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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

A Patent Isn’t a (Commercial) Product.

Mary Schmidt

Apr 07, 2016

Consider the ballpoint pen. John J. Loud patented a “rolling-pointed fountain marker” on October 30, 1888.  Over the next 30 years, 350 similar patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office. But none of these products appeared on the market.  The idea was fine—they just couldn’t get the ink right. If it was too thin, the pen leaked. Too thick, the pen clogged. Eventually two French brothers solved the problem and licensed their patents, in 1950, to a Frenchman named Bich. He then took

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

Social Media Isn’t Marketing.

Mary Schmidt

Apr 01, 2016

Certainly, marketers have glommed onto SM for communications. Especially the increasingly desperate (and clueless) ad and PR agencies (who anoint themselves social media experts…and send out cold email spam to bloggers - such as me - about topics that aren’t even remotely related to my blog and biz.  Jelly Belly jelly beans and moms? Really?)

However, social media isn’t marketing.  (Just as advertising isn’t marketing, another one of my pet peeves.)  It’s a tool set that can - properly used -

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

The Three Most Abused Words in Business

Mary Schmidt

Mar 16, 2016

In no particular order:

1. Partner.

As in, “We want to partner with you, Mr./Ms. Customer.”  Calls to mind a meeting I once had, in a Fortune 50 gig, with one of our top sales executives.  He had great fun (snort, snort), “Yes, we want to be YOUR PARTNER, Mr. Customer. Give us all your money!”

“Partner” implies that both parties in the transaction are in it for more than dollars or that single transaction. There’s nothing wrong with being an operationally excellent company who excels at

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

What A Librarian Can Teach A Marketer.

Mary Schmidt

Feb 23, 2016


I love the Albuquerque library system.  It makes me happy simply to walk into one of the many branches, staffed by knowledgeable, helpful people.  (I also enjoy walking into the Apple store…hey, we’re gonna have FUN!)

Who’d thunk fusty old book people have anything to teach a marketer?   Well, marketers take heed:

Librarians know they need loyal users, and lots of them.

The staff acknowledges your presence; they’re responsive; they try to help; they’ll occasionally cut you a break,

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Web Bytes

Why I Don’t Download Your “Free” Report (or read your article or open your email).

Mary Schmidt

Feb 09, 2016

Ever wonder why you’re not getting the results your web or social media marketing “expert” promised?

1. Your “free” download is a poorly disguised lead generation/qualification method. To get the wonderful, insightful info, I have to enter a long list of information, including having to scroll way past Afghanistan to check off my country, United States. Then, after I’ve given all the lead generation information (including the required phone number)...then and only then, you tell me a

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

Is SEO Crap?

Mary Schmidt

Feb 04, 2016

cut the crapShort answer: In and of itself, yes. The other day, I heard yet another sad tale of a local company being charged thousands of dollars for SEO.  Unfortunately, they’re not getting results…and the contract they signed, obligating them to pay has nothing obligating the SEO firm to deliver results. So, they’re pretty much stuck. The snake oil salesman touted “guaranteed” results—but the company didn’t get it in writing. So, yes, lots of SEO is crap.

And look who agrees with me.

In our opinion,

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Web Bytes

Avoidable Startup Failure: Emotional Pricing

Mary Schmidt

Feb 02, 2016

heart dollars

From Start-Up Failure Rates By Industry, by Kristin Pryor:

If all startups were successful, everyone would be an entrepreneur. Starting up involves risk, a lot of it. There’s a very real probability that your startup will fail. It might have nothing to do with how you ran it, it could be based on a number of factors that are out of your control. Although, it could also be because of the way you ran it. You often need more than good intentions for a solid business plan.

The number one cause

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.)

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