Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Fast Company has a great article on the difficulty of creating the perfect cover design for Nabokov’s Lolita.

Because of the intertwining, sometimes contradictory interpretations of the text, and the degree to which Lolita is dehumanized and victimized by Humbert Humbert, there have been many awful covers for Lolita over the years. Whether through sloppiness, a shallow reading of the text, or sheer callousness, many Lolita covers have been complicit with Humbert Humbert in portraying Lolita as a saucy, sexually voracious nymphet, a portrayal only exacerbated by Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of the novel.

Bertram found these covers frustrating, and these frustrations bore the project. “Many covers make the mistake of being an almost glamour shot of an older adolescent who is sexually mature,” says Bertram. “It’s a gross misreading of the book that should never be there at all. You need to portray what Lolita has gone through, but there’s not a lot of leeway between the two extremes. It begins to suggest that the girl of Lolita should not be the subject of the cover at all.”



This segment of bite-sized marketing focuses on how to make more effective marketing materials by color choice. The Logo Company has created this handy resource to show what emotions are inspired by certain colors: Color Emotion Guide22 Psychology Of Color In Logo Design

This could be helpful for marketing library programs to the public: Doing a speed-dating event at the library? Try orange. Planning a “First Resume” workshop for high-schoolers? Yellow and red would be good options.

Color choice can also play a role in your website. The HubSpot ran a test to see if a red button or a green button would perform better. The red button outperformed the green by 21%. But, as the HubSpot warns, the takeaway from the test isn’t that red will always do better than green. The takeaway is that testing and trying options to see what appeals to your audience is important. If your teen blog isn’t getting results with its color scheme, change it up, and monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Finally, behind the cut is a great infographic from Kissmetrics on how color affects purchases (or check-outs or attendance, for librarians).


I started reading Bite-sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Over-Worked Librarian today at lunch with high expectations, and I have to say that so far, I’m underwhelmed. I went in expecting it to be a series of tips for good, manageable ways to incorporate marketing into your everyday tasks as a librarian, but it’s more of a bird’s-eye approach.

As a friend said, “What we need, we create,” so I thought I’d start a series on bite-sized marketing myself.

First of all, I don’t want to sound too down on the book, because it opens with a great bit of advice: Put your efforts in Word of Mouth Marketing (or WOMM). This morning I was listening to Jonah Berger discuss his book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and he also agrees that word of mouth promotion is a more powerful tool than, say, social media. We tend to pay more attention to things like social media because they’re flashier and are a written record of what we’ve discussed, but good ole word of mouth still accounts for the majority of publicity.

I’m in an academic library at the moment. I make an effort to glance over the course guides to the classes being offered each semester and look over what we’ve got that can support them. If I see a professor by the water cooler or in the hall, I’ll bring up our collection: “Oh, we just got in a new Toastmaster’s DVD that could really help with your public speaking lesson!” “Lean In just arrived at the library. I think it would be fascinating for your business class.” If I see something that is a particular fit, or something they’ve asked about in the past, I email them as well. The personal attention helps build relationships with the library, and if they have a positive encounter, they’ll likely keep us in mind when next semester rolls around.

I just discovered this fascinating article on The Hunger Games social marketing campaign. I didn’t pay much attention to the online marketing at the time, but boy oh boy, now I wish I had. This is a fascinating case study for how to draw teens into a fannish phenomenon, and I think libraries can use it as well. Go on and read the article; I’ll wait.

All right, so The Hunger Games marketing team had it somewhat easy: They had an engaged fan base that was already eager for any word, and also actively searching for information.

But a few lessons can be learned from the professional Hollywood approach to marketing and can be adapted for libraries. First, Ignition did not attempt to conquer all social media spheres at once. They started on the two major ones, Facebook and Twitter, where an established teen base was waiting.

Second, they moved into additional places that teens were hanging out online, and tailored the content for each source. What they posted on Tumblr was appropriate for Tumblr; it was not the same thing they posted on Facebook. This is an important thing for anyone to understand when they attempt to begin social marketing: Not all platforms are the same. A Twitter account that regenerates a shortened link back to a Facebook post will be nowhere as successful as one that posts things appropriate for 140 characters and @ back-and-forth and hashtags. They are different mediums for a reason, and librarians need to embrace their differences. Additionally, they need to be cognizant of the difference in users: there is already a divide emerging between the 13 to 18 and 19 to 25 age group with newer services like Instagram and Snapchat.

Third, Ignition partnered with multiple other places to participate in the game. While many libraries won’t have the connections to get places like Yahoo to post something on their homepage, local businesses would be an excellent outreach. A scavenger hunt in a smaller town with businesses, or having localities with social media also Tweet out clues or post hints on their Facebook pages could be a couple of ways to draw teens into the program.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they were sure to make the content of the campaign meaningful to the fans of the book and gave them ways to identify themselves as active participants. This is grounded in the idea of a fanbase as a community. They allowed teens to choose identities and districts, and then later played on those with their Twitter campaign.

The numbers the marketing team chose (eg. #47) had special relevance to the story and their importance would be something that the fans could understand and appreciate. They also played off elements of the film by partnering with 12 different websites such as Yahoo, IGN, Fandango,  and Machinima as “district sponsors.” They allowed the fans to create their own place – literally – in the world and become part of it. This also helps build a sense of positive exclusiveness: It creates a club-like atmosphere that allows teenagers to connect to each other and to the thing orchestrating it. In the case of The Hunger Games media campaign, it was the movie, and the box office receipts show it worked. In the library’s case, it can be the library itself.