Appropriate Strategies for Developing Information Marketing in Iranian Faculties of Agriculture

Article excerpt

Introduction

The educational institutions in higher education system were among the early institutions undergoing radical changes with the dawn of the information age (Ismail et al., 2010). In this regard, academic outreach gradually developed in Higher Education System. Academic Outreach is an effort by a faculty/ university or organization to connect its ideas, products or practices, to the efforts of other organizations, groups, scientific clients or the general public, in which marketing activities is a key component (McGivney, 2000). In Iran, marketing activities for Faculties of Agriculture is in related to Academic Outreach, but trustee unites of marketing of information products and services in them (academic agricultural libraries) don't have comprehensive strategies for marketing.

Marketing is a set of activities by which the demand for goods, ideas, and services is managed to facilitate exchange (Kotler, 2000). In other hand, marketing is planning and managing the organization's exchange relations with its clientele. It consists of studying the target market's needs, designing appropriate products and services, and using effective pricing, communication, and distribution to inform, motivate, and serve the market (Joseph Jestin & Parameswari, 2002). But, when the main products and services of marketing is "information", it's called information marketing (Suresh Kumar, 2010; Kanaujia, 2004). Information marketing is an aggregate of activities directed at satisfying information clients and wants through exchange processes. Marketing involve viewing the whole information service or product from the point of view of the final result, i.e. from the information client's viewpoints (Kamba, 2009). Information marketing is not just disseminating information; it includes the optimum use of information products and resources in information centers (Kanaujia, 2004). Information marketing involves promoting the information products and services by adopting marketing strategies effectively. The most important objective of information marketing is to attract more number of clients and to encourage them to utilize the resources of the information centers to the maximum extent (Suresh Kumar, 2012; Kumarjit and Mohan, 2014).

Garusing Arachchige (2002), investigated an approach to marketing in special and academic libraries of Sri Lanka. According to findings, special libraries and academic libraries of Sri Lanka had a sufficient amount of resources acquired and market opportunities available. Yet, they practiced poor marketing. In comparison, marketing performances were more available in special libraries than in academic libraries. Special libraries and academic libraries of Sri Lanka had cost recovery capabilities and even profit potentials from their services if they undertake proper marketing. Library personnel had very little knowledge of marketing principles. Lack of trained staff; poor library investments (allocations), insufficient technology and know-how etc. identified as problems that hinder the practice of marketing.

Kanaujia (2004), in her paper discussed the role of marketing of information products/ services with the help of survey in information centers of India. Her findings revealed that librarians have a positive attitude towards the different aspects of marketing of information products/services. The study recommended that currently efforts for increasing clients' awareness and separate financial support are requisite for efficient marketing. Instead of scattered approaches and different styles, a coherent view must be taken. According to 91 percent of the librarians, marketing helps in justifying the involved cost in generation of information products, and aspects such as resource constraints, shrinking budgets, electronic information age have made marketing necessary. Also, many librarians perceived many barriers to apply the concept of marketing in their respective libraries. …