Driving feet to the Merensky 2 library

Posted on April 17, 2023

The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2023 started off their semester with a rather unconventional project – marketing a library! Sometimes students forget that no matter the type of organisation, they need to market themselves to make potential customers/users aware of their product and service offerings.

The Marketing Management honours students were reminded of this reality when they were tasked to develop an integrated marketing communication (IMC) campaign to create awareness for various services and training offered by the University of Pretoria’s Department of Library Services (DLS), and to encourage students to visit the Merensky 2 library in person. This project, which formed part of the Marketing of Services module presented by Dr Michelle C van der Merwe, was especially eye-opening, as many honours students were themselves unaware of the numerous services offered.

As is customary in this apprentice-style honours programme, the client (the DLS) met the students on 8 March 2023 to inform them about their project. The project briefing was conducted by Mr Lazarus Matizirofa (Deputy Director: Scholarly Communications, Digital Services & Systems), Mrs Elsabé Olivier (Assistant Director: Marketing & Quality Assurance), and Mrs Gerda Ehlers (Senior Coordinator: Learning Centre). On 22 March the teams presented their campaigns to the DLS, aptly in the Merensky 2 Auditorium. The ten Marketing honours teams showcased their knowledge by creatively presenting their recommendations to solve the DLS’ challenges at hand.

Although all the student teams presented several creative campaign ideas, the winning idea belonged to the ONEderful Marketing team, whose campaign incorporated Libby – the first client service robot known to be in use in a library on the African continent. The top three teams chosen were:

Third place: Copy-Righters Marketing – From left to right: Chanté Engelbrecht, Elandri Pulzone, Drew Williamson, Sharlé Smit, and Christelle Wehmeyer.

Copy-Righters Marketing developed an anti-plagiarism campaign to inform students about the importance of academic integrity and to educate students about plagiarism, to ultimately apply anti-plagiarism principles correctly in their research, assignments, and online exams.

Runners up: Hush Marketing – From left to right: Dané Barnard, Gugu Khumalo, Dylan Fleetwood, Nadia Loreggian, and Helena Coetzee.

Hush Marketing designed a campaign to inform students that improved information literacy skills will improve their assignment writing and referencing skills, which will ultimately contribute to academic success, and to educate students about the generic training offered by the DLS (for example endnote, databases, academic writing skills, training videos, and step-by-step guides).

Winning team: ONEderful Marketing – From left to right: Mrs Elsabé Olivier (DLS), Nadine van der Merwe, Tamaryn Haefele, Monique Hartzer, Thabiso Magubane, Rochelle van den Berg, Nika Jurriaanse, and Dr Danita van Heerden.

ONEderful Marketing created a campaign to inform students about the variety of virtual and digital services offered by the DLS, that provide students with assistance and support. Their campaign further educated students about the convenient and timely access to digital support via various platforms (for example ask and chat with a librarian, WhatsApp, generic emails, subject guides, subject-specific training, and the DLS website).

After the presentations, the DLS panel members gave very positive feedback. Mr Lazarus Matizirofa said: “We had so much fun and learned a lot from the students. For me, the evening was so short, and the energy and professional presentations were so captivating. Every group was a winner.” Mrs Viveka Pillai, Faculty Library Manager: Humanities and Theology, mentioned that “it was such a refreshing experience and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the students”. Other panel members included Mrs Olivier, Mrs Ehlers, Ms Khawulile Radebe (Manager: Scholarly Communication and Repositories), Ms Kabelo Kgarosi (Faculty Library Manager: Health Sciences Libraries & DLS Coordinator: User Experience), Ms Veliswa Tshetsha (Senior Coordinator: Open Scholarship), and Dr Danita van Heerden from the Department of Marketing Management.

Two of the student teams commented:

"The brief that was assigned to our first client presentation was challenging on different levels and taught the team members presentation skills." ~Fantastic 5

"Overall, this evening went exceptionally well, and everyone seemed to learn something new during this event." ~Copy-Righters Marketing

All in all, the project was a success. Everyone learnt something, but most of all, everyone had fun!


- Author Department of Marketing Management

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