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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter

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Idea Pool

Here’s a Wild Idea: Make Products, Not Ads.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 20, 2014

NYT: For Google, A Toehold Into Goods for a Home

“Google, which dominates much of life on the Internet, has been trying to expand beyond computers and telephones to living rooms, cars and bodies. It made its way a bit further into people’s homes on Monday when it agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest Labs, which makes Internet-connected devices like thermostats and smoke alarms.”

Well, so far, so good. (So what?)  Google remains a bunch of scary smart Type As in search of a

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

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

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

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

How To Act Like A Big Company With Lots of Customers!

Mary Schmidt

Aug 27, 2013

Citi, American Express, and CenturyLink - here’s lookin’ at you, kids.

1. Send out wave after wave of direct mail pieces, with the recipient’s name misspelled, to a long-time customer.  Who now wonders why she can’t get the same extra, special deal as a new customer.

Bonus points if you also have the wrong company. (Hint: I’m not Mary Smith and it’s not been Mary Schmidt & Associates for over six years.) 

Double bonus points if your marketing hyperbole doesn’t match your actual product

In Marketing Troubleshooting, 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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