My MSc Econ dissertation titled ‘Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an examination of current practice‘ is now available on Aberystwyth University’s open access repository.

I know a number of people said they were interested in viewing it so I’ve included the details below. I have also added it to my publications page.

Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an investigation of current practice

Purpose
The purpose of the research is to investigate strategic marketing in academic libraries, incorporating elements of organisational orientation, strategic planning, and processes and procedures to support these.

Aims and objectives
The aim of the research is to build on existing literature, extending the knowledge of current practice in a relatively unexplored area within UK academic libraries. The objectives of the research are to identify key considerations for strategic marketing in academic libraries; to critically evaluate current theory on the subject; to explore current practice; and to formulate recommendations of best practice.

Methods
A mixed methods approach was chosen, using survey and case study strategies. An online questionnaire was used identify trends in current practice, whilst telephone interviews enabled more detailed exploration. A geographical sample, university libraries in the West Midlands, was chosen due to convenience. All nine libraries were invited to participate; one chose to opt out whilst one did not respond. This resulted in seven libraries participating in the questionnaire, with five of those also participating in an interview.

Results
The key considerations for strategic marketing in academic libraries emerging from the literature included market orientation, marketing planning and customer relationship management. Results showed that though market orientation is seen as a useful approach for libraries, the topic is relatively unfamiliar to librarians. Responsibility for marketing
planning varied across the libraries interviewed, though all but one utilise groups to bring experience from different areas of the library. All participating libraries have some form of marketing plan and engage in customer relationship management activities, however formal procedures and embedding into service planning was not evident.

Conclusions
Strategic marketing in academic libraries is of clear relevance to today’s economic situation, and the research highlights the need for raising awareness of such issues and considering implications and barriers to practice.

The item record is available in Aberystwyth University’s Cadair repository with the full text PDF linked from the item record.

EDITED TO ADD: This is likely to be my final blog post before Christmas this year, so I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! If you feel like doing something fun over the festive period, why not enter the Festive 24 Things 2011 quiz?