Marketing—a discipline used by business to convert people's needs into profitable company opportunities—is still poorly understood and appreciated by health workers; either they need to learn marketing techniques themselves or to seek assistance from marketing experts. Nurse/entrepreneurs can seek help from small-business centers at universities that help small-business people at no cost, attend marketing classes, and read books on marketing.
The following are basic marketing techniques that LCs may find useful:
• Collect data such as the number and percentage of women giving birth who breastfeed, and survey women who have used lactation services.
• Analyze strengths and weaknesses of competitors and focus on service needs not currently being met.
• Establish a small niche within the health-care market that is ignored by large health-care providers—for example, a postdischarge visit for a back-to-work consult.
• Promote the practice by advertising and public relations: brochures, newsletters, letterhead stationery, business cards, fact sheets, and radio and TV interviews all help to inform clients and other health workers about LC services (Gardner & Weinrauch, 1988).
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