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Sample Marketing Plans
for Exercises in Module 2 Planning.
Internet Use by U.S. Seniors
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Casual interviews with our retired library users and information from the Chamber of Commerce indicate that retirees are "looking for something to do."
Survey, using national research as starting point, determined local demand and interests. Survey was not a sampling, but rather was mailed to all users and was also targeted to the retiree segment to increase participation for that group. Staff took the survey to areas where the retirees gather, to promote the library's interest and increase awareness of Internet services: at senior citizen center, genealogy club, college retirement classes, Chamber, and on the home page of the web site. Surveys were distributed and then collected at meetings, classes, or events involving retirees.
Informal interviews while surveys were being distributed indicated that user decision-making was clearly influenced by convenience in time and location, and opportunity to be involved and share knowledge of Internet as retirement tool. Time, location, and sharing were not included on the survey in an effort to make the instrument brief, and so that it would work for all age groups to collect data to use in later projects.
Because we targeted older users in surveying, the percentage of Internet users in that age group was expectedly high, compared to national data. That is, we surveyed more of our older users, so we found more Internet users for that group compared to other age groups. But the percentage of Internet users within the retired and older age groups was significantly higher than national average. We believe this reflects the nature of the community as a retirement center, and indicates the need for extended web services for this group. Interests in Internet were similar to national studies, with highest interest in weather, news, banking and investment, retirement, and medical information. The older age groups used the library as much as other groups but were least likely to use the library's web site.
Competition is other internet sites, especially in health area, where national research indicates users have only 20% chance of finding reliable information. Promotion should convey inaccuracy of generic Web surfing for health information.
Retirees and over-55 age groups were higher than national Internet users, but were least likely to use the library web site, so promote web site.
Offer a Web service that will be used by retirees/seniors and will allow the library to participate actively in the community effort to continue growth as a center for retirees.
1. Create targeted area of web site for retirees/seniors.
2. Increase web usage by retirees 25%.
3. Target the established weekly web training workshops to the retiree group and train volunteers to teach others.
4. Offer the new site as part of the Chamber of commerce community campaign promoting area to retirees.
Phase 1. Create targeted area of web site for retirees/seniors to promote and integrate library resources, library web resources, network e-resources, and Internet resources for the topics our seniors use most: weather, news, banking and investment, retirement, and medical information.
Phase 2. Promote new web service at identified seniors/retiree gatherings, in the library, newsletter, press releases, flyers, presentations, on the web, and through direct marketing. Include as part of the library's "What's New" podcasts and blog, and in the eNewsletter (although senior's use has been limited, family members are likely to pass on the information). Monitor usage by market segment with feedback survey form on web site.
Phase 3. Target the established weekly web training workshops to the retiree group at least three times during the two-month test period. Recruit at least 6 volunteer retirees, providing training in use of web site and resources, asking that they assist in the workshops. After workshop is tested, other locations can be investigated, with retiree volunteers leading workshops using library-prepared materials. Retiree activities are newsworthy in the community, so seek press coverage for training workshops when volunteers begin leading them.
Phase 4. Offer the new site and training as a targeted program, to be listed in promotional materials in the local business and Chamber of commerce community campaign promoting area to retirees. One team member will actively participate in C of C campaign to increase library involvement, provide community feedback, and promote the new service. Request C of C to promote on their web site.
One team member is responsible for each strategy/objective and will prepare a step-by-step outline of tasks with timeline. Implementation is targeted in two-month phases, each phase to be completed before the next begins, in order listed in section above.
Web usage is monitored regularly on web site. Feedback survey will be tabulated by team members at the end of each phase and used for plan revision before next phase is implemented. Event attendance will be monitored, and feedback forms will be solicited at the training events.
Local Chamber of Commerce works with local Foundation to administer community grants. Once the web service is established and the training is tested, the team can apply for a grant to continue training and establish off-site locations for future workshops.
The planning team represents library staff with the most suitable expertise, and also includes community members representing the proposed market segments. An organizer of successful technology fairs for a similar community will serve as advisor and paid consultant.
The library's mission includes serving the community with the best traditional and technological services.
Factors affecting demand for Business owners: Time of presentation. Availability of parking. Tech companies selected. Are there group rates?
The different factors affecting demand also affect the decision-making process.
Competition comes in the form of business hours, class schedules, extra-curricular activities, even local sporting events. Does the fair offer more than what people would learn on TV or the internet? Is the fair offered at the right day, time, and location?
The Library will develop and produce an annual Technology Fair featuring internationally recognized companies and local innovators.
Fair will occur over one day, into evening hours, to meet time needs of market segments. Admission fee will be set low, and students will receive discounted price of admission. Presenters will be admitted free. Businesses will be encouraged to buy and distribute multiple admission tickets. Suitable high-tech conference area is available at the university, which is centrally located and will allow visitor parking.
Direct marketing to technology companies and specified market segments is priority. Separate brochures are being developed that will appeal to each market segment. Presentations will be made to local businesses and business oriented clubs.
Success and satisfaction of companies participating in a similar technology fair in a nearby community will be stressed in brochure for technology companies and in press releases.
Releases will be sent to the college and marketing will be targeted to faculty and students.
Team has identified possible participants and will make calls and personal contact with companies, utilizing prior contacts established with these companies for the library technology training programs.
Team members are involved in producing library podcasts and blog content, and will announce the event on those which are targeted for businesses or college students.
Project management consultant and technology fair organizer has established timeline of tasks and responsibilities. Each member of the team has an established set of tasks to complete and understands how those tasks fit into the overall plan. Critical tasks (those that can hold up the project significantly) have been identified.
Attendance, feedback, media response, amount of funds raised will be used to monitor plan success.
Funds are available in library budget for project management consultant who has organized a successful technology fair for another community. Budget for the project has been prepared by team and is available upon request by local businesses wishing to contribute.