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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

“Am I missing the point?”

Mary Schmidt

Mar 07, 2006

I got the following comment from Heather in the UK on yesterday’s post, Lotsa Choices = Less Sales.  Think it’s worth highlighting in a separate post, as it speaks to one of the big challenges we bloggers face - delivering value to readers versus writing for fun, to impress each other and to gain Technorati popularity.  (And, as much as I love gazing at my own navel, it’s dark in there.)

I own a tiny business

I offer very little choice – I can’t compete with any of the large chain

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Lotsa Choices = Less Sales

Mary Schmidt

Mar 06, 2006

Black-eyed peas Discuss amongst yourselves: In the effort to satisfy customers’ every need and want, is it possible to do just the opposite?  Giving them too many choices can be both frustrating and confusing, leading to less business. 

I got to thinking about this as I was cruising the new gigantic Raley’s just down the street.  I counted not one, not two, but at least 10 different brands of canned black-eyed peas.  And, within those brands, I could chooose with bacon, without, with jalapenos, with

In Marketing Troubleshooting

That ol’ time snake oil GAR-an-tee! 

Mary Schmidt

Mar 02, 2006

Satisfaction Guaranteed   Quick, what is your immediate reaction to this?  Me?  I see “scam” flashing in bright red lights.  They’re going to have all kinds of conditions before (if ever) you get your money back.  (Imagine “GAR-an-teed!” drawled by a sweaty Burl Ives, in a wrinkled white suit, holding a bottle of cure-all and you’ll be on my wave length.) 

My blogging buddy, Bruce Fryer (you meet the nicest people here in blogville) recently suffered through Logo Limbo.  He made the mistake of taking an online logo

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Value versus Value

Mary Schmidt

Mar 01, 2006

asparagusThis morning, as I read Raley’s grand opening circular with all those low, low prices, I got to thinking about - yep - pricing.  Now, I’m a big proponent of value pricing (versus cost plus, which is what a lot of people still use), but it’s tricky to do.  And, it doesn’t mean that you can charge premium, regardless of how you perceive, measure your value.  It’s the market’s perception that counts. 

If I’m going to buy asparagus, I’d much rather pay $1 a pound than $4, since supermarket

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

“That’ll be a $1.49”

Mary Schmidt

Feb 28, 2006

light bulb Great example of small-town small biz getting customer service right:  A friend of mine recently took her car to the mechanic since it was making really loud and scary noises, plus she had a burnt-out taillight.  The shop did their best, but couldn’t reproduce the problem and so the only thing they ended up doing was replacing a light bulb.  My friend said she braced herself for a bill of at least $40.  But, nope!  “That’ll be a $1.49” for the light bulb.  See, she had spent about $800 the

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Can’t get no satisfaction

Mary Schmidt

Feb 28, 2006

One of my “sales training soapbox” points has long been: There are three things to know.  1. What a customer wants. 2. What they need and 3. What they will pay for.  And, these are often three different things.  To throw another spanner in the works, what I (or you) think is a surefire barn-burner sales point may not even interest the prospective customer.  Or, it could actually be a negative to them. (“Hey, why should I pay for that?  I don’t need it!”) 

A recent post over at Publishing

In Marketing Troubleshooting

People who need people

Mary Schmidt

Feb 23, 2006

Question:  Where did we as a civilization and business culture lose sight of the fact that we’re all people? Hmmm.  Did we ever really want to acknowledge that? It’s a lot easier to hurt or scam a faceless other than a real person.

Marketers bombard their fellow human beings with ka-ka they personally wouldn’t want (or believe); cutting heads has become an accepted and applauded way to “improve results” and our business communications are increasingly impersonal (You gave us your money, now go

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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