RSS Feed .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

“Mama Don’t Text.”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 06, 2014

I sometimes shock people when I tell ‘em I don’t text. However…

I hear some variation of the following lament with increasing frequency.

“I hate it when people text/chat/video/photo during _____ (dinner, movie, conversations, concerts, grocery shopping, etc.)” 

And yet…we all struggle with maintaining a balance—using technology as a tool, not a time-sucking, costly addiction.  I love technology…have worked in “high tech” off and on for decades. At one point, as a product manager/director

In Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

Failure is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Mary Schmidt

Dec 17, 2013

I spend a lot of time with wanna-be and real entrepreneurs.  How can you tell the difference?  Attitude. Starting and sustaining a successful business is hard as hell. There are no five simple steps. There is no free money. There are no easy sales (at least not at first.) 

The wanna-be: “The state doesn’t provide any help.”  Yes, “the state” asks questions like, “How many jobs do you create?” “What is your potential revenue?” etc. There really is no such thing as “free money” and the

In Start-Up Sanity Checks

Do Your Connections Have Value?

Mary Schmidt

Dec 03, 2013

...Another day, more emails from people I don’t know, wanting to “connect.”  

The good news/bad news about our always on, online, round the globe economy is that we can “connect” with thousands, even millions of people. 

However, do those connections have any real value?

It depends. (Don’t you just hate it when I do that?)

No Value Reality Check

1. You sporadically send out an eletter to thousands of people, but have no way of tracking who opens what. And, you give them no reason to

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

Why Facebook Should’ve Hired Me (A Long Time Ago)

Mary Schmidt

Nov 18, 2013

Short answer: An actual Go To Market Plan.  Done BEFORE they went “commercial.” 

It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to start out with a free service. But…

There should have been a plan (with a schedule) of how they were going to transition to a fee model. 

Here’s what’s still missing from Facebook’s strategy (based on what I read, including interviews).

1. An - um - actual strategy.  Figuring out ways to pump even more ads our way isn’t it. Nor is telling us they’re perfectly within their

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

The Two Reasons I’m a Comcast Customer (Again)

Mary Schmidt

Nov 05, 2013

...and neither of them are marketing or service promises.

Long story short. My CenturyLink land line finally completely died. I went without voice service for nearly a week; internet service was sorta of working, sometimes. After three “repairs” - with a different explanation/repair each time.  No response to my “urgent care” emails (more about that in a sec.)

So. Time to (*sigh*) make a switch. I had been bombarded by Comcast direct mail.  I called the number on the letter. After going

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Three Warning Signs of Silo Syndrome

Mary Schmidt

Sep 12, 2013


1. “I don’t have access to that information.”  (PNC)

2. “I don’t know how ‘they’ make that decision.” (American Express)

3. “Our system won’t allow us to do that.” (Citi)

Over the past several months, I’ve heard all three of these and more.

Best case, I actually make a human connection with the service rep and he/she even admits their company’s policies and procedures make no sense. (HT to that nice manager at Citi. He probably got fired if they actually do listen to calls for “quality

In Brain Food, Pet Peeves

The One Sure-Fire, NO FAIL Success Method for Start-Ups!

Mary Schmidt

Sep 05, 2013

Lucy advice boothNow that I have your attention…

Sorry, there isn’t one.  In fact, there is never a generic answer to any questions related to starting and sustaining a successful business.

Of course my bank account would be healthier if I’d just tell people there was a no-fail solution…and for only $1995.00 I’ll send you the binders, full of easy, no-fail templates. (And, I’d be sure and write the fine print in itsy-bitsy type, so when the binders didn’t do the trick, it would be your fault, not mine.)

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

Free Downloads


Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

More Free Advice