The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing - Page 2
Building a buzz is an effective—and free—way to create public awareness and support.
Posted Mon, 10/26/2009 - 13:08
What kind of tools and incentives did you use? There was a contest to come up with a message ("We’re up when youare: 24 hours a day"). Everyone was encouraged to enter. Everyone received a "cheat sheet" with our message and talking points. We had a bookmark with a checklist so we could mark the ones we showed them. We would ask them, "Do you know we have Morningstar?" or "Do you know about the Tumblebooks site?" and demo it to them.
We would circle the sites on the bookmark so they would remember once they returned home. Also, everyone who received a demonstration was given a notepad with our message. Having something to give out made it easier for the staff to present their message. The two staff who gave out the most notepads at the main library and our branch each received gift cards.
Are you still buzzing? Yes! We have installed a laptop computer at the circ desk so we could show people the databases. Staff use it to show how to do online reserves and account records, as well as demonstrate databases.
People like it. We like it. We’re educating people more and more about databases and other services available online. It’s become an expectation we have for staff. WOMM is being incorporated as a core competency and part of our staff evaluations.
Why do you think WOMM works? Hearing about and seeing the databases demoed makes a lasting impression- more so than seeing it in a newsletter. I think people respect someone else’s opinion. You can also convey some excitement speaking one-on-one that you can’t with the printed word.
What was the biggest thing you learned? We learned that this is one of the most successful ways to market. We’ve had better results from word-of-mouth than anything we’ve done-tangible results. We could see the statistics jumping.
What advice would you give other libraries? Many studies have proven that the circulation staff is the first and sometimes the only contact patrons have when visiting the library. We miss a lot of opportunities by not encouraging circ staff to promote the library. Get your circ staff out there. Get them trained and empowered and let them go. It will surprise you!