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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

“I throw away the business cards.”

Mary Schmidt

Mar 16, 2006

I just came from a meeting with a local executive and in the course of the conversation re next steps, meetings, etc. - he noted, “I just throw away business cards once I put you in Outlook.”  My joking response was, “But, mine are so pretty!”  That got me to thinking about marketing “fluff stuff.”
So, two sanity checkpoints:

1.  The business card is just a little piece of paper - no matter how pretty.  Simply passing it out isn’t going to get you very far - particularly these days when

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Thanks, Mom & Pop!

Mary Schmidt

Mar 10, 2006

Update:  If you’re looking for the shop, I’ve closed it temporarily for some renovation.  If you’d like to talk about your needs - drop me a line or call.  I’m always happy to chat and offer special rates for “Mom & Pops.”

Mom and Dad.jpg I just set up a little Mom & Pop Shop here in my virtual office.  Why?  I got tired of hearing, “I’d love to work with you, but we just can’t afford it.”  Now, I can blather on all day about value and experience, but at the end of the day, folks only have so much money to

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Silence is NOT Golden.

Mary Schmidt

Mar 09, 2006

This seems to be my day for “simply” sending you along to links.  But, this one, Negative word of mouth hurts retailers speaks to one of the blind spots I see with clients in discussing WOM (Word-of-Mouth) viral, grassroots, guerilla (pick your buzz word) marketing.

Here’s the scary number, quoted in the post, from a Wharton study: “out of 100 dissatisfied customers a retailer stands to lose between 32 and 36 current or potential customers.”  Ack and Eek!  Increase that by a factor of ten

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

WOMMA?  Yo’ Momma!

Mary Schmidt

Mar 08, 2006

Ah, here’s another one of those things that confuses the heck out of non-marketers (and we wonder why we get so little respect sometimes.)  A bunch of the fellas in blogville are getting into a tussle over marketing expert Jack Trout’s column Is Word of Mouth All It’s Cracked Up to Be? in that hotbed of innovative, progressive thinking, Forbes magazine.  (Full disclosure:  I read Forbes, even enjoy/learn from many of the articles.  But this is also the pub with columnists who make statements

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Shoot me, I’m a hag.

Mary Schmidt

Mar 08, 2006

Okay, yes, I am a woman and we consider shopping both a social activity and a competitive sport.  And, with spring springing all over, the shopping urge is really kicking in.  However, it’s not all fun - I also work with clients who sell retail - so when I’m trying on clothes, buying wine and such - it’s also - ahem - market research (yeah, yeah, that’s it!)

So, what is it with retailers?  Could it be that most are run by men?  Or, have the head honchos/honchorettes never tried on a swimsuit

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Oh, my achin’ centric

Mary Schmidt

Mar 08, 2006

No wonder so many people think we marketers are full of it.  I just got this in an e-letter:

Elevating Your Game to Consumer-Centric Merchandising…
See how a combination of Consumer Intelligence, Demand Intelligence and Market Intelligence are used to build the foundation for a truly Consumer-Centric Retail Organization

Now, this is from a group that gives a lot of good advice and data - but one has to first wade through this type of title hoo-ha (if you have the time and will). 

What if

In Marketing Troubleshooting

It’s a technical sale.

Mary Schmidt

Mar 08, 2006

I frequently hear this from technology companies when they’re looking to hire engineers as salespeople or marketers.  Well, sure, one needs to understand the fundamentals, but many of the products (sorry, guys) really aren’t that complicated when you look at them in terms of feature/function/customer benefit.  And, of course, if you’re talking to a techie at the customer’s company, you should always have your own super-techie ready to talk to them in their own bits and bytes, feeds and speeds,

In 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).

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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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