Sunday, August 12, 2012

Perhaps libraries need ‘customer champions’

On the “Social Media for Libraries, Library Friends, and Library Foundations” LinkedIn discussion group, Michael Henry Starks shared a link to Marketing Is Dead by Bill Lee in Harvard Business Review.

According to the article, traditional marketing doesn’t make sense in an increasingly social media-infused environment:
“[A]n organization hires people — employees, agencies, consultants, partners — who don’t come from the buyer’s world and whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned with his, and expects them to persuade the buyer to spend his hard-earned money on something.”
Customers, Lee argues, are far more likely to ask members of their peer network when contemplating a purchase than they are to go look for a salesperson.

According to Lee, companies should use social media to replicate a community-oriented experience. Instead of pursuing outside influencers, companies should cultivate customer influencers and give them something to talk about.

Thusly, perhaps libraries should cultivate “customer champions” who can influence their peers and promote resources available at their libraries.

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