[insert-author-info] Whether you’re looking for information about your prospective clients or competitors, you need statistics to back up assumptions or you’re seeking a quiet place to work with WiFi between meetings, your library offers all that and more for free! It seems so obvious – but it wasn’t for me, until I went to a few research workshops recently. So, I figured it was worth sharing to make sure my fellow marketers don’t overlook the outstanding resources that libraries can offer. A few examples for your toolbox: ReferenceUSA For any geographic area, from small neighborhoods to large regions, you can find all businesses in specific market sectors, contact info, and those which were established within the past year or two. For example, if you’re an architect seeking new law firm clients, you can find new law firms that might need bigger office space soon. With a free library card, this is available at New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library, on-site or from any internet connection. Statista You can find statistical data and analysis ranging from graphs to detailed reports in various industries. For example, you can find social media usage trends for real estate development companies or nonprofit organizations’ marketing budget trends. This is available on-site at Brooklyn Public Library. Trade Publications For any niche, big or small, you can find a trade publication and impress your clients and prospects with detailed knowledge on their subject matter. For example, if you have higher education clients, you can find various magazine articles with details on college admissions trends that could impact your building projects. These are available at both New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library, on-site and online. And of course, don’t forget the tremendous amount of books and documents available at your fingertips! If you’re looking for something specific that I didn’t mention above, librarians are very helpful and ready to answer your questions. Brooklyn Public Library even has a free service called “Ask a Librarian” and you can schedule an appointment to review your individual needs. Finally, libraries offer quiet places to work with WiFi; much quieter than most cafes, and you don’t have to buy anything to sit there a while. If you have time between meetings and you’re not near your office, the nearest library branch could be your solution. So, before you spend a lot of money on subscriptions or work-space, don’t overlook your local library and its tremendous free resources!
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