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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

You can’t make people like you (or talk about you.)

Mary Schmidt

Nov 02, 2005

There’s a lot of buzz amongst marketers about - well - buzz/WOM (Word of Mouth), and how to measure it.  And, some companies are even selling marketing programs to artificially create buzz.  Maybe I’m getting cranky in my middle years,  but I just don’t think “fake buzz” will ever work (at least not for long).  And, it shouldn’t - customers deserve (and appreciate) real value, not marketing speak.  Marketing hoo-ha is hoo-ha, no matter how it’s packaged. 

As John Moore at Brand Autopsy

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

So they hate you, so what?

Mary Schmidt

Oct 29, 2005

Seth Godin reports the NYT hates the new “Odd Couple” with Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick.  Which brings us to the “so what” factor.  The show has booked $21M in advance tickets due to, in Seth’s opinion, which I share: 1.  Am Ex’s special offer to Gold Card members; 2. Lane and Broderick’s reputation (their brand.)  So, if the show is terrible, will this impact Lane & Broderick’s brand?  Maybe. Maybe Not.  Here’s why I think Maybe Not:

1.  When I lived in Philly, one of my great weekend

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

“Can you hear me now?  Hello?  Hello?” 

Mary Schmidt

Oct 26, 2005

According to a report from In-stat:

Fully 9.4 percent of the 193 million wireless subscribers today have made it their primary phone, In-Stat said. That percentage is expected to increase from 23 percent to 37 percent in 2009, when the number of wireless subscriber in the United States is expected to reach 240 million

I’m one of the millions whose wireless is now also my only home number.  Which seemed like a good idea.  Recently, however, reception in my house has gone from bad to worse

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

“Just what do you do, Mary?”

Mary Schmidt

Oct 21, 2005

As a self-employed “hired gun” I do a lot of collaboration, which means “Mary Schmidt” frequently pops up next to different company and group names in articles, announcements, and proposals - sometimes all at once.  In one case, I may be the designated “strategic planner”  In another, the “web expert” (ha).  In yet another, I’m listed as “the marketing guru” (eek) And so on.  This understandably confuses some people.  “Who are you working for these days, Mary?” they ask with a concerned look

In Marketing Troubleshooting

“Proximity Mktg” or Why do dentists flock together?

Mary Schmidt

Oct 19, 2005

Stay with me here - I’m doing the “wander all over the place to make a point at the end” thing.  In going in for my monthly root canal renovation check-up (don’t ask)  I wonder why the heck dentists always flock together - after all, they’re competing and it seems like we have enough in Albuquerque for all 675,000 of us to get personal attention to each individual tooth.  Also, why do wonderful television shows fail while ho-hum run-of-the-mill stuff like “Yes, Dear” (1)  seems to be on

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Adventures in Entrepreneurship discussion

Mary Schmidt

Oct 18, 2005

From the OPEN site - starting tonight in Miami: 

OPEN Adventures in Entrepreneurship is an offline/online investigation into the challenges and solutions confronting entrepreneurs as they strive to develop and grow their businesses. The event begins in Miami, with a discussion led by Sir Richard Branson and sponsored by OPEN, intended to emphasize the importance of innovation and inspiration as key ingredients in successful Entrepreneurship.

The event will then continue online for three

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Customers - service versus processing

Mary Schmidt

Oct 13, 2005

It’s bill paying time again (why does this seem to happen every week?) which gets me to thinking about the differences between customer service and customer processing.  On my city water bill, they explicitly state “do not include any correspondence.”  Nah, wouldn’t want to make it easy for a customer to communicate regarding a dispute or suggestion, now would we?  And, don’t we all love those emails thanking us for our online order or payment and telling us to not reply, our email won’t be

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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