Basic Marketing and Promotion Concepts

Abstract: Dubicki argues that libraries must market their eresources to users and gives tips on how to do so.


  • defines marketing, noting that it is a whole-staff endeavor;
  • outlines components of a marketing plan;
  • emphasizes market research and segmentation;
  • details approaches to creating and spreading your message; and
  • highlights the importance of evaluation to successful marketing campaigns.


I have only a few quibbles with Dubicki's wonderfully-informative article.

First, she seems to jump directly to marketing, assuming that reference and instructional librarians understand their users' needs. Particularly as regards eresources, that has not been my experience, both because librarians are experts who often don't remember being novices, and because sometimes it takes an outsider (a maverick <grin>) to see the whole picture rather than only individual reference questions.

Second, the emphasis on marketing eresources without the concomitant market research to determine if the library is choosing eresources based on users' needs seems premature.

Finally, her advice to highlight patrons on posters was not borne out for undergraduates in business at Emory. A market research study done for and by those same students revealed that, rather than their classmates' faces, they wanted to know about the librarians' expertise.

Dubicki, E. (2007). Basic Marketing and Promotion Concepts. Serials Librarian, 53(3), 5-15. Retrieved November 9, 2008, from Haworth Press electronic journals.