AskUsNow! Marketing Initiatives Plan 2009 - 2010

Who? The Maryland Library community.

Everyone with a stake in the future of the Maryland library community is an integral part of the continued success of Maryland AskUsNow!. Only with the help of the whole community can the word be spread far, wide, and deep throughout the state.

What? Advocate for AskUsNow and spread the word!

Maryland AskUsNow! has enjoyed continued success since it’s inception in March 2003. We continue to increase the marketing and publicity until AskUsNow! becomes a household name and libraries are more ingrained as go-to organizations for our communities.

Where? Online. In Maryland communities.

We will step outside the library boundaries and be visible in online and physical communities throughout the state, especially in those communities who have given staff time and resources to ensure the successful future of Maryland AskUsNow!.

When? Now and forever.

This plan serves for calendar year 2010 but lays the ground work for continued success and community engagement regardless of the economic climate.

How? Cheaply, enthusiastically, and widespread.

AskUsNow! has $1500 allocated for marketing initiatives and publicity in FY2010. All initiatives as laid out here can be achieved for free.

1. Show our pride. Every partner library within the Maryland AskUsNow! community enthusiastically promotes the service their librarians provide. We have a link and/or logo to AskUsNow! in at least 2 places above the fold in all our online presences including but not limited to the website, databases, catalog, social networking sites, and online communities.

2. Tell everyone. We are excited to tell everyone at our partner organizations about the work we do. Internal marketing initiatives include “question of the [timeframe]” stories, public acknowledgement of jobs well done, inclusion in new staff training for library staff, and more.

3. Give it all away. Whenever physical swag is available to the AskUsNow! community, we give it all away. Every highlighter distributed is another person who can spread the word. We are specific with our distribution of AskUsNow! branded materials; handing out a highlighter or bookmark to a person directly while speaking of the program is more valuable than leaving a bowl of swag on your reference desk. We are aware of our communities and our potential customer base and give them first priority with any swag we may have.

4. Utilize our networks. We are innovative in how we harness the power of social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Flickr to build and empower our community base. (Ikea + Facebook: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/ikea-facebook-showroom-campaign-strategy)

5. Bring them in. We are fun and creative in how we engage with customers.

a. Volkswagen Fun Theory viral videos: http://www.thefuntheory.com

b. a video contest for customers, offering them prizes in return for a 30-60 second video singing our praises. Similar video contests have been successful in Florida (http://www.askalibrarian.org/thedirectorschair) and New Jersey (http://www.qandanj.org/contest).

Check out the presentation given to the Liaisons on 12/8 and the DLDS Marketing Group on 12/9.