The Trip Database is just amazing. I love how it works and the features that it offers. But from my experience, it just doesn’t seem as though it is well-known or is getting the recognition from the scientific community that it deserves. What efforts are being done for marketing the Trip Database?
Isaac M. E. Dodd
MD Student at Howard University College of Medicine
The above is not an uncommon type of email. Users find Trip, love it and contemplate that it was perhaps accidental that they found it, that few of their colleagues know about it and that it should be more widely known.
One can rely on word of mouth, which works to an extent as we get hundreds of thousands of searches per month. But to push on probably requires marketing! Unfortunately, Trip’s marketing budget has historically been virtually zero. I say virtually zero as I’m not sure if our various Twitter accounts count as marketing or not.
While marketing is not my strength I’m increasingly drawn to the need to do some! The main aim being to raise awareness of Trip which will hopefully lead to more subscriptions. Historically, if we had money I’d put it towards product development not marketing. But this is sort of self-defeating. So, when confronted with something as vast as marketing – where does one start?
- Go down the social media route, embracing Twitter more (for instance)?
- Try and use adverts? Surely not as I doubt the engagement is there.
- Work with 3rd parties in some mutually beneficial way? They get some product from Trip in return for raised profile of Trip.
- Write more papers about the findings of Trip in peer-reviewed journals?
There we go, my marketing thoughts – completely unsophisticated – in one go. I can think of variants of the above but nothing much more than that.
Clearly we need some help. So, with a finite budget, what brings the best return on investment?
November 7, 2016 at 9:17 pm
My insight is surely informed by my profession — I am an academic librarian — but I think the best route to go in terms of getting TRIP’s name and features out there is to work on academic librarians, particularly in the health and science fields. After all, they can do much of the proselytizing for you, esp. with younger scholars who are still finding their best sources of data and analysis.
If you do opt to go that route, an aspect to bear in mind is that some (or many) of those librarians may work in the science field without practicing science themselves — familiar with the customs of the country, so to speak, but not full citizens. Because of that, they may need more fundamentals-level introductions to TRIP, what it’s capable of, and how it’s used most often, why it’s valued and how it’s different from other products, etc. This is probably, again, me speaking from my own perspective, as a person only semi-literate in scientific inquiry and current issues.
Nevertheless, that’s my 2 cents — chat up the librarians, and they can do powerful word-of-mouth marketing for you. They may be esp. eager to do so once they become aware that you are an independent, one-man shop. Librarians spend a scandalous amount of time bargaining with enormous publishers, trying to get reasonable prices out of multi-national content behemoths, so we’re usually keen to support the little guy!
November 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm
Hi Jon. To begin with, have a look here 🙂