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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter

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Idea Pool

“I’m going to tell you things you already know.”

Mary Schmidt

Sep 30, 2014

Liam Neeson just becauseI recenty attended a conference where one of the speakers (alas, not Liam Neeson) began by saying the above. How refreshing!  And, how true. When it comes to marketing, there really isn’t any earth-shattering news. Sure, we’ve got all kinds of technology these days and can reach out to people in about eleventy-billion ways…and they can (and do) ignore us in about twelve billion ways.  (More about Mr. Neeson at the end of this post.)

Of course, we humans are always looking for the ONE answer.

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting, Social Media Reality Checks

You Never Know When You May Need an Old Idea. Here are Three.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 14, 2014

“You never know when you might need an old idea.” - Ian McEwan, at Edge, in attacking this year’s question, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?“post at edge.org.

He’s talking about Aristotle, who was actually wrong about a lot of things…but “his invention of zoology alone was priceless. Would you cast him aside?”

I love a good “intellectual bar fight” as the NYT described Edge (Over the Side With Old Tenets)...and I also love old ideas. Here are three old ideas that should never

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks, Web Bytes

Three Warning Signs of Silo Syndrome

Mary Schmidt

Sep 12, 2013

silos

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

Ten Rules for Writing (Anything)

Mary Schmidt

Aug 21, 2013

WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NYT, 2001)

In honor of Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers - here are his ten rules for fiction writing.  However, they apply to any form of written communication - from business plans to marketing brochures to web copy.

1. Never open a book with weather.

How this applies to your business writing: Of course, you (probably) wouldn’t start your web copy with “It was a dark and

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting

Sorry, Sometimes the Numbers Just Don’t Work.

Mary Schmidt

Aug 20, 2013

hyperloop renderingI routinely caution clients to avoid spreadsheet myopia. (“Hey! It looks great on paper!”) - since the real world has a nasty way to blowing even the most meticulously thought-out financials. Investors don’t invest. Customers don’t buy. The economy tanks. The government grant is cancelled. Etc. etc. 

That said, entrepreneurs can’t just blithely ignore the numbers either. Delusional optimism (one of my clients coined that one) has its place. (After all, if entrepreneurs weren’t just a little

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

The Flamingo Factor

Mary Schmidt

May 21, 2013

flamingosI’m fortunate that I live a “20-minute life” (As Sunset magazine dubbed it - pretty much anything and everything I need or want is within 20 minutes of walking or biking.)  I “run” errands on foot, and take (almost) daily power walks. And on those walks, I see many things I’d totally miss if I were driving. 

Things that make me smile. Get my creative synapses going. Give me ideas for clients. Just the other day, it was a flock of flamingos in someone’s front yard. 

Pink. Plastic. 2 feet

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Are You Part of the (Not-So-New) Creative Economy?

Mary Schmidt

Feb 05, 2013

Da Vinci portfolio

Here in Albuquerque, we’re still kicking around the idea of “the creative class” (Richard Florida).  Are we in it? Out of it? Totally out of it?  What does “creative” even mean these days?

And, what’s all this about a “creative economy?” if you’re not an artist, do you count? Can you participate? Should you even care? My answer to all three questions: Yes.

Here’s the thing. Once upon a time, not so long ago (as world time goes), most people were - in fact - self-employed artisans of one

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

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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