Strategic Librarian

Using strategy to develop the law firm library.

Web 2.0 & Marketing: Develop a Strategy from Start to Finish

web20logosWeb 2.0 excited me from the first time I read about it.  I could see how the various technologies that make up Web 2.0 could be used within an organization to enhance sharing, improve some processes, and more.  Called Intranet 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0, it made sense to me.  What has stalled me a bit in acceptance is how some organizations are using these technologies to market to external web users in an attempt to grab some market share.  In many cases, organizations decide to use blogs, wikis, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. without a strategy or marketing plan. 

Similar to an intranet or web site project, the use of Web 2.0 should be planned carefully to be used strategically.  Hhhmmm… that sounds like a strategic plan is in order or in the very least – a plan.  Here are some suggestions for steps that need to be taken to make your plan strategic:

Do’s Don’ts
Get a cross functional team together and begin defining the goals and/or objectives (We will call them goals) in using Web 2.0.  Ask simple questions like who and why?  Who tells you the market you are trying to reach and the why tells you what problem you are trying to solve. Define goals without tapping the insight of others. 
Reach out to others in the organization to ask them for their thoughts on goals, etc.  This not only improves the goals that are set, but also starts to build buy-in and support for what will be done to meet those goals. Set goals in isolation from others in the organization.  If marketing department sets goals without asking the individuals who have the closest and most direct contact to clients, the result may be very limited.
Interview clients to determine if they are using or are aware of Web 2.0.  Is their hiring practice to purchase services or products based on information from the Internet? Assume if you build it, they will come.
Learn about all the Web 2.0 technologies that you are considering using before starting your project. Use the technologies without having some knowledge about how each works
Consider how each technology supports your defined goals/objectives.  Continue developing answers to questions like what, when, and how. What describes your initiative, when begins the development of a timeline, and how describes the initiative that support each goal. Use Web 2.0 because everyone else is or because someone person in the organization thinks diving into development without considering goals is a good idea.
Develop a project plan for each initiative. Dive in without a plan.
Start with one project (e.g., creating topical blogs) that you have determined to meet the organization’s needs.  When it is complete, move along to the next.  Tackle all the projects at once.  This strategy creates confusion, pulls resources in too many directions, and does not allow those resources to do their best on each initiative.
Use change management techniques to assist those in the organization who will need to change how they think or what they do.  Even if the change creates a better mousetrap, people will need to say goodbye to what they know and how they do things before accepting anything new.  Change management should be used from the point that the goals are developed all the way through to acceptance by the organization. Assume everyone will accept what’s new.
Celebrate your success with all involved. Think ‘another day, another dollar’.
Continuously evaluate if the goals are being reached and, if not, what needs to be changed. Sign off on each initiative and think it is done.

There are plenty of articles and blog posts that describe W 2.0 in one form or another.  Some focus on process while others focus on the specifics on how to use each technology.  The following have some good tips for using W2b 2.0 in marketing.

Seven Strategies for Marketing in a Web 2.0 World by Darlene Fichter, Marketing Library Services, March/April 2007.

The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World by Salvitore Parise, et al, Wall Street Journal Business, December 15, 2008.  The focus is on consumers instead of business to business but it is still worth a read.

For a book on the subject, check out Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide: Business thinking and strategies behind successful Web 2.0 implementations,  O’Reilly Media, April 2008.

Finally, Jaye Lapachet and Camille Reynolds have posted their Internet Librarian presentation with a focus on law libraries on Slideshare.  The embedded slides follow:

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