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* Monday, March 6, 2006

20060306 Patricia Martin - Recognizing Opportunities

2006 SirsiDynix SuperConference
Recognizing Opportunities: When Libraries Seek Partners in the Business Community

sponsorship market

– huge pressure to innovate
– limited resources: time, talent, budgets
– buy or partner?

the growing imperative: collaborate or die
traditional marketing and advertising is being engineered out of dominance
– new filtering devices
– new media
– media numb audiences

– visual culture
– authentic (telling people facts isn’t nearly as influential as telling a story)
– self-expressive

The Big Shift: The Rise of the RenGen

Why libraries make good partners today?
3 key assets
– technology
– talent (“librarians are xenophiles among the Geeks;” deep insights into how users consume information)
– timeliness

Agenda for innovation
1. Youth reading programs, poetry slams, author events are all red hot and ripe for sponsors
2. Sponsored resources – home improvement, investor education
3. On-site sales – Starbucks and Snapple
4. New product trials – software, downloads
5. Small business services

Three important steps
1. Get visual (we’re not competing with the park district, but with culture in general; our newsletters are so bad it’s like being silent)
2. Get new friends
3. What’s in it for you?
          1. Clout (showcase what you give and provide – business community, etc. – so that they see you’re not just a drain on money)
          2. Community
          3. Cash to do the extras (in many cases, we are now fighting for audience at the local audience, and if we can work with local businesses to drive more traffic AND get cash, what’s not to love?)

noted her book “Made Possible by” about sponsorship

Reality check: what it takes to succeed
1. Entrepreneurial culture
2. Really know your user group
3. Know your limits – what is and isn’t for sale and why
4. Know which assets are valuable
5. Can you commit to the discomfort of growth?

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