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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

“I’m popular. I’m pretty. Why am I (still) poor?”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 10, 2006

As I’m sure many a Southern belle homecoming queen has lamented in her post-game years.  This tale of woe applies to web sites as well.  Businesses leap onto the Web - invest in a real purty site, spend money (and time) to get their search engine rankings up - and yet they’re not making money. 

Well, here’s the thing - it’s simply not enough to look good and be popular out here on the Web - we’ve also got to deliver value (real and/or perceived) to our visitors and customers. 


In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

“NO!  I don’t believe that!” 

Mary Schmidt

Jan 06, 2006

I know otherwise bright, mature people that - when faced with something that doesn’t fit their world view (or makes them uncomfortable) - say exactly this.  Nuh-uh, You can’t make me! On such do marketing campaigns (and governments and companies) rise and fall.  (Too bad this isn’t a podcast so you could hear the utterly dismissive tone in the “NO!” statement. Ouch - alrighty then - we’ll move right along to the next topic. How ‘bout dem Bears?)

Reinforce what people already believe and

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Small Biz + Human Touch = Web Success

Mary Schmidt

Dec 15, 2005

Andrew Field, a printer in Montana (where they seem to have more cows than people) spotted an untapped market and voila!  Web Success.  This guy was Web 2.0 before there was a 2.0 (1998).  He recognized a great unserved market - all the small businesses and sole proprietors using MS Office that wanted quaility printing.  He ponied up for a good web system (albeit on the cheap from “Wall Street refugee” it was still $100,000).  Implemented the web site, added humans for the all-important

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Do you belong on the Web?

Mary Schmidt

Dec 14, 2005

Warning:  If you think web sites are marketing bla-blah commodities or that blogs are self-indulgent drivel - you probably won’t like this post.  If you’re still learning your way on the Web and want to really move ahead, read on. 

I still run across otherwise smart people who “just want an on-line brochure” (and want it cheap.)  Then they complain they never get results from their site.  Of course, they’ve also not spent any time working on the site - looking at their stats, adding new

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Money isn’t everything (in life or business).

Mary Schmidt

Dec 13, 2005

As I mutter to myself every month when paying the bills.

Interesting Strategy + Business article re a new Booz Allen Hamilton study looking at R&D spending.  Turns out spending big bucks doesn’t guarantee revenue results.  Of course, any of us who have worked with some of the top innovators know that a lot is done in the labs that is never commercially viable - and shouldn’t be expected to do so.  Otherwise, you kill innovation.  When I worked in product development at NEC back in the 80s,

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Open the Kimono! 

Mary Schmidt

Dec 09, 2005

So sayeth a long-time friend and client (and salesman extraordinaire) 

How much do we share with the market, our prospects, our customers?  It’s something many of us struggle with - whether we’re selling space shuttle software or accounting services.  Where’s the fine line between enough to interest people and giving away all the goodies?  It’s a discussion my collaborators at Bare Feet Studios and I have fairly often, as we’re all in the “expert” biz.   

Of course, it’s important to

In Marketing Troubleshooting

That’s (sniff) unprofessional.

Mary Schmidt

Dec 07, 2005

Over the years, I’ve heard the “unprofessional” sniping about myself and others - usually happens when somebody is having a really good time.  And, Heavens forbid  we should ever show personality (or admit human frailty) to our customers.    Despite all the studies and reports documenting that it’s more effective and lucrative to show personality (and yes, have fun) many companies still do deadly dull, safe marketing speak and maintain the stiff shirt professional facade.  This while they

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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