Public Library Results

Marketing Awards 2014: Results & Judge’s Comments


  1. Merthyr – Mad Mabinogion
  2. Merthyr – School Marketing plan
  3. Wrexham – Murder Mystery

Merthyr – Mad Mabinogion
So innovative it hurts! You identify the audience with a sharp and purposeful focus and set about offering a value proposition that would appeal. You clearly have made robust and valuable partnerships – especially with the support of funding – however you use the funds well and have a clear legacy to work on both from the audience perspective but (and probably more importantly) with the LGA . I like the strategy of multiple ‘hits’ on the schools – but that these bring something different every time.  On the marketing strategy front: you do set meaningful objectives but they are not strictly SMART. Overall: technically an excellent plan – very good use of stats to prove the point and undertake meaningful evaluation – but practically you use the plan to achieve the objectives set and create legacy – well done!

Merthyr – Schools Marketing Plan
From a marketing perspective I think this entry is really very valuable as it clearly sets out to achieve objectives within a tightly focused group and in a ‘marketplace’ that is challenging. The results are impressive and I would commend you for the activity but also for the coherent partnerships that have been developed – there is much to learn from this entry in the wider library community I feel. The inclusion of the commentaries from both teachers and pupils is welcome as it gives a real sense of the success of the initiative. I would like to have seen some metrics to go alongside your objectives…perhaps as the project rolls out and I think much of what you have gained here should be disseminated to fellow librarians as the value of the project is experientially high.

Wrexham – Murder!
What a great idea! The entry was written with such enthusiasm I think I may need to attend the next event! Great use of partnerships – linking with TRA and thus I expect limited cost to the library…However there is my problem. You set out to raise the profile of the branch and service – which I’m sure you did…but the evaluation (and the objectives) lacked real numbers and hence for me any real ability to assess if the event was successful and potentially sustainable. I think with a few tweaks around the edges and maybe a link to popular fiction trends this could be a real future winner for the Lib service in Wales – get Owen Sheers to write a dark Scando story! I too was disappointed for you about the lack of sales of the books – however that is very interesting feedback I think.

Other Entries

Rhondda Cynon Taf
A really nice partnership campaign with a very good focus throughout the entry.  The objectives were less than obvious throughout and although there were some measures in place I was uncertain that these outcomes were desirable or planned. As last year – when setting objectives – remember that objectives must be SMART – so I would like to have seen some indication of the target % increase you were after. The theme and strategy were good. Concentrate on one theme and market it clearly and positively – again well done for this aspect of your campaign and the inclusion of a good partnership approach is worthy of praise. OK so social media and net based promotion was limited due to external factors – but did this also include tweeting?  Overall:  you appear to have increased new borrower numbers  but you also had vouchers left over? What would be interesting for you to track is the cost per new borrower perhaps?

Wrexham – Rugby League World Cup (RLWC)
A very nice campaign here – I always think that good marketing is made even better when it can piggy back on a theme – as you have done – we call this gorilla marketing – and it gives us much more ‘bang for the buck’. However the campaign is not without its slight flaws. I would like to have seen a set of SMART objectives for the activity – especially the target numbers you were aiming for – this allows for measurement and future budgeting – especially when you mention the future concepts you have in mind. Overall well done on picking up on a local (international event) that you could use to your benefit – it would be interesting to see how you transfer this idea to other activities.

Bridgend – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I wrote this last year for your entry: ‘A really innovative approach taken to marketing the service within this entry and a good exemplar of how to partner with local community businesses’ – and I could not better the sentiment this year – another great execution of innovation and building partnership. I like the way that you set out to build commercial relationships too and you mention advocacy within your entry – and this aspect is so important in great marketing. The strategy was well developed and you did establish clear objectives- although they were a bit ‘bundled’ together – which means that it is difficult to assess if they have been achieved or which parts need more work.  As with last year you set out to raise profile and this is one that is the most difficult aspects of marketing to measure – however with the publicity that you secured and the all important ‘word of mouth’ I think you probably did achieve good profile. But perhaps next year think about how you might measure the increase.  Again as with last year (and this must be a Bridgend thing!) it is the partnering that really wins out and I think the enthusiasm of the staff! (I guess working in a sweet shops must help too!).

Bridgend – Creepy House
This is the type of entry that has become a feature of the Bridgend team – an event that involved dressing up and one that is full of energy and enthusiasm! I will repeat what I said last year – in that:  you need to set some sharper objectives (SMART) that include numbers – I read the entry several times and whilst I think the execution is engaging…I don’t know how engaging and what increase you were expecting as a return on effort. I did really like the involvement of the walking group and  the tie in to scary stories attached to the walk – very good. Overall: another classic Bridgend campaign – but what was the real return on effort?