Invigorate marketing efforts at your library


Innovative, part of Clarivate™, celebrates Library Marketing Month every November. In November 2023, we hosted marketing expert Cordelia Anderson of Cordelia Anderson Consulting for a webinar on “Shifting to an Integrated Marketing Strategy.” 

Getting started 

For libraries that don’t yet have a marketing plan, Anderson offers the suggestion of starting small – set a goal of a certain number of attendees at an upcoming event, a circulation goal for items in a new exhibit, or a monetary goal for a fundraiser.  

Having a plan not only gives you a roadmap for the current project; it can also help to clarify your priorities so you are better able to say no to projects that don’t further your current goal. 

Kinds of messages 

The messages you share as part of your marketing generally fall into the following categories: 

  • Foundational – Messaging about the library and your mission. 
  • Service – The services that your libraries offer, including locations and facilities. 
  • Seasonal – What’s happening this season.  
  • Impact – how we make a difference – looking back with stats, stories about the library’s impact. 

Elements of an effective message 

Start with the basics: Who is your audience? What are you promoting?  When is it happening? Where is it happening? Why are you having the event/exhibit you are promoting? 

The last question, “why,” may not be something you share on your public posts, but it will help clarify your priorities—e.g., identifying the “why” may help when you are asking for funding, as it can help answer questions about the need being served by your services or programming. 

Integrating your marketing plan 

So, what does an integrated marketing plan look like?  

Anderson quoted the Adobe Experience Cloud Blog in describing integrated marketing as “delivering a unified message across all the marketing channels.”  

There are several possible channels for getting the word out, and your messaging—with each of the elements above—on each channel should be consistent. 

Anderson talked about the PESO model coined by Gini Dietrich, which describes the main channels used for marketing: Paid, Earned, Shared/Social, and Owned. 

  • Paid – Includes paid advertising, such as ads in a local newspaper or on social media.  
  • Earned – Media that chooses to share your message, like a local newspaper publishing your press release, or news coverage of a library event in the local newspaper, podcast or TV show.  
  • Shared or Social – Sharing your message on social media.  
  • Owned – The library’s own assets such as the library’s website, email newsletter, blog, bulletin board, etc. 

Summing up 

“Marketing is about serving the needs and wants of the people that you serve,” says Anderson.  

Anderson encourages following the four steps of Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation when creating an integrated marketing plan. Document your audience, create measurable objectives, develop your messaging, and make a record of the strategies and tactics you use. 

Going further 

This is only a selection of advice; check out the webinar recording for more information: Webinar: Shifting to an Integrated Marketing Strategy 

Cordelia Anderson is author of “Library Marketing and Communications: Strategies to Increase Relevance and Results.” You can learn more about Cordelia at

Cordelia will be joining Innovative again on February 6, 2024 for the webinar Promote more than programs with Cordelia Anderson. Click to register!


Still getting oriented in library marketing? Innovative also recently hosted marketing expert Kathy Dempsey, author of “The Accidental Library Marketer.” Her webinar on Marketing 101 for Librarians is available on demand here. Find out more about Kathy at

If you’re interested in learning more about Vega Promote, Innovative’s email marketing tool, or other Innovative solutions, contact us for a demo