You know that phrase “go where your patrons are?” It’s always bugged me. Not because of the concept – the concept’s great. But because of the grammar – that ending in “are” thing. It’s never sounded right to me (says David, who got a B- in grammar).
At the Free State Social conference last week, someone – not sure who – added a word to that phrase that made a lot of sense to me. Or maybe it just sounds better to my ears. Anyway, here it is:
Go where your customers are gathering.
Besides just sounding slightly better (to me, anyway), it also gives a bit of direction, doesn’t it? Where “are” your customers/patrons? You don’t have to look around every corner for them – just find the places they’re already gathering … then figure out how to exist in those places.
So – where do your customers gather? I can’t answer that one, because it will look different for every organization. My library’s customers gather … at the actual library, on Facebook, at the mall. At church. In schools and our one university in town. And probably other places, too.
Chris Brogan put a marketing spin on the phrase during a small group session. He said “the marketplace convenes where it’s convenient.” Where are those “convenient” places in your community? Facebook is convenient for a lot of people (but not the people you probably think of when you think of Facebook). Not kids and younger teens (although they’re certainly there). Think people with easy, convenient access to the web, at work, at home, at school … and on their mobile devices. Just one example of many.
Find those convenient gathering places – online and off – and take your message/your services/your library to those places.