MARKETING, COMMUNICATION, AND FUNDRAISING
The year 2020 was a challenging year, also in areas of marketing, communication, and fundraising. A great deal of time has been given to internal and external communication on the consequences of the coronavirus measures, but we have gained much information during this disruptive period. We have become more flexible and creative online and that will help us yield results. After all, hybrid forms of work are the future. Certain projects continued as usual, where physical activities were replaced by those online. This way we were able to remain in contact with many people through marketing and communication. A selection of the highlights in the areas of marketing, communication and fundraising is given in this section.
We were off to a good start in 2020. The strategic marketing plan had been written and distributed to all colleagues. We wanted to roll out the opportunities that had been noted. Major plans included the translation of the Mosaic (target group research) in Persona’s, a broad image study into stakeholders and research into children’s reading behavior. Another goal was stabilizing the number of patrons and members of the Kennemerwaard Public Library in 2020. When the coronavirus presented itself with the accompanying restrictions, we had to adjust our plans and in an instant direct everything to online marketing. Although there was a limited decrease in membership (8%), and an immense decrease in visitors due to closure, there was also a significant rise in online visits, and that ensured that this was to be a successful year after all.
Compensation during the coronavirus period
The Kennemerwaard Public Library works closely with the Mosaic customer survey, that identifies categories or customer groups. Our paying customers appear to fall predominately within the Mosaic groups that indeed read a lot and have enough spare time to read, but still only have a basic membership. This then prompted us to offer them a temporary membership upgrade. This was to compensate for the period of loan restriction due to closure of the branches. We were able to tap into the needs of our members, thanks to the Mosaic customer survey, and provide them with an offer that would indeed meet those needs. Members who had a mini membership were able to borrow more material, and they did so on average compared to the same period last year. Members with a basic membership were able to borrow sprinters at no extra cost and they were permitted to keep the books longer. The upgrade rarely led to members switching to a more expensive membership after their upgrade period. Members who had a premium membership were given the opportunity to surprise someone else with a mini gift membership, and 6% took advantage of this offer.
Online marketing and communication
The number of website visits increased with over 27% compared to 2019. We had a total of 370,798 visitors to our website this year. Direct contact decreased, but through social media, email and especially our display advertisements, the number of visitors increased considerably. Due to the launch of the updated website at the end of 2019, we were able to anticipate during the lockdown period due to the new online programs and services our colleagues had developed. The campaigns that were running were readjusted to accommodate services in this exceptional period. Within a very short period, the focus of our website shifted to our online service. For example, the home tips from Dbos-online (the Bibliotheek op School online) were very successful. We have concentrated on acquiring new members and supplying quality information to current members through online marketing the past year. We enrolled many new members online in 2020. The plans that were laid down for 2020, but couldn’t be rolled out, have been carried over into 2021. We've been able to learn so much this special year.
Fundraising and sponsoring
The Kennemerwaard Public Library has high ambitions, and to achieve these goals, we are forced to continue our search for external funding. Assistance from various funds, foundations and companies ensure that we can continue to implement interesting and special projects. The Kennemerwaard Public Library was able to externally fundraise an amount of approximately € 600,000 in 2020. It is less than last year, and this is due to the reorganization and the Covid-19 crisis as fewer projects were initiated that required external financial support.
The Kennemerwaard Public Library had 28 Friends in 2020, and with their financial support, the implementation of special, social projects was made possible. You can become a Friend for € 110 per year and in return you will receive a premium membership with additional extras. The proceeds from Friends allows the library to do that little extra. In 2020, the Friends’ budget facilitated the purchase of 90 picture books in the Polish, Turkish, Arabian, Tigrinyan and Somalian languages. We were also able to buy wordless Dutch picture books, which makes it more accessible for parents with low literacy skills to be able to experience books together with their child(ren). They can discuss and fantasize together while promoting language development at the same time. The books have been placed in a central location in our children’s area in the Alkmaar Centrum, Alkmaar Overdie, Castricum and Heerhugowaard branches.
Creatieve Universiteit Workshop (Creative University Workshop)
On 16 January Miranda Goudsblom, Kennemerwaard Public Library fundraiser, was involved in a Creative University workshop. Together with Mirella Doss from DOSS Events, she organized the Leer Succesvol Fondsenwerven workshop. She explained to participants what it takes to raise funds and how you can successfully apply for a fund or subsidy. The Creative University provides a unique meeting point, inspiring workshops, and interesting fieldwork to creative and entrepreneurial people within the district. Fifteen people participated in this workshop and rated it with an average score of 8.7.