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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

Is The Internet Dead?

Mary Schmidt

Nov 19, 2014

All My friends are deadFrom Fall of the Banner Ad: The Monster That Swallowed the Web (NYT)

Twenty years ago last month, a team of well-meaning designers, coders and magazine publishers inadvertently unleashed on an unsuspecting world one of the most misguided and destructive technologies of the Internet age: the web banner ad.

Banner ads are cheap. There’s a reason. People hate them and they’re (by all reports) ineffective. So why do companies (including—ahem—the New York Times) still have them? Because other

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting, Social Media Reality Checks, Web Bytes

Are You Dealing With “Needflation?”

Mary Schmidt

Nov 18, 2014

In biz or life (and you really can’t separate the two, after all)—we all do it.  We transform our wants into “needs.” Or, we use need as a way to avoid dealing with hard decisions and daunting realities.

For example, in my first meeting with an entrepreneur seeking funding, I ask, “How much money do you really need to get going?”  Almost always we can get from “want” to the real “need.” We can then have a much better discussion about how to meet that need. What starts out as a “How do I get a

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Coffee Shop Marketing or F2F (Almost) Always Works.

Mary Schmidt

Nov 12, 2014

old women in coffee shop
...or F2F always beats “optics.”

(As many wonder what the heck are “optics” anyway? Exactly. That’s all those photo opps when the poobahs sweep through a coffee shop, or burger stand, or pizza joint for a few minutes, shake a few hands and move on. Maybe hug an old lady. Kiss a baby. Seldom do they actually spend time there, on a regular basis.) 

Here in NM, GOP Corngressman Steve Pearce was re-elected with a record number of votes. However, reportedly he was nervous going into the

In Marketing Troubleshooting

All Business is Personal.

Mary Schmidt

Nov 11, 2014

Regular readers know one of my pet peeves is “It’s not personal. It’s business.” Usually said (with a sneer) right before the knives go in…

I was reminded of this recently in what should have been a mundane meeting about (what I thought was) basic operational process.  *Yawn* Oh. wait. Voices started to rise. People stopped listening. Sighing. Huffing. The general level of angst in the room rose about two levels. Everyone had valid points…but…

So, what happened? Two things. People were

In Brain Food, Pet Peeves

Everything You Do IS Marketing: Cross-Training

Mary Schmidt

Nov 05, 2014

Lovely, high-gloss (expensive) brochures. Happy smiling faces on your web site. A rockin’ Facebook page.  Professional (expensive) advertising. Great signs. Terrific product packaging.

That’s all “marketing?” Right? Well, yes…but…

All of that can be a complete waste if the customer’s actual experience is disappointing.  Here’s a real-world, no-tech F2F experience I had just this week.

I do my best to buy local whenever possible—for everything from auto service to make-up and clothing.

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Pivot! Dump Trucks to Dance Hall

Mary Schmidt

Oct 22, 2014

Pivot—What all entrepreneurs should be able to do when their original idea doesn’t work.

I just returned from Las Cruces, where my client, The Loan Fund, had a celebratory lunch for their 25th anniversary at The Beverly Hills Hall. So? What’s interesting about that?  An event hall—lots of those around. Then I met Victor Perez, the owner (and TLF client).  Talking about his family, he said “We’ve got entrepreneurship in our blood.”  He told me how his grandparents started the biz back in the

In Start-Up Sanity Checks

What Everyone Knows About Good Ol’ Email (or not)

Mary Schmidt

Oct 16, 2014

fireFrom Email Etiquette, Business 2 Community

Is email really the right communication method? Just because it’s the easiest doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Any major problem or issue is best resolved either face to face, or on the phone. If the person sits next to you or down the hall, get out of your chair and go talk to them. If you need to have the discussion captured in writing, send a follow-up note.

And haven’t we all sent flamers? In fact, back in my corporate days, there was

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks, Web Bytes

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).

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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.)

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