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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

Five Things “Everyone Knows” About Online Marketing (or not)

Mary Schmidt

Oct 06, 2014

(I’ve been working on a couple of projects that necessitates me visiting web sites—from small Mom & Pops to mega-corporations. *Sigh* How long have “we” been doing web sites now? And, yet, I’m always pleasantly surprised when I visit one that works.)

1. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to find information. And by information, I don’t mean go buy corporate marketing speak by the pound. What interests the customer? Why are they (you fervently hope) coming to your site? Cross link.

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

“It’s Hard To Be Human!”

Mary Schmidt

Sep 04, 2014

...said a friend at lunch the other day, with a laugh.  And, sure that sounds funny, but…

One of my biggest pet peeves is “It’s nothing personal. It’s business.”  In reality, EVERYTHING we do in business is, in fact, personal…because we are all—yup—humans.  And humans make decisions based on emotion, then find the logic to support the decisions. That goes for everything from buying shoes to hiring an employee.

You are, in fact, always marketing to a “consumer.”  The business buyer is using

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

I’m the World’s Worst “Consultant.”

Mary Schmidt

May 20, 2014

No. Really, I will tell you all the reasons to not hire me.  (And I loathe the word “consultant.” Always have. But…)  For example:

At your stage in development, you’re better served by spending the money on actual sales efforts, improving your product, traveling to meet with customers, etc. (Customer meetings and biz networking are two of the best “marketing” tactics. Of course, you need to do some upfront qualification and set goals for yourself.).  I’ve refunded retainers before—rent comes

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks

The BIG Marketing Secret!!!

Mary Schmidt

Apr 30, 2014

Cranky Mary The Internet. Web 2.0. Social Media. The Cloud. BIG DATA! (“Will Big Data Replace Marketing?” “Will Social Media Kill Phone Support?” And so on and so forth.)

What do all these have in common? They’re the buzz of the day/year/moment that many consultants used/use to pitch their services. Certainly, there are changes in technology…and we’re living in a global, interconnected economy these days (whether we like or not.)

However, here’s the BIG secret. It’s all buzz. The basics don’t change.

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Social Media Reality Checks, Web Bytes

Three Things A Customer Service Rep Should Never Say

Mary Schmidt

Feb 10, 2014

Regardless of the type of support, product, service, or industry…B2B, B2C, whatever…

1. “I can’t do that. You’ll have to go to our web site.”  In response to—for example—a request to change an email account for paperless billing since you can’t get into the web site.  Or, the web site keeps crashing, so you can’t make that “easy” online payment.

2.  “I’ll transfer you to someone who’ll take care of that for you! Have a nice day!”  And then the system hangs up…or you’re transferred to yet

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

A Reality Check: Super Bowl Ads

Mary Schmidt

Feb 03, 2014

Last week, a colleague and fellow member of what we call “The No BS Club” asked me, “How much of ‘marketing’ do you really think works?”  We were talking about what I call “color marketing”—brochures, commercials, ads…cute little moppets…dogs and ponies…the “fun” stuff.

It was the end of a long and trying week, so I was in full “no bs” mode. My answer: “Not much.”  For example, much of advertising is—ahem—corporate ego reinforcement. That, or some combination of marketer naivete, CEO

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Here’s a Wild Idea: Make Products, Not Ads.

Mary Schmidt

Jan 20, 2014

NYT: For Google, A Toehold Into Goods for a Home

“Google, which dominates much of life on the Internet, has been trying to expand beyond computers and telephones to living rooms, cars and bodies. It made its way a bit further into people’s homes on Monday when it agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest Labs, which makes Internet-connected devices like thermostats and smoke alarms.”

Well, so far, so good. (So what?)  Google remains a bunch of scary smart Type As in search of a

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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