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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

You Never Know When You May Need an Old Idea. Here are Three.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 14, 2014

“You never know when you might need an old idea.” - Ian McEwan, at Edge, in attacking this year’s question, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?“post at

He’s talking about Aristotle, who was actually wrong about a lot of things…but “his invention of zoology alone was priceless. Would you cast him aside?”

I love a good “intellectual bar fight” as the NYT described Edge (Over the Side With Old Tenets)...and I also love old ideas. Here are three old ideas that should never

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks, Web Bytes

“Mama Don’t Text.”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 06, 2014

I sometimes shock people when I tell ‘em I don’t text. However…

I hear some variation of the following lament with increasing frequency.

“I hate it when people text/chat/video/photo during _____ (dinner, movie, conversations, concerts, grocery shopping, etc.)” 

And yet…we all struggle with maintaining a balance—using technology as a tool, not a time-sucking, costly addiction.  I love technology…have worked in “high tech” off and on for decades. At one point, as a product manager/director

In Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

Do Your Connections Have Value?

Mary Schmidt

Dec 03, 2013

...Another day, more emails from people I don’t know, wanting to “connect.”  

The good news/bad news about our always on, online, round the globe economy is that we can “connect” with thousands, even millions of people. 

However, do those connections have any real value?

It depends. (Don’t you just hate it when I do that?)

No Value Reality Check

1. You sporadically send out an eletter to thousands of people, but have no way of tracking who opens what. And, you give them no reason to

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

Why Facebook Should’ve Hired Me (A Long Time Ago)

Mary Schmidt

Nov 18, 2013

Short answer: An actual Go To Market Plan.  Done BEFORE they went “commercial.” 

It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to start out with a free service. But…

There should have been a plan (with a schedule) of how they were going to transition to a fee model. 

Here’s what’s still missing from Facebook’s strategy (based on what I read, including interviews).

1. An - um - actual strategy.  Figuring out ways to pump even more ads our way isn’t it. Nor is telling us they’re perfectly within their

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

The Two Reasons I’m a Comcast Customer (Again)

Mary Schmidt

Nov 05, 2013

...and neither of them are marketing or service promises.

Long story short. My CenturyLink land line finally completely died. I went without voice service for nearly a week; internet service was sorta of working, sometimes. After three “repairs” - with a different explanation/repair each time.  No response to my “urgent care” emails (more about that in a sec.)

So. Time to (*sigh*) make a switch. I had been bombarded by Comcast direct mail.  I called the number on the letter. After going

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Three Warning Signs of Silo Syndrome

Mary Schmidt

Sep 12, 2013


1. “I don’t have access to that information.”  (PNC)

2. “I don’t know how ‘they’ make that decision.” (American Express)

3. “Our system won’t allow us to do that.” (Citi)

Over the past several months, I’ve heard all three of these and more.

Best case, I actually make a human connection with the service rep and he/she even admits their company’s policies and procedures make no sense. (HT to that nice manager at Citi. He probably got fired if they actually do listen to calls for “quality

In Brain Food, Pet Peeves

Once More with Feeling: A Facebook Page IS NOT a Social Media Strategy.

Mary Schmidt

Aug 29, 2013

zebra Im an expertOne of my (real-life 3-D) friends recently told me of a local who has decided to become a social media consultant since “there is no social media expertise in Albuquerque.”  Ahem. Moving along…(The snarky zebra image is one I use in my social media workshops, where we talk about how to get results…and the fact you may not even need a Facebook page, ever.)

So, how did this local come by his expertise? Years of work in developing, implementing and managing integrated offline/online marketing

In Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

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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