Peter Drucker on marketing: Application and implications for libraries

Cynthia K. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to discuss Peter Drucker's theory of marketing in the context of strategic planning and change (innovation) in libraries. With the need for change and innovation accelerating within all types of libraries, it is increasingly important for libraries to adopt a marketing orientation, integrating a marketing plan into the overall strategic planning process. This paper employs case study methodology to demonstrate one library's attempt to integrate a marketing plan into the library's overall strategic planning activity, using this process to move the library towards a marketing orientation. The paper also provides a viewpoint based on the author's experience and the teachings of Peter Drucker. Libraries must adopt a marketing orientation in order to remain viable into the future. As Drucker stated, “it is the customer who determines what a business is”. It is imperative libraries understand what their customer values and needs in order to develop services and provide resources to meet these needs. This paper examines Peter Drucker's theory of business and marketing as it applies to libraries and highlights the systems framework called the Drucker Management System, described by Joseph Maciariello in his article “Marketing and innovation in the Drucker Management System”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalThe Bottom Line
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 25 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Library and Information Sciences


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