attitude, etc. cost nothing but give much of the needed light hence help in establishing a good reputation of providing good services. The manner of library professionals in person or on telephone, will impact users’ rating of the library and its services. Personal skills of well-trained staff and personal contact with users lead to ‘word of mouth reference’ which proves most effective promotional method in attracting other potential customers. A satisfied user can bring to the library few more new customers who might not be so responsive to other promotional methods.   
i.   Customer Events
Customer events in this regard are significantly essential, and may include training sessions, workshops, user group meetings, etc.  It is believed that in any personal meetings with clients or prospective clients, spend more time listening and less in talking, and focus on motivating them. Also try to find out their future possible needs to understand how to develop services accordingly. Public Relations

Public relation goes beyond publicity. Its primary purpose is to disseminate information about a product or service to groups and individuals. Public relations people try to maintain good relationship with all the prospective customers. They work closely with news and information media and arrange press conferences, meetings, contests, and other events that will draw attention of prospective customers to products and services. Such persuasive activities are likely to create a readiness in the clients and/or potential customers to hear the message. E-mail and listservs

When the library has a large number of users on e-mail, it is easier way of reaching to them about a new service, or old but in improved version, quickly and economically. This method of targeting users is more precise than most other techniques, and has the element of being effective. Internet

In the emerging electronic environment, Internet has the power to improve the reputation and image of an academic library, and offers the opportunity to enhance its services as well. It may take little more time to set up library and information services on the Internet, but once maintained it can help greatly in increasing levels of user satisfaction. An academic library may develop its Web home page and use it as a new promotional tool advertising in-house services and products as well as electronic information resources..

Promotion may, therefore, be regarded as anything which communicates positive information about an academic library. Gavin Rea says that the success or failure of that promotion will depend on how well it is targeted and executed. It must also be considered whether the promotion activities satisfy a particular demand of the users. It may, however, be pointed out that promotion needs to concentrate only on those library services where there is either no demand or it is dormant or possibly falling. Kotler has well said that “Marketing management’s task is to influence the level, timing, and character of demand in a way that will help the organization achieve its objectives”.   

7.3 Seven Ps Model

Many thinkers in the management field have not been fully satisfied with the 4Ps model of marketing. They argue that while the 4Ps can remain the backbone elements of marketing mix, but for assuring quality service some more issues need to be included. They suggest three additional elements, viz., People, Physical Evidence, and Processes making it a 7Ps model, thereby requiring a more direct contact of providers and recipients, visible nature of service, and so on.

7.3.1 People

People are the most important element of any service or experience. People in an organization, working frontline as well as backstage, and those who deliver service, considerably influence customer perception of a product and service. Services tend to be produced and consumed at the same moment, and aspects of the customer experience are altered to meet the individual needs of the person consuming them. It is, therefore, important the people in the library must be carefully selected, properly trained and motivated to deliver services to users. Here, two important facets of library staff need to be given due importance:
  1. Courtesy: it requires politeness and propriety of staff towards clients.
  2. Friendliness: it requires helpfulness, attentiveness and friendliness of the staff to the clients.

7.3.2 Physical Evidence

As there are no physical attributes to a service, it is the environment in which the services are delivered, and includes any tangible commodities that facilitate performance and communication of the services. Physical evidence should, as far as possible, consist of the delivery of services so as to provide maximum customer satisfaction in ambient conditions in a library. it may consist of the following:
i.                       Appearance: it includes the décor and image of the library and its staff.
 ii.                     Atmosphere: it should be welcoming and friendly.
iii.                      Cleanliness: stock and study areas should be clean, tidy, well-lighted, properly stacked book shelves, etc.
iv.                     Comfort: it covers physical comfort and general ambience, spacious layout of reading areas, etc.

7.3.3 Process

There are a number of perceptions of the concept of process. It, however, includes the procedures, mechanism and flow of activities that produce the outputs in the form of products and services and deliver them to clients. This shift from evaluating outputs only to evaluating the processes, though a recent phenomenon, but organizations are slowly moving toward it. Processes help in control of services and bring uniformity in their delivery. These procedures and activities, therefore, need to be carefully designed to provide quality services. At least two points need consideration:

i. Reliability: it means dependability and efficiency of the service.

ii. Communication: it means how well library staff communicates; the clarity of signs and guiding in communicating various stacks and reading areas, etc.

With the application of tools of information technology in academic libraries the processes can be refined and high quality services at lower per capita cost can be delivered to users.

8. Market Segmentation

According to Kotler and Keller, the process of division of market into distinct identical groups of customers who may require different products or services is called market segmentation. The heterogeneous market is divided into homogeneous groups to serve them better.

In most of the academic libraries, the clientele are considerably of diverse nature. They can be divided into simple segments of faculty, research students, postgraduates, undergraduates, and non-teaching staff. Now some more categories have also been added to them which include part-time students, distance education learners, on self-supporting courses, on a university franchised course, etc. All of this will affect the need for and use of various library services.  

8.1 Methods of Segmentation

Various methods and bases of market segmentation are available, but Kotler and Keller have classified them in the following four categories: 

8.1.1 Geographical Segmentation

The market is divided into different geographic areas such as region, country, state, district, town, and other population clusters. In the context of libraries geographical segmentation help to determine the type, size, opening hours, services, etc to be provided to different clientele. Academic libraries may look out for various places within the organization to spread awareness and communicate about new or improved services.

8.1.2 Demographic Segmentation

In this segmentation the grouping of clients is based on such variables as gender, age, family, income, education, etc. that helps to determine about their information needs and usage of services. The needs of postgraduates are different from those of undergraduates as well as the faculty and should be given due consideration while providing them the services.

8.1.3 Psychographic Segmentation

The term psychographics was coined by Emanuel Demby to describe the use of psychological, sociological, and anthropological factors for market segmentation. Customers may be divided on the basis of their attitude, lifestyle, personality traits, values, etc.  Kotler and Keller believe that customers within the same demographic segment exhibit quite different psychological profiles. Those users who have been using library services earlier have to be reminded of the library services once again.

8.1.4 Behavioural Segmentation

In this segment customers are divided into groups on the basis of their knowledge, attitude, usage, response to a service, etc. Different customer groups expect different benefits from the same service or product. As such their behavior will also be different, like they could be regular users, potential users, distance learners, etc. Library services and products also provide different level of information need satisfaction to different user segments according to their knowledge, and other variables. 

It can be said from the above that the end user is all important in all types of segmentation. The strength of market segmentation lies not in the product or service but in the end user. The librarians of all types of academic libraries have a common objective of targeting and serving the end user with a mission. Library services and products should therefore be designed to meet the needs of all as well as individual user in different segments. 

8.2 Strategies for Market Segmentation

The study of market segmentation explains that all library users are unique as individuals asking for a particular library/information service/product. However, there remain some user markets unattended to but the library can serve them effectively as well. Bryson suggested the following three strategies to be adopted for targeting them. 

8.2.1 Undifferentiated Marketing

In undifferentiated marketing the service provider ignores segment differences and goes after the whole market with one offer which he believes will satisfy a large number of customers as they have identical needs. In academic libraries only those products and services need to be developed and delivered which appeal to maximum number of users. All users are treated similarly, and every user is offered the same products, i.e., books, journals, bibliographies, databases, etc. Similarly, every user is offered the same services, i.e., lending service, reference service, interlibrary loan, online service, etc.

8.2.2 Differentiated Marketing

In differentiated marketing, a firm operates in several market segments and designs different products for each segment. Similarly, in the field of librarianship, an academic library may develop separate services specifically designed for each of smaller user segment in view of their different needs. This approach provides an opportunity to libraries to examine if information needs of each of these user segments are being met by the service delivered. If not, library may design a new service for such a user segment.

8.2.3 Concentrated Marketing

It refers to a situation where the firm concentrates on different clusters of customers. In concentrated marketing, a library attempts to provide in-depth services in specialized areas. The library in such a situation purposefully concentrates on a small number of target users and actively meets their specific needs. Information products and services are developed to meet the exclusive needs of that segment of users. Provision of selective dissemination of service (SDI) is a typical example of this type of library marketing.

It is obvious from the above discussion that for segmentation to be useful, the segments must be relevant, accessible, sizable, measurable and profitable to the academic libraries. 

9.0 Creating A Marketing Plan

In order to fulfill the main objective of an academic library, viz., providing reference and information services to its users, it requires a different approach. To promote the use of valuable information resources, it must “shift from product or service orientation to customer or need orientation”.

Marketing of information products and services provides libraries with the tools for collecting and analyzing useful data about information needs of customers. It is further synthesized and thereby assists in developing and delivering appropriate products and services. It is argued that “needs assessment is central to any programme of product development and essential to establish the targets for any marketing process”.  The need to develop customer-centred and strategic market planning has now become part of effective library management. Therefore, creating a marketing plan may be a good starting point for marketing the academic library and its services. A marketing plan, according to Henczel, can be a wonderful tool for communicating with administration about library vision for enhancing library products, image and capabilities. The modern academic libraries can become market-oriented organizations and fulfill their objectives. 

10. Summary

This Module describes the concept of marketing which could be said to be the efforts to bring in new customers or programmes to create more demand for existing services. In view of the changing outlook of library clients towards information resources and services, the need for marketing is highlighted. It further discusses the various functions of marketing, such as analysis, planning, implementation, and control which help in creating customer interest in library services. To achieve this objective, a marketing strategy needs to be developed for academic libraries which should centre around customer satisfaction of the services provided. It describes the four main elements of marketing mix, popularly known as 4Ps, which has been further extended to 7Ps model and given its relevance to academic libraries and their services. Also discusses about the concept of market segmentation as the division of market into distinctive groups of users who may require different library services. It describes various methods of segmentation which have their advantages in providing requisite library services and products based on customers’ demands and assess their satisfaction. Based on all the elements of marketing, it makes a case for marketing plan for academic libraries to implement it for enhancing the usage of library services and improving the image of library.  

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