Wednesday, December 23, 2015

360° Marketing for Content Buyers

360° Marketing for Content Buyers
Military Libraries Training Workshop
December 9, 2015

Dave Shumaker,
Department of Library and Information Science,
Catholic University of America

The role of marketing in the process – marketing to stakeholders to gauge interest and get buy-in.   

Marketing pervades all 360° of the buying cycle.

Keep marketing principles in the foreground throughout the process. Be prepared!

Licensing cycle:

  1. Do your homework: monitor community needs and monitor the marketplace.
  2. Place the contract: test and negotiate
  3. Implement: test for technical issues; promote and train
  4. Evaluate – which leads back to monitoring to see that we are meeting the information needs.
  5. Marketing – a set of process for creating, communicating and delivering value to a community and managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.  Marketing is more than promoting and communicating.  Tie marketing to the mission/vision/strategy for your organization.
Dr. Shumaker uses the analogy of a chain to relate the steps in the marketing process.  He uses a chain because the steps are linked together.

Mission/vision/strategy           Placement        Positioning      Promotion
            Product development              Pricing             Branding         Politics Relationships
Research & Understanding

Marketing tasks – the 4 P’s:
  • Product development
  • Placement – Branding and Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion – includes Politics & Relationships

Step 1 – Do your homework:  Who are you?  How do you contribute to the mission? 

            Align with agency mission/vision/strategy

            Research – know your audience.  Understand the marketplace.  Who are the agency stakeholders? What are the disciplines? Identify different segments in the community.  Know the differences and know the scope of the product.

Step 2 – Place the contract: 
  • Product development – choices to customize for your agency.
  • Placement – make it easy for the users
  • Pricing – negotiations over dollars, the cost of time and effort; the cost to the community for using the system.

Negotiations: Getting to Yes (in negotiating). One question to keep in mind – What is the cost/impact if I have to walk away from a negotiation.

Step 3 – Implementation
  • Branding – does the product present our brand or the vendor brand?  This is negotiable!
  • Position – what do people think when they see your brand?  There should be more trust when they see your organizational brand – this was selected by your library.
  • Promote – specific to your agency.  State your objectives and develop a strategy.

Promotion plan:


First consider who your audience is.

The message should include the benefits of the new resource/tool – show how it will make life better for your people.

Medium – where do users hangout?  What medium works best?  What will reach the people?  It varies depending upon the agency and depending upon the user group.  Go to their meetings – they won’t come to you.  Go to their executive meetings!  Show the executives how the product will benefit the staff.  Get the bosses to promote it.

Timing – work it into the flow of your organization

Location – find the right meeting to promote the new resource.

Step 4 – Evaluation

Often we count clicks or downloads.  What we need to count is the cost per download.  Make comparisons between the subscription cost per download and the single purchase price.

Our measures need to tell a story about more than activity – but outcomes.  How are people using the materials they are get?  What is the impact to the organization by having access to these materials?   

Go back to the mission – how did this help us meet our mission?  Did it solve a problem?  Did we use the materials to brief an executive?  Did it support our learning and understanding as we worked on a project?

Step 5 - Marketing

Marketing principles:

Politics – the art of getting stuff done.  Form coalitions with people who can get things done.

Relationships – internal and external.  People buy from people.

The key to marketing new resources is to be a net-centric librarian.  The net-centric librarian has relationships in all areas – the work community, the library community and with vendors of resources.

(Net-centric Librarian – term used by Michelle Brauer, Emergence of the ‘cybrarian’: a new organizational model for corporate libraries.

Link to presentation slides - (Better viewed on Firefox.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Servant Leadership: a Higher Calling

Servant Leadership: a Higher Calling
Military Libraries Training Workshop
Fort McNair Officers' Club, Washington, DC
December 8, 2015
Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Ward, Jr. USAF (ret.)

You don’t have to be smart to be a general.  You need to have smart people around you.

Leadership: try to have a positive impact on the people you are trying to lead.  Try to leave the unit better than you found it.

People are your #1 resource.

Servant leadership – helping others.  Our mission is to help others.  We do that by earning their trust.

People skills – build a rapport with people.  Take the time to get to know them.

MG Ward talked about taking over command at the Joint Forces Staff College and having breakfast every Friday with two different people – one from the staff and one from the faculty.  By doing this ties were established and bonds formed that led to mutual understanding and support.

At another command he asked to set up a schedule so he could visit everyone on staff at their workplace within his first three months.  And every Friday they held an informal town hall in the main corridor.  This allowed him to get to know the people on his staff, both military and civilian and be able to relate to them.

How can you motivate someone you don’t know?  Get to know your people.  Your approach has to be individualized.

What are the two most important words that a person wants to hear?  Their first name and their last name.  Know your people.

The next two most important words that a person wants to hear is Thank you

MG Ward talked a bit about one leader who inspired him and that was MG Alfred K. Flowers, USAF (ret).  When MG Flowers retired he was the longest serving active duty member in Air Force history, from August 1965 to November 2011.  (

Several years ago while working in the Pentagon when they both held lower ranks, but Flowers was the superior officer, Ward was tasked with a project along with another officer.  The worked overnight on the task but Flowers stayed with them bringing them a meal and getting them coffee without regard to his rank.  Sometimes a leader needs to serve.

MG Ward told another story about a successful Air Force officer who served successfully for many years and retired one day because he realized that he was no longer able to help his people.

Career Development:

Connectivity couple people with the right skills to accomplish the mission.

Three S’s of Leadership:

Survival – when you start a new job – the first level is survival.  What do I need to know and do to keep this job?

Success – How do I succeed?  I need to connect with my boss, my peers, and my subordinates.  I cannot do it by myself.

Significance – Be a leader of significance.  We owe others our best performance.


If you want to be a significant leader – be a servant leader.  Support the people who work for you and get to know them.  Work on your people skills and strive for continuous improvement.

Leaders eat last.