The point of view of managers and heads of department about the application of marketing orientation in Jordanian university libraries.

Author:Klaib, Fadel Jamil
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

University libraries have developed considerably and have become an educational means to achieve the objectives of modern education and to fulfill the mission of universities. University libraries work to support students of all specialisations, provide various sources of knowledge, fill gaps left by the curriculum, reveal trends and the wishes of students with regard to their reading, contribute to the development of their cultural, social, political and economic personalities and endow them with the skills to use the paper-based or electronic resources in the library.

University libraries are one of the most important types of library and are at the "heart" of any university because they represent intellectual and cultural serenity. They are the place in which the students and members of staff conduct their research and increase their knowledge through a range of library services which are designed to meet their various needs and interests (Rifai 2002).

The modern scientific concept of the university library views it as a cultural institution that has a scientifically important role in the field of higher education, (I'yoon al- Sood 2002).

"Marketing is the process by which companies determine what products

or services may be of interest to customers and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development" (Kotler 2009, 7). "It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication and business developments. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves" (Kotler 2009, 17).

The application of the marketing orientation concept as a modern concept in libraries will ensure that libraries search continuously for the wishes and needs of their users in order to provide advanced services to meet those needs and desires and to achieve user satisfaction with regard to the policy of the institution and its services and products.

With regard to the increasing international interest in the field of marketing and libraries, specialist associations in the field of information realised the importance of marketing in this area and set up special departments such as marketing management and marketing, which were founded by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) in 1977 (IFLA 2010)

This study comes out to highlight the extent of the application of marketing orientation as a modern concept in libraries to help them to develop a clear vision of their objectives and future plans. In this way, institutions can be sure of meeting the needs and wishes of their users through the development of effective information services. The researcher hopes that this study will be a starting point for further studies on the role of the application of marketing concepts in Jordanian libraries.

The importance of the study:

This study is the first on the subject of the application of marketing orientation in Jordanian university libraries. Therefore, the importance of the study comes from its results, which will reveal the extent of the application of the marketing orientation concept and its components in Jordanian state and private university libraries.

Study terms:

Jordan:

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East and the Arab World. Jordan is boarded on the north by Syria, on the east by Iraq and Saudi Arabia, on the south by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aqaba, its only sea outlet, which gives access to the Red Sea. Its western boundary is the famous Jordan River, the Dead Sea and the West Bank. Jordan is the crossroads of the Middle East and is within easy reach of all major European cities as well as the African continent. (Ministry of Higher Education 2013), Wikipedia, Jordan 2013), Wikipedia, List ... 2013).

Marketing orientation and its components:

Market orientation is related to top management emphasis on the orientation, risk aversion of top managers, interdepartmental conflict and connectedness, centralization, and reward system orientation. (Jaworski and Kohli 1993).

Marketing components:

  1. Integrated marketing:

    "Integrated marketing communications is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a company into a seamless programme that maximises the impact for consumers and other end-users at a minimal cost" (Clow & Baack 2007).

  2. Internal marketing:

    "Internal marketing is a process that occurs within a company or organisation whereby the functional process aligns, motivates and empowers employees at all management levels to deliver a satisfying customer experience. Over recent years, internal marketing has become increasingly integrated with employer branding and employer brand management, which strive to build stronger links between the employee brand experience and the customer brand experience" (Wikipedia, Internal ... 2011).

    According to Burkitt and Zealley (2006), "the challenge for internal marketing is not only to get the right messages across, but to embed them in such a way that they both change and reinforce employee behavior [sic]."

  3. Marketing information systems and research:

    These are computerised systems that provide an organisation with a flow of information in order to enable and support the marketing activities of the organisation (Harmon 2003).

  4. Programme and plan development:

    Marketing orientation benefits institutions in that it enables them to provide advanced new services and innovative solutions in order to satisfy the needs of customers/beneficiaries and to outdo their competitors in order to ensure the continuation of their growth and survival (Al-Dhmoor 2002).

  5. Pricing policies (fees):

    These reflect the amount paid by customers/beneficiaries for services (Al-Dhmoor 2002).

  6. Promotion policies:

    These are activities used to inform individuals or groups about the organization and its products. Promotion aims to increase public awareness of the organization and of new or existing products. (Kumari & Surat 2005)

  7. Place/distribution policies:

    Distribution is known as the place where the final exchange process occurs, " to satisfy customers, prducts distribution must be available at the right time and in convenient locations. The internet and other technologies have influenced the distribution policy. Institutions can now make their products available through out maintaning facilities in each country. (Kumari & Surat 2005)

  8. Support services:

    These services constitute the process affect which results from moments of honesty and which contributes to the success of marketing operations. These services consist of interactions and overlaps between the actions, the relationships between the service provider and the customer/beneficiary (Al-Dhmoor 2002).

    Literature review:

    A review of the literature on "the application of the marketing orientation concept" revealed that an abundance of studies have tackled this phenomenon in different parts of the world. The following is a selection of the related studies on the application of the "marketing orientation concept in libraries."

    Ifijeh study (2011) makes a case for marketing library and information services in Nigerian university libraries. It examines the practice and problems of marketing library and information services in Nigerian universities as well as charts the way forward in dealing with identified problems. It further posits that if carefully planned and executed, marketing could help the library improve its public perception and win more readership and help it in meeting challenges by developing strategies for marketing that help stakeholders begin to recognize the role of librarians and their value to society. Marketing also has the potential to increase the university libraries' chances of survival and may even help them flourish.

    Findings of Kennedy study (2011), which aimed to identify which marketing activities libraries are using to promote electronic resources and to examine how libraries are measuring the successes or failures of their marketing plans, indicate that the four most popular techniques were patron training in a group setting, flyers/brochures, e -mails to patrons, and surveys, libraries were generally unclear about stating the goals for their marketing plans but were able to easily identify the target of their marketing efforts, budgeting was inconsistent among libraries included in this research; nine libraries reported having either no budget for marketing or did not mention budgeting in the article, assessment was the weakest part of the marketing plans, with four libraries not documenting an awareness of the need for assessment and seven libraries noting an understanding of the need to evaluate their plan but unsure how to do so.

    Vasileiou & Rowley (2011) study aimed to report research into the marketing and promotion of e-books, and use this as a case study context to generate insights into approaches in academic libraries to the marketing of new services. As such it contributes to the limited empirical research on both the introduction of e-book services and on marketing in academic libraries. Findings indicated that none of the libraries had a marketing communication strategy relating to e-books, yet, on the other hand, most interviewees were able to point to a range of tools used to promote e-books, and some had plans for improvements in their promotion activities.

    Germano study (2010) aimed to discuss current trends in developing narrative or story-based marketing that focuses on customer needs and applies it to library marketing specifically. Findings indicated that libraries of all types, whether academic, special or public, would benefit from an infusion of marketing activity in the current economic climate.

    Makori study (2010) aimed to explore the concept of marketing of information products and services in university libraries in Kenya...

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