Sunday, September 7, 2008


September 2008 OFF=ON
via by on 8/31/08

This is a great feed to keep an eye on if you're planning the programming, outreach, or marketing of your library.

" When something previously deemed ‘emerging’ has managed to completely invade the mainstream, you know it's time to throw overboard any remaining doubts and inhibitions, and just get going to claim your shrinking piece of the pie."

What does this mean to us? Facebook? Social Networking on our on sites? Book Clubs? Whatever you see, jump on before it's too late!

Online and Offline worlds have become absolutely intertwined. Texting? Twitter? Social Networking anyone?

"OFF=ON More and more, the offline world (a.k.a. the real world, meatspace or atom-arena) is adjusting to and mirroring the increasingly dominant online world, from tone of voice to product development to business processes to customer relationships. Get ready to truly cater to an ONLINE OXYGEN generation even if you’re in ancient sectors like automotive or fast moving consumer goods."

Use online ideas and connections to market offline items, even wedding rings with cat 5 compliant parts!

Personalization of portals has now become customization of products online. You can design your own jeans to fit your measurements exactly via Lands End and QVC. The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Runway Contest has spawned an outfit to be sold at H&M retail locations. You can turn your avatar into a statuette for offline decor

Other items are called "Digital Lifestyle Lubricants" "A booming OFF=ON category all by itself, a digital lifestyle lubricant is a traditional product that incorporates functionalities and enablers to make it more compatible with the online world. From iPod chargers sewn into coats to web-based connections for plush toys."

Make it easier to capture your offline experiences and get them online. A video camera with a one-touch function to upload to Youtube. A handbag with a solar panel to charge your cell, et. al.

So how do we hop on the bandwagon?

This is called mirroring. How do we mirror the idea with our own needs?

How about taking online customer comments about books, DVDs, and CDs and putting them up in your library by signage, handout, or digitally?

"Clearly, that’s just the beginning. From real-world supermarket layouts mirroring more intuitive website layouts, to allowing for more in-store customization, catering to consumers who are accustomed to mixing and matching whatever they feel like online."

Is your building layout intuitive as a website? Could signage and other visual cues be more useful in the past because millenial eyes are trained for that?

Here's a checklist from the report of things to look for in libraryland to help us merge into our customer's online/offline world

Constant, 24/7, always on
Keeping in touch
Cheap, fast and easy
Snack culture
Ongoing feedback
Customization, personalization, creation
Easy befriending & connecting
Instant gratification
Micro celebrity
Multiple personalities
Total control (or at least the illusion of it)
Beta testing
…and so on

Trends fueling the online/offline phenomenon.
"many consumers still value the physical over the virtual (and as we will see further down below, even the very wired are venturing out more, not less). So online brands want to be seen and want to be part of the real world to add visibility to their brands. Not to mention that despite the rapid growth of ecommerce, consumers still spend the majority of their budgets offline."

We already have big experience with the value of the physical in libraryland. Here's an area where promoting our online experiences within the physical building can be a seamless no-brainer.

Warm Bodies
Knowing each other well virtually leads to knowing each other in person. How do we facilitate this with our customers and prospective customers?

People want to do on their cells and pdas exactly what they do at their pcs and macs. "diving into the online world fast and without limits, on whatever gadget offers the best marriage between size, apps and portability. With some serious GPS action thrown in, too."

Are libraries prepared to do what needs to be done to reach this market? Do we have the technology? Wireless is a place where many of us have started. What else is needed? The web is everywhere and not tied to a portal.

Applying Off/On
"It doesn’t take marketing genius to apply OFF=ON and ON=OFF to your own brand. Here’s what you can set in motion today:
Incorporate online symbols into one of your next designs.

Have customers design something from scratch online, then bring it into the real world.

Add any kind of online functionality or access feature to existing physical products.

Study and then incorporate winning characteristics of living and doing business online into your offline processes.

Infuse your campaigns with the language of the online-versed.

Give your online brand an offline presence.

Partner with any kind of relevant meet-up venture.

Introduce a 'warm bodies

Hop on the mobile-meets-web bandwagon. Start with introducing an iPhone app. Hey, if British Airways can do it...

Look beyond the next 6 to 12 months and dive into leading online gurus' visions. After all, even if their exact timing is sometimes off, their predictions so far have all come true. "

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