"The Most Effective, Yet Overlooked, Marketing Strategy on the Internet"
 by Stephen Mahaney

The Most Effective, Yet Overlooked, Marketing Strategy on the Internet
beyond search engines...

I am constantly amazed at how efficiently most businesses work at gaining new customers while inefficiently managing the "communication channels" between company and existing customers.

It's no secret that new sales are expensive sales to make even when done efficiently. To find a new customer a business must usually spend money for advertising and possibly even pay a "commission". To gain a new customer, the business must invest the time and effort to establish a high level of trust. The first sale always comes hardest and the time and money "cost" of acquiring that new customer make doing so, expensive -- even when done efficiently.

The amazing part is that, after all of the expense of acquiring a new customer, most companies "blow it" when it comes to communicating regularly with their existing customers. Instead, they continue on their never ending quest to acquire new customers... and they mostly hope their existing customers will translate into repeat business. When it comes to "repeat" business, most companies are passive rather than pro-active. And, when the repeat biz fails to materialize in great enough numbers the business usually fails.

Contrary to what many business owners believe, repeat business is not simply a matter of "doing a good job the first time" -- it is more a matter of staying in the mind of your customers. That is why Coke® does TV commercials. That is why Microsoft® advertises in magazines. That is why your Insurance Agent sends you a birthday card. Even if they already have your business they do not want you to forget them. And, you know what? It works! ...it has since the beginning of capitalism.

Budgeting a portion of your marketing strategy toward your existing customers is nothing new. The problem is that most small and medium sized businesses have always had a problem competing in this area with larger companies due to the fact that they are usually undercapitalized.

Stated simply, most companies need to make profits TODAY. They cannot afford to invest ...