As you can imagine, as a conference speaker and trainer, I come across a significant amount of small business owners. What they tell me is that they and staff are so busy doing 'the business' that little, if any, time is left for marketing.

Those that are marketing, the activities they tell me they're doing (through surveys, conversations, training, workshops) is that it is focused on customer acquisition.

Marketing is done through traditional advertising and Facebook and Google ads. Heaps of work on social media getting those new connections and likes and retweets.

Having a website that is optimized for search engine ranking. Staff networking; joining associations; sending out direct mail. And of course a combination of above. This is all superb to get new blood.

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However there is a huge hole in small business marketing strategy - minimal effort is going into trying to get more business from existing customers.

Are you one of these businesses?

Either not marketing or putting all ones eggs (time, money, effort) in the hopeful basket?

Marketing to the people who haven't heard of your business yet? I think it is imprudent as well as wasteful.

Why? Because you're neglecting one of your most valuable business assets. Your existing customers and the good prospects that know you already.

Most businesses do not have a marketing strategy to keep in touch with these valuable resources; be they clients or prospects. Do you have a marketing newsletter that is content rich? Yes, I know content is the buzz word of today. Your newsletter must have added value or you won't keep people subscribed or engaged. I can hear you thinking - "yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that Debbie".

How wide is the gulf between what you know you should do; and what you actually are doing?

Let me give you a wee example. You know I do a monthly newsletter. Well, every time that newsletter goes out, business comes in. With the last issue, within 45 minutes I got an email. "debbie can you help us"?

Now I haven't spoken on the phone or in person to Robert, the business owner in well over seven years (he was one of the delegates at a conference I spoke at). But I have been "talking" to him via email at least once a month since the last time we met. He wasn't ready for our services then, and it has taken seven years. But how easy was it to stay in contact with him?

With personalisation software; a newsletter that keeps readers interested and thus subscribed; you can be as personal as your database information enables you to be. It doesn't matter how large your mailing list is. You can turn the people that know you into prospects and then to clients. You'll move existing clients well up that loyalty ladder.