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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

Life Changers—Small Things Make a Big Difference

Mary Schmidt

Jan 15, 2015

Recently, Alan Webber, former candidate for NM governor and co-founder of Fast Company met with my group of New Mexico Trusted Advisers. We kicked around a lot of ideas about how to help foster entrepreneurial spirit and success.  As we discussed attitudes and such, he noted in passing the article Fast Company published way back when—“The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters. 

Talk about serendipity! The article literally changed my life back in corporate America; I was “stuck” in a crap job in a

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

The Only New Year Resolution Needed

Mary Schmidt

Jan 06, 2015

Did you make some? Have you already broken at least one? (C’mon. ‘Fess up.)  Personally, I’ve always found resolutions to be profoundly depressing…da pressure! da pressure!

Goals are different. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of semantics.  We can set small, medium, large, shoot the moon goals and keep adjusting (as long as we keep moving and trying.)  Bite off a small chunk of a big challenge. Solve it. Learn. Adjust. Move on to the next bit. 

So, without further ado—the only resolution

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

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

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

“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

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


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

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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