Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review: Fizz

Professional development doesn’t require a costly workshop or expensive consultant. Instead, look to new books across disciplines for ideas to help you grow as a library professional. 

FIZZ: HARNESSING THE POWER OF WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING TO DRIVE BRAND GROWTH by Ted Wright explores the promise and pitfalls of using conversations between customers to promote products and services. Although aimed at the business community, this book has lots of implications for librarians too. Let’s explore the book chapter by chapter.

Influencers. Seek out influential users and provide them with a powerful message to share. In the case of libraries, think about how to get your key youth in each social group and teachers sharing that message. Where influencers lead, others will follow. They need the right story at the right time. Wright provides lots of suggestions for identifying and making use of these key people.

Two-Ounce Culture. Wright suggests providing samples and freebies to draw interest. In other words, you need to get books into the hands of teachers and youth. If you can get people to visit your website to find a cool new resource, they’ll return on their own. Get them to try something new like your iPads, then reintroduce them to your traditional resources.

What Makes You Talkable. A product or services needs a story that can be shared. What makes people love the library? How can you turn this into a story that people will want to share? Wright suggests that the story needs to be interesting and authentic.

Strategic Corporals. Wright suggests that you need to recruit and train brand ambassadors who will share your story. Wright suggests looking for people who are interested in new things, like to share stories with friends, and are intrinsically motivated. Who hangs out in your library? Who attends your book clubs? These are people who make great ambassadors.

Patience. Once everything is in place, Wright notes that it take patience to wait and watch for word of mouth marketing to work. In addition, it’s important to measure the impact of this type of marketing.

Big Data. Rather then just relying on local marketing efforts, Wright suggests looking at big data. In the library setting this means following national research from organizations like ALA and PewInternet. He suggests looking for patterns in the data and comparing this to what’s happening locally.

The last section of the book explores topics such as ways to saving money, dispelling marketing myths, and ideas for talking to administrators about marketing.

Although not specifically aimed at the library profession, Fizz contains some great ideas for using word of mouth marketing regardless of the setting. While most of the strategies aren’t particularly new, they are presented in a way that’s enjoyable and easy to follow.

NetGalley ARC used for review