New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Study Your Users With Ready-Made Studies

Steven Bell
I've been meaning to write a post about using local / state / national studies to learn more about the people in your target audiences ever since the new Ithaka Survey came out last month. I haven't done it yet -- but Steven Bell has. And he's done it even better than I could have. So I'm just going to send you over to his Library Journal column, From the Bell Tower, so you can read "Studying the Studies" for yourselves. 

The first step in successful marketing is researching the people you're trying to reach in order to understand the most effective way to reach them. Most of you don't have time to do original research, but you don't have to when there are so many useful reports out there for the taking. The Ithaka US Faculty Survey and the others that Bell discusses relate mostly to academic libraries. But there are plenty of others too. 

One of my favorites comes from the ICMA: Maximize the Potential of Your Public Library. I gushed about it in an earlier post here. I also found the ERIAL project pretty enlightening. 

And as you probably know, there are lots of great studies done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And the OCLC Perceptions Survey is one of the best. 

Of course, no study can help you if you don't read and use it (Steven Bell's post will help you with that part). And they should certainly be part of your marketing toolkits.

What are your go-to sources when you want to get familiar with a target market? 

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