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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

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

You’ve got to have a box before you can burn it.

Mary Schmidt

Dec 06, 2005

box(And, you may need more than one box - if you’ve got more than one target market…)

I met with a new client yesterday, doing one of my “Entrepreneur Sanity Checks” which got me to thinking once again (uh-oh!) about the challenges of new ventures. 

Tom Peters believes not only should we think way outside the box, but we should burn the darned thing.  And, I’m all for thinking creatively and taking gutsy leaps.  However, I also believe you need to start with the box.  Otherwise, you can

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

New Resource for You - Blogging Syndicate

Mary Schmidt

Dec 01, 2005

I’m pleased to announce I’ve joined the Corante Marketing Hub - a blogging syndicate with 20 marketer pros writing about and discussing all things marketing.  As Corante explains:

The Corante Marketing Hub is your starting point for keeping abreast of the best writing and thinking on marketing across the blogosphere and beyond. Here you’ll find the field’s most insightful observers and commentators tracking and reporting on its latest developments as well as weighing in on its future.


In Marketing Troubleshooting

Bridging the Gap between product & customer

Mary Schmidt

Dec 01, 2005

I’ve written about The Gap before and the issues I’ve seen with their marketing (advertising) campaigns.  I think Sara Jessica Parker is terrific and I admire Madonna (world-class marketer) but neither of them appearing in the Gap commercials inspire me to dash out and buy anything.  Despite all the singing and dancing - the products are blah, generic stuff - and I know I can’t pull off running around in skin-tight jeans with a man’s tie for a belt anyway.  Of course, I gave the company the

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Niche Market or Dead End?

Mary Schmidt

Nov 28, 2005


Seth Godin’s post on the inanity of the American consumer - as illustrated by the combo toaster/egg poacher/ham warmer - highlights the challenges not only of the holiday season but of marketing in general.  How do we differentiate our products and/or services in a way that the customers will value (and buy more than once)?  And, are we thinking “niche” when in reality heading toward a “dead-end?” 

For example, does anybody really need any of the things sold in the Sharper Image

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Another “wish I’d thought of that”

Mary Schmidt

Nov 22, 2005

Yes, it’s possible to never have a bad hair day again (at least if you’re California)...We’ve got mobile windshield repair, dog groomers…why not hair dressers?  Via Iconoculture: On-site hair cuts.

Hmmm…so what could you bring to your customers that would:  a. make their lives easier; b. create/increase their loyalty to you?  (And, how can you do it at a profit? That’s the devil in the details.)

(Personally, I’d like plumbers and home repair people that had hours after five - and told you

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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