Library Marketing for Public Libraries from the Ohio Library Foundation
Marketing training on the web for public library staff

Module ProductPRODUCT



Library Products








Module Overview overview

Module Planning planning

Module Promotion promotion

Module Internet internet

Module Ohio ohio



Site Index



Supervisor Tips


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Promotion in the Mix

Letting customers know

The visible part of marketing

The 4th "P" of the marketing mix is promotion. Promotion lets users know what the library has to offer. It may be the most familiar part of the process to you or may be what you think of when you hear the word marketing, but promotion doesn't happen until the marketing planning is completed. Understanding library strengths and weaknesses and knowing the customer are assets in successful promotion strategies.


What you find out about the decision-making processes of your users from market research helps determine the best way to promote, i.e. what will make customers use or reject a library service? Some users will respond to mailings or phone marketing, others may respond negatively. Some users respond to web promotions and never read newsletters, others like to get print newsletters at home. Some users prefer national newspapers and others only read the local newspaper. For many users TV is the primary source of information. Some users come regularly to the library and will see displays, others will visit only online. Learn more about promotions in Module 4.


Branding is a marketing concept that concerns the way customers identify and recognize products. It is one way to get users to identify the library as a leading source (the "leading brand"!) of information services. Branding deals with what makes one product stand out or be well known when others fail. It includes many types of promotion. (See Module 4 for more on promotion and on branding.)

Promotion is a highly visible part of marketing, but it is only part of marketing. It is most successful when the selected product, the target market, and the marketing plan goals are based on research.


Look around the library at displays, flyers, posters, signs, etc.

  • What methods of promotion are easily visible to your users?
  • How successful do you think these visible promotional materials are in "selling" a service to your customer?



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