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ss" All India Libr'ary Conference Proceedings Birla Institute of l\1anagement Technology Greater Noida

January 21-24, 2010

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Editor-l rr-Chlef Sh. D.V. Singh


Dr. (Mrs.) R. Chandra Dr. O.N. Chaubey

Dr. B. Ramesha

Dr. N. S Shokeen

Dr. Maliknath Kumbar Dr. Rishi Tiwari

Sh. Sanjeev Dutt Sharma


Editorial Advisory Board


Dr. Kautilay Shukla President, ILA

Director, School of Library & Information Studies Sumandeep Vidyapith University Pipariya, Ta.Waghodia, Dist: Vadodara (Gujarat)


Dr Muttayya Koganuramath University Librarian

Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai - 400 088

Prof. (Dr) Ashu Sbokeen DLIS, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra,

Dr. S. S. Dhaka Director,

Min. of External Affairs New Delhi

© Indian Library Association, Delhi, 2010

Prof. (Dr.) N. Luman Rao Professor Emeritus, Osmania University Hyderabad.

Prof. J.N. Gautam DLlS, Jiwaji University, Gwalior

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, micro-filming, and recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing of the publishers and the copyright owners.

The opinions expressed in the articles by the authors and contributors are their own and the Editorial Advisory Board, Chief Editor or Editors assume no responsibility for the same.

ISBN: 81-85216-43-6

Price: India: Rs 2000/=; Overseas: US$ 150 Printed at Om Laser Printers, Delhi-Ll 0 009

Fifty Fifth ILA National Conference, on Library and Information Science in the Digital Era, January, 21-242010 © 2010, lLA

Marketing of Library & Information Products and Services in Digital Era

Mohammad Hasham Ansari Research Scholar UPRTOU, Allahabad U,P,

Aleem Akhtar Librarian

KCMT, Management College, Bareilly.


Mohammad Asu Mustafa Kban Librarian

Indian Business Academy. Greater Noida


In this article efforts have been made to find out new ways and means for the marketing of library and information services and products in the digital era .i.e, Marketing concepts, components of marketing in initial stage of marketing and basic skills necessary for it Market oriented thinking is necessity in today's competitive world in digital era. There is a competition not only among companies but also among non profit organizations, In this article the need of marketing, its trinity concept, usefulness in libraries, and method of providing ''LIBRARY AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS AND SERVICES", guidelines and implementation of marketing and the feedback mechanism for improvement in Digital Era has been discussed.


Today we are living in the Knowledge age where in Knowledge i the key to societal development; libraries and information center are potential sources of revenue generation if the resources of the "':"rarie, and information centres are marketed. Library professional are l ~ aware of the advantages of marketing and the librar; literarure i

teeming with concept of marketing, marketing plane marketing

strategies. case studies on marketing of library nd informau But libraries and information center; III India ill h knowledge products and services in Librarie

n; of Li rary & Information Products and ervices in Digital Era


PHILIP KOTLER: "Marketing is the Analysis, planning, Imp ernentation, & control of carefully formulated programmes designed to bring about voluntary exchanges of values with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives. It relies heavily on designing the organization's offering in terms of the target market's needs & de. ires and on using effective pricing, communication & distribution to inform, motivate & service the markets."

MARKETING & LIDRARY RELATION: The library is considered as a non-profit organization. Therefore, it will be more appropriate to put its marketing strategies under the category of social marketing, the social marketing concept is:

"the organization task is 10 determine the need, wants, and interests of larger markets and to deli-per tile desired satisfaction more effectively then competitors ill a H'l~y that preserves or enhances the consumer's and the society's well being".


From the above definitions the following major points are describe.

;- Marketing is managerial process involving analysis, planning.

implementations and control.

y Marketing is concerned with carefully formulated programmes. y Marketing seeks to bring about voluntary exchanges.

);> Marketing selects target market and does not see to do aU things to all people.

,. Marketing is directly correlated to the achievements of organizational objective,

,. Marketing emphasize on the target markets (consumer or user) needs as and desires rather on the products preferences.


Marketing program of any organization encompasses various activities, decision and policies. But those which are identified as being suitable to enhance the library operations are:


Market research and analysis provide the organization with information necessary to analyze decisions regarding specific structure of the marketing programme. Tt is essential for the libraries to conduct marketing as due to the huge growth of literature III India the teachers. students and research scholars have been finding it difficult to keep track

Md. Hasham Ansari, Alcern Akhtar and Md. Asif Mustafa Khan

with the latest development in the subject of their concern LO over om this problem, different kinds of information services such as abstracting and indexing services, state-of-the art reviews ere, have been S~ ed b both profit and non-profit organizations at national and international level. Reddy defines marketing research in the context of information environment as: the svstematic collection and analysis of information about services.

Market analysis is done to enable decision on:

• Product design.

• Strategies whether to introduce a new product.

• The trade-off that are required to be considered when two or more alternatives are available and

• The priorities that need to be assigned to market segments. products, and the marketing mix component!'.

• In the context of academic libraries, the services of other libraries and information centers, database vendors and commercial companies are analyzed.


Market segmentation aims at evaluating the total heterogeneous market into homogeneous segments and deciding which segments require great priority. This activity involves the identification of the users (target groups) actual and potential and their needs assessment. Two or more consumers for a particular product or service and grouped together so that their need" are better served.

"TIY to segment your users into different categories. identifying The mo I important and most influential. ..

Users should be the most important criteria to judge good rnanagcmen of academic libraries and information centers. Library. vi it information users, teachers and students form the most import components of the academic libraries.

Management of these activities must first focus on the custom r" tills regard r quote the words of Maharma Gandhi:

"A customer if most important visitor in our premises He is not dependent on us

We are dependent on him

He is not an interruption on our work He is the purpose of it

We are not doing 11 favor by serx ing him. He is doing us a favor by gi\ ing us an op


Marketing of Library & Information Products and Services ill Digital Era


Once. the marketing segments are established and needs of users are know D. the marketing strategy can be developed by the library using the marketing tool known as 'marketing mix'. The term • the term marketing mix' was first coined by Neil H. Borden to describe the combination of the fair inputs which constitute the core of a company's marketing system : the product, the palace or the distribution system, the price structure, and the promotional activities, these four elements are traditionally known as 4P's (Product, Place Promotion and Price).


The literature on marketing both in management and science and library science appears to be unanimous in accepting the 4 P's to be the ingredients of marketing i.e. product, place, price and promotion.

The 4 P's are the ingredients of successful marketing strategy these ingredients have different components. All these have to be mixed in the right promotion to achieve the desired results. Hence these are also known as "Marketing mix":

1. Product: - The product is the heart of the system it proposed to be marketed. The products are produce by all organizations which could be either tangible or intangible.

In marketing, product means both product and services e.g. SOl services. or JOLUTlai circulation, are products etc. With the advent of information technology, access to international database, online research results on diskettes, database on CD ROM also constitute information product.

2. Price: - Pricing of information services and product is relari veJy a new concept. It has not been consider seriously since library services where being provided "free", but with the increased emphasis on accountability and self sufficiency in relation to recourse it bas been come necessary to cost the various activities to recover cost as such as possible further for the fact that information brokers and consults are charging high fees for services provided and are their being successfully is indicati ve of the users willingness to pay for good product.

3. Place (Distribution):- The way in which a product or services is to distribute or where that is located (e.g., Are services delivered to people's mailbox, or do users have to fetch them?)

4. Promotion: - Promotion is an important in marketing mix, but it has received more attention then other elements it is considered

Md. Hasham Ansari. Aleern Akhtar and Md.. AsifMustafa Khan 665

synonyms which marketing promotion is widely practiced by all library information profes ional .

Promotion uses all the tools of public relations persuasive communication, advertising. personal eUing. publicity and incentive. The purpose of promotion i (0 communicate. to convince and to compete, promotion in library and lnformation centers can be taken care in following way:

a) Personal Contact.

b) Public Relations.

c) Advertisement.

d) Personal selling.

e) Incentives. /) Publicity.


New product planning and development usually begins alter market

analysis, consumer research, needs assessment and resource analysis. The concept of 'Product lifecycle' is associated with product planning. A product usually bas four stage lifecycle:



1. Introduction

2. Growth

3. Maturity

4. Decline

New products are not always produced. Sometimes the old product are repackaged and promoted i 11 a different place or for a new segment of consumers. The purpose is to promote the product initiallv with an influential segment of the population whose support and satisf~ction will ensure that other sections of consumers probably will als

66 arketing of Library & Information Products antl Services in Digital Era

consumers of the product. A new service can first be tested with few carefully chosen users whose comments and suggestions may be taken into account in modifying the service, if necessary, before launching it more widely. Academic librarians consciously build awareness of new product and service soon after the service is introduced. Awareness j usually built through brochures. announcements, presentations, persona! selling and other promotional methods like display and charts, if the product meets the expectations of the target group, demand for it will grow during the second and third phase of its cycle. Finally. it is quite possible that the product or service is no longer capable of satisfying needs possibly because of other bette! products or services that have since appeared on the scene or because it is no longer cost-effective. When this happens. the product is withdrawn and the user is encouraged to seek alternative products.


Recognizing the vital of libraries in education and research the present study has been undertaken with the following objectives:

1. To examine some approach of marketing products and services for solving the problems of libraries in India

2. To examine the level of customer's satisfaction for the products and services offered with traditional methods;

3. To examine the new information and products and services which can improve the collection of libraries; and

4. To examine the level of penetration already achieved by libraries.


The present age i lightly characterized as the age of information. The fact that information is a key for the economics, socio-cultural and political development of a nation is gaining increasing acceptance. This being so, availability of right information at right time and right cost becomes critical. It means that LIMs will have to chip in accept the challenge and make it happen by playing a more pro-active role. UMs will have to appreciate [hat just having information and storing it will sene no purpose unless it is put to effective use by those who need it i.e., ) l1'fs will have to bring the user and information closer.

Information Technology (IT) has ushered in a variety of media that can help LTM~ in efficienr and effectiveness acquisition. Computer and CDROMs have found. increasing acceptance in LIes; multimedia bas shown much potential for LICs; and information networks have broken down time and space barriers. By virtue of using a variety of IT tools and

Md. Hasham Ansari, Aleem Akhtar and Md. Asif Mustafu Khan


techniques UCs are now able [Q generate various kinds of information products and services in addition to performing the routine takes. However, it is a little unfortunate that these remain largely underutilisined, or even in ca e. whol1y unutilized.




~ C_CO~S~\t~


In a library book staff and reader make a trinity. Without any of these element library becomes non functional. In the same manner, marketing also has a trinity product, seller and consumer. Seller act as a mediator between product and consumer. Seller brings the product and consumer together.

In the context of library, consumer is the user, librarian is the seller who creates different types of products and service. keeping in mind the well defined need of his/her users. In this trinity consumer is very important element because if the consumer needs will not be fulfilled then there will be no products and thus no seller therefore, consumer is very important.


The functions and responsibilities of a marketing division can be listed as follows:


Implementing a marketing program in library involves the following steps:

1. The first step should be to formulate a marketing division in the library.

2. The head of marketing division should appoint 'Marketing Consultant' to advise the division on different marketing strategies. He should be responsible for carrying out a "Marketing Audit".

Marketing of Library & Tnfonnation Products and Services in Digital Era

• E tablishing contact with other divisions of the

library/information center,

• Give suggestions and recommendations to information services division to create quality, timely, user targeted, reliable and validated information products/services,

• Developing efficient and effected methods for marketing,

• Developing mechanisms to study user needs,

• Developing pricing policies,


All above mentioned marketing concepts can be applied to the marketing of library and information services & products but when we have to define what kind of marketing it is we have to study the basic concept behind the library and inforrnation services. The basic nature of library services is related to some kind of advice or search. There are more services than product involved in serving a library clientele.

In other words. marketing of LIPS means informing the user what libraries can provide, how these can be obtained, what is the fee or terms and conditions for obtaining LIPS, Assessment of user needs of LIPS i.e. feed back from the users, improvement of LIPS within certain 1 imitations and public relations with the users of LIPS.


Some of the library and information services and product which can be marketed are given below»

:> Access to Library and information resources.

~ Access to online networked based services such as delnet and


:> Access to Audio Video Cassettes. ~ Access to CD-ROM.

~ Access to Library information resources to institutional


~ Current Content.

~ Bibliographies. current awareness.

~ Indexed Bibliographies, abstracting bulletins. customer searche ~ Digest extracts, descriptive review/trend, reports compilation. , Translation, editing, publishing. and reprographic ervice

,. Photocopying services.


Md. Hasham Ansari, Aleem Akhtar and Md. Asif Mustafa Khan


_> Inter Library lending services. _> Exchange of Publications.

? Forthcoming conference/symposium seminar services . .> SDI service to faculty members .

.> User's education .

.> Organization of book exhibition. technical demonstration .. » AudioNideo Recording and di playing facilities .

.> Marketing of digital information resources .

.> Electronic Databases .

.> Print Databases.

? Digi tal resources.

_> Training and consultancy.


It is very essential to ascertain whether the LIPS being provided by the institution concerned or being utilized by the end-users appropriately or not. The ways by which LIPS can be improved are given below:

I. Meet the Members :-

The meeting serves as an opportunity to have face to face interaction with members to know the level of their satisfaction. It should be done after regular intervals. The library staff should pay undivided attention to the users when he/she has to say something, Because a library should project a positive image by listening to the users which will pay rich dividends in the long fUll.

II. User Survey:-

User survey should be done so as to know about views of the users. It could be done with help of various techniques like questionnaire, interview schedule. But both the questionnaire as well as interview should be kept short so as to encourage a better response frame the users.

ill. Suggestion Box :-

The library or information centers should maintain suggestion box or registers where users can drop there suggestions for improving (LIPS).

The feedback, thus obtained from above discussed ways can help in improving or substituting the LIPS in accordance with the requirements or expectations of the users. This will lead to the


6-0 Marketing of Library & Information Products and Services in Digital E

optimum use of the available UPS and. thus archive the aim and objectives thereof,


From the above discussion it is clear that the library can be called an information market and the library user is a consumer. The present information society is Digital Era and maximum literature is available in Electronic/Digital form. It is information which revolutionizes the society. In such a society information forms the vital resources and the key products. Therefore it is information marketing which will be in the forefront of marketing arena. In this way the purpose of markeung information products and services is to make service more responsible tc user needs. wants and improve people's satisfaction. Like any other commodity information can also be produced. sold and consumed.

In view of this, information marketing is very essential. Library acquisition, organization and dissemination must be based on the modern concept of marketing to achieve reader satisfaction. It must endeavor to nurture culture of customer service [0 enbance its image in the eyes of the users.

Whether. the information is marketed with a price tag or without a price tag, with a profit motive or without a profit motive. training for the i nfonnation of the worker /providers is necessary.


• Kotler, Philip. (1995) Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations.

2nd ed.

• American Marketing Association. Marketing News March 1985.

• Indian Journal of Information Library & Society.

• Encyclopedia Britanica,

• The Marke-ting of Library and Information Services. Aslib, p


• Services Marketing. Zenithal A. Valerie 4lh ed.

• Services Marketing: People, Technology, strategy. 5lh ed.

• Seetharama, S (1990) Guidelines for Planning of Libraries and Information Centers

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