Assessment of Information and Communication Technology (ICTS) In Promoting Products and Services
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Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE
This study investigated the assessment of information and communication technology (ICTs) in promoting products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library. Four research questions guide the investigation and they were: What products and services do ICTs section use in promoting products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? What promotion channels do Kashim Ibrahim Library use to promote products and services in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? How efficient are ICT facilities utilized for promotion of products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria? What ways can be used to ensure continuous use of ICTs in the promotion of products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria?. Quantitative methodology, Survey design and Questionnaire were used. The population of the study were 275 staff of Kashim Ibrahim Library. Some of the finding made were the commonly promoted products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library was Readers Services followed by Media Services and Journals. The least promoted was Reference services. The commonly used channels for promotion of products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library was TV followed by Bulletin. The least was Library website. The highly utilized ICTs facilities for promotion of products and services in Kashim Ibrahim was TV followed by Library Websites. The least was Telephone. It was concluded that the central purpose of libraries is to provide a service: access to information, and Information and Communication Technologies, especially computers, information networks and software applications, are making it possible for libraries to provide a variety of library and information services to their patrons. Promotion of library products and services is being considered a must in an ever-changing competitive information service market. Some of the recommendation are, that other services and products such as databases and textbooks should be equally promoted to ensure maximal utilization of information resources in Kashim Ibrahim Library. That Promotion channels should be expanded to cover utilization of Billboards, Radio and book talks how by so doing a lot of users would be reached. The utilization of social media should be encouraged as the majority of library users are technology savvy. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram could be highly utilized for promotion of products and services in kashim Ibrahim Library.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE.. 8
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.. 8
1.1 Introduction. 8
1.2 Statement of the Problem.. 5
1.3 Research Questions. 6
1.4 Objectives of the Study. 6
1.6 Significance of the Study. 7
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study. 7
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms. 7
CHAPTER TWO.. 8
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.. 8
2.1 Introduction. 8
2.2 Marketing. 9
2.3 Promotion in Academic Libraries. 12
2.4 Promotional Mix Adopted by University Libraries in Nigeria. 13
2.5 ICTs in Promotion of Library and Information Resources and Services. 16
2.7 Summary of the Review.. 28
CHAPTER THREE.. 28
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.. 28
3.1 Introduction. 28
3.2 Research Method Adopted for the Study. 28
3.3 Population of the Study. 29
3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Techniques. 30
3.5 Instrument for Data Collection. 30
3.6 Validity of the Instrument 30
3.7 Procedure for Data Collection. 31
3.8 Procedure for Data Analysis. 31
CHAPTER FOUR.. 31
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION.. 31
4.1 Introduction. 31
4.2 Response Rate. 32
4.3 Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion. 32
4.3.1: Products and services promoted by ICT section in Kashim Ibrahim Library, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. 32
4.3.2: Channels Kashim Ibrahim Library use to promote product s and services in Ahmadu Bello University. 33
4.3.3: Efficiency of ICT facilities utilized for promoting of Products and Services in Kashim Ibrahim Library, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. 34
4.3.4: Ways to ensure continuous use of ICTs in promotion of products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library Ahmadu Bello University. 35
CHAPTER FIVE.. 36
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION.. 36
5.1 Introduction. 36
5.2 Summary of the Study. 37
5.3 Summary of the Major Findings. 37
5.4 Conclusion. 38
5.5 Recommendation. 38
APPENDIX I 43
APPENDIX II 44
Promotion activity is a segment of marketing mix. Marketing is an age long business function. The primary aim of business oriented organizations is to satisfy human needs material-wise. User awareness must be created to ensure that products and services are patronized and increased satisfaction sustained and good customer relationship maintained. To achieve this purpose, marketing promotion must be applied. One way to easily define marketing can be from the business perspective. For instance, marketing has been defined as the delivery of higher standard of living. Other definitions referred to marketing as an exchange process. This process involves at least two parties: a buyer and a seller. Each party gives up something of value and receives something of value. According to Ward (2021) Marketing is the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and/or services. The key word in this marketing definition is “process”; marketing involves researching, promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services.
Although the business aspect of marketing is important, business oriented definitions of marketing have been challenged. Critics observed that marketing involves a wide range of activities and organizations, and should therefore be viewed from a broader perspective. These critics pointed out that marketing also takes place in ‘not-for-profit’ organizations, such as hospitals, universities, libraries, and Information centres, social and governmental agencies. Libraries and Information centers have taken the advantage and appreciate the importance of promotion of their products and services using marketing mix. Information and Communication Technologies have been deployed over a long period of time and therefore its impact should be assessed.
Marketing mix is a key foundation on which most modern marketing strategies and business activities are based. The major Marketing mix of an organisation as portrayed by Langford (2019) is product, place, promotion, price, packaging, People and Process. The seven factors are blend together to create a total package that will satisfy users’ information need. They are being presented as follows:
Product –refers to the goods and services that the company sells. The marketing manager must consider all the pertinent questions related to a company’s product. E.g. What features should the product have? What form of packaging should be used? How many models are required? How important is quality? Should a brand or trademark be used? Etc. To Madhusudhan (2016), a product is anything that can be offered to satisfy a need. A large assortment of materials, services, and programmes constitute a library’s product. A library offers goods, either tangible (e.g. books and Internet access) or intangible (e.g. personal assistance, or value of the library as a premier community institution). Nitu (2021) inferred that marketing concept is a system where businesses start from their customers’ needs to build and promote product to satisfy their needs. This system implies library and information services. Boyarsky (2021) promotion is meant to raise product and service awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales and retention of customers. Product is an integral part of promotion because without it in the first, there won’t be need for the organisation to exist.
Distribution –is concerned with the delivery of goods and services, addresses where and by whom goods and services are offered for sale. Sometimes called “Place” (Causing the marketing mix to be referred to as “four Ps”), distribution is also concerned with the physical movement of products. With distribution, marketing managers are concerned with marketing structure and channels of distribution such as – wholesalers, distributors, retailers, agents, and others responsible for getting goods and services to patrons. This in the library environment covers the area of acquisition through direct purchase of information resources and or donations on one hand and resource lending services locally and through Inter Library Loan (ILL) on the other.
Price –is what a company charges for its products. However, pricing a product must take into account many internal and external factors, such as actual costs, desired profit margins, prices of competing products and possible legal restrictions. The price must provide a fair return on the company’s investment and yet not be beyond buyers’ financial resources. In a library, price can be used to express the value of information services, a physical product like a CD-ROM, a fee for a service (like photocopying) or membership charges. Price is used to balance supply and demand, to be a stimulus, and to distribute income (Rowan 2021).
Promotion – includes such activities as advertising, personal selling, public relations, and sales promotions. Promotion activities inform potential patrons and others the availability of a product for sale. It attempts to persuade prospective patrons to purchase a product or to take some other desired action. Wide publicity is given to library products and services through monthly bulletins, seminars, workshop and refresher courses. Other promotional programmes that library may perform include: library day/week, Information brochures (hard/soft copy), T-shirts, displays, exhibitions and a whole lot of others. Wider publicity is given for all the training programmes being conducted by library using Information Technology, library automation and networking, which is the most crucial and challenging job in libraries in the modern world.
Package: Physical evidence often takes two forms: evidence that a service or purchase took place and proof or confirmation of the existence of your product. For example, any services or products received count as physical evidence. As do the likes of your receipts, packaging, tracking information, invoices, brochures or PDFs, and so on. Now, what about the confirmation or validation of your brand? What do we mean by validation? Validation essentially refers to visual aspects or quantifiable features of your brand, such as your website, your logo, business cards, a sign on your building, the brand’s headquarters and equipment, and your social media presence. These are the elements that the customer is likely to see prior to actually engaging with you or your offerings.
People: Those people who are involved in selling a product or service, designing it, managing teams, representing customers… the list goes on. The ‘people’ element of the 7Ps involves anyone directly, or indirectly, involved in the business-side of the Library and Information. There is no use in creating a great brand, innovative product or amazing social media presence if you do not have the right people behind you. It is integral to the survival of the library that one makes sure that all employees, no matter how behind-the-scenes or customer-facing they are, have fair training and a considerable understanding of their role and the impact that it has within the library.
Processes: The 7th ingredient in our marketing mix – ‘process’ describes a series of actions that are taken in delivering the information product or service to the customer. Examining the process means assessing aspects such as the sales funnel, your payment systems, distribution procedures and managing customer relationships. But it’s not enough to just do the processes. Each step that is taken and the methods chosen to use for these processes must be done in a way that minimises the costs on the library part, whilst also maximising benefits and value for the customer.
Academic Libraries are changing the ways they draw users’ attention to their products and services. One of such ways is through promotion, promotion in libraries aims at driving the attention of the customers to what products and services are available and are being used to satisfy users information need. Promotion activities bring about increased patronage and usage, added value, improve user education and perception. No doubt, libraries have numerous products and services which are used to satisfy the information needs of their users that need to be promoted. ICTs are crucial in achieving large promotion of products and service in this 21st century where users are technologically driven. In this regard, Lawal (2014) conducted a study on the application of ICTs for promotion of products and service in libraries of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. More than half a decade today no study has been conducted to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the deployed technology. It is in light of that, that the researcher intends to find out how far has the applied ICTs being doing promoting products and services in Kashim Ibrahim Library to increase coverage and patronage.
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