Education as Marketing Tool

Jill Stover, in her “Library Marketing — Thinking Outside the Book” blog, points to a press release from Powered, Inc., describing research Powered did on the impact of online education. The release highlights the findings that 90% of their study group of 200,000 consumers who participated in online education programs are likely to recommend the experience to a friend, and 94% of respondents have a more favorable perception of the brand because of the experience.
While the study was focused on commercial ventures, Jill notes:

What does this mean for libraries? A lot. Marketing is becoming less about pushing stuff out to people, and more about empowering them to succeed. Library instruction is one great way to do that as patrons gain valuable knowledge skills while librarians are positioned as experts on particular topics. … Faculty may appreciate lessons on RSS that help them keep up with the literature in their fields; new mothers may like guidance on how to find the best free resources on childhood development.”

Jill makes an excellent point. The resources libraries have to offer, combined with librarians’ traditional emphasis on personalize and detailed research assistance, creates a powerful marketing tool. Offering how-to classes on technologies — and on subjects — is a good way to show patrons the value of the library. With libraries’ patron base increasingly relying on the Internet to use the library, online education is the way to go.