RSS Feed .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
505-856-2551

Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter

Mary
Current Client, 2010-2011

"Mary is terrific at cutting through the jargon to get to the true value of what we do...and how best to communicate that value." - Leslie Elgood, CEO, NMCC

NMCC provides equity capital and business growth services to qualifying businesses throughout New Mexico. NMCC generally makes initial investments in the Series A or Series B round. The initial investmentments typically range from $0.5 million to $1 million and $1.5 million to $2 million over the life of the company. NMCC Fund I focuses exclusively on New Mexico-based businesses.

My Services: Annual retainer to assist with re-positioning of business growth services, including: recommendations re target clients; production of collateral materials; CEO consultations.

NMCC
801 University Blvd. SE, Suite 102
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-924-2820 Office
866-222-1552 Toll-free
“Mary’s versatility and “can do” attitude is a big help. Whatever the need – she produces under pressure.”
- Catherine Woodward, Executive Director, Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity


GAHH is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. Since their founding in 1989, GAHH has built over 150 houses.

My Services: Retainer as Development Director to increase donations and build an infrastructure for consistent development activities, including annual fundraisers and events.

Results: Fundraisers achieved record results two years in a row.

A personal note from Mary: I believe strongly in GAHH, since safe, comfortable housing is a critical requirement for people to better their lives and their communities. I've personally seen the results throughout Albuquerque. The pride of ownership. The neat homes. It makes a very big difference. And, contrary to what some believe, you don't have to be a Christian to qualify; in fact, Habitat builds home all over the globe. I encourage my readers to support their local Habitat affiliate.
“What can I say? If you want it done on time – give it to Mary and get out of the way! And, she gives me direct and independent advice. Sometimes I don’t like to hear it, but she knows it’s part of her job!” – F. Leroy Pacheco, Executive Director, The Loan Fund

Founded in 1989, The New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund is a private, tax-exempt organization that provides loans, training and business consulting to entrepreneurs, business owners and non-profit organizations throughout the state and the entire Navajo Nation.

My Services: Annual retainer for market and business development (two years) to increase the visibility of The Loan Fund and increase number and amount of loans.

Results: Loan portfolio more than doubled; completed first VC partner deal with $750,000 bridge financing; The Sister Marie Luisa Fund created for lowest-income clients.

The Loan Fund
PO Box 705
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(866) 873-6746
(505) 243-3196



"This is my second start-up working with Mary. She was the very first call I made once I decided to license the ProtoHIT technology from UNM. She's one of the very rare people who can both think and produce. No excuses, just execution." - Bruce Fryer, Founder & CEO, ProtoHIT

The Company: A technology start-up, founded in 2009, offering a patient treatment optimization SaaS for occupational health clinics.

My Services: Annual retainer for business and market development, including assistance with obtaining venture funding, market and target customer research, business planning, product development, all aspects of marketing, and evaluating and closing customer sales.

Results: Over $1M raised. Commercial product released.



ProtoHIT, Inc.
4801 Lang Ave. NE
Suite 110
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 798-2666
“Mary rolls up her sleeves to provide what’s needed for success, from initial analysis to launch.” – Mike Marett, Executive Vice President, Numerex

Founded in 1992, Numerex Corp (Nasdaq: NMRX) is a provider of business services, technology, and products used in the development and support of machine-to-machine (M2M) systems for the enterprise and government markets worldwide.

Project(s):

1. Monthly retainer as marketing director to manage all aspects of marketing, including sales channel development and support, planning and tactical implementation.

2. Channel Evaluation and Analysis to identify new channels for sales of existing products.

3. Sales Targeting Analysis & Recommendations, including first-level account qualification.

Numerex Corp.
1600 Parkwood Circle
5th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
800-665-5686
770-693-5950
From Mary Schmidt's brain to yours - food for thought and action

As a marketing troubleshooter, I focus on "black & white" marketing -- timely technology commercialization, sustainable competitive positioning, product development/launch and integrated offline/online marketing strategies you can actually implement. This means that -- no -- I won't write your brochure for "X an hour." That's "color" marketing and there's a lot of work (and thinking) that needs to happen before we get to that. (Tip: If you're just now seeking seed capital, you need to put plan before glitz. And, you don't need to be 'branded' if you don't even have a product yet.)

I don't do consultant happy talk or give boilerplate advice. I'll work with you to better define your (best) markets, develop those markets, and turn your ideas into (profitable) products or services. I also offer non-profit rates.

Some ways I can help:

Market Scans

Looking for new ways to compete in a saturated market? Think you may have missed something in your business plan? Suspect you’ve got a blind spot (or two) in your market? That’s where I can help. I’ll do a deep dive in your company and market (We'll start with an hour of real-time conversation). Then, I’ll provide a report that includes detailed analysis and recommendations.

Start-up (less than two years in business, less than $1M in annual revenue): $3500.00

Established Business (two or more years in business, up to $5M in annual revenue): $7500.00

More than $5M in annual revenue: Custom quote

Business Plans Advice and Renovation

Even if the only person who ever sees it is you - you need one. (Tip: Your plan is never really "done.")

Product Development, Launch & Management (Software, Hardware and IT Services)

I can help you get going, keep on track... or get back on track. (What you think its the best feature of your product may not be what your customers want, need, or will pay for. Want, Need, and Pay For can be three different things.)

Channel Analysis, Planning & Programs

A great product is only the beginning — you've got to get it to market (and a lot of it.) That means channels. You've got to consider things like direct or indirect, multi-tier pricing, margins, and ongoing sales and technical support. And, just because the "dominant market player" is big doesn't mean they'll be good at selling your product.

Social Media Reality Check

Social media is just another set of tools. No magic. The "trick" is determining how and when to use those tools in your particular business. I don't tout myself as a social media "expert" -- so I won't try to sell you services or advice you don't need. It all comes down to what works for you, not everyone else. (From the blog: Once More with Feeling: A Facebook Page is Not a Social Media Strategy. and What "Social Media" Won't Do For You (Like magically fix a crap product.)

“Mary provided me with valuable feedback on how to improve Comcast's customer service in Albuquerque. That lead to a mutually beneficial friendship that included our company sponsoring a seminar series she organized and her valuable counsel on high level marketing strategy. She shoots straight, is of impeccable character and has a boundless work ethic. If she takes on a project for you, you will see results.” - Scott Westerman, Regional VP, Comcast

Entrepreneur Insights

BW Tech Beat Fast Company Joel On Software Guy Kawasaki Silicon Valley.com Tech Crunch Valley Wag (Silicon Valley tech gossip) Wired Gadget Lab A VC Musings of A VC In NYC Venture Valkyrie Post Money Value, Rick's Rants or A VC Loonie with a Toonie. (A down-to-earth VC talks in real-world terms...and he's funny.) Redeye VC VentureBeat Venture Blog The Journal Blog (micro enterprise trends, politics, and views) Small Business Trends

Marketing Troubleshooting

Brand Autopsy Copy Blogger Copywriting tips for online success Church of the Customer Seth Godin Grant McCracken (Chief Culture Officer. Do you have one?) Opinionated Marketers Presentation Zen

Web Bytes

Jeffrey & Bryan Eisenberg - web marketing pioneers SEOmoz Search Engine Optimization that makes sense

Brain Food

Tom Asacker Made to Stick Lip-Sticking freakonomics Richard Florida Doc Searls Tom Peters TED (ideas to share) Gizmodo Beach Walks with Rox (Internet TV Show: Life, business - sometimes serious, sometimes frivolous, always Aloha) Radio Open Source

Life & So Forth

Daily Python Life Hacker (Tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done.) The Lazy Environmentalist The Triple Bottom Line Triple Pundit People. Planet. Profit (and why should those things be considered mutually exclusive by some?) Scott Adams Eddie Izzard Ridiculant Ridiculous Stuff From the UK Stuff White People Like Sunset Traveler The Triple Bottom Line

(For a brief summary of what I've done for some clients, click on one of the links under "Featured Projects" in the right column.)

"Mary is a knowledgeable, versatile, creative, and pragmatic marketing professional that employs solid interpersonal skills while driving measurable results. She is wholly comfortable with technology and is adept at employing it as part of her deliverables. I find her to be quick on the uptake and a self-starter that offers valuable insights and recommendations. I would recommend her without reservation.” - Mike Marett, Executive VP, Numerex

"This is my second start-up working with Mary. She was the very first call I made once I decided to license the ProtoHIT technology from UNM. She's one of the very rare people who can both think and produce. No excuses, just execution." - Bruce Fryer, Founder & CEO, ProtoHIT

“What can I say? If you want it done on time – give it to Mary and get out of the way! And, she gives me direct and independent advice. Sometimes I don’t like to hear it, but she knows it’s part of her job!” – F. Leroy Pacheco, Executive Director, The Loan Fund

"Mary is terrific at cutting through the jargon to get to the true value of what we do...and how best to communicate that value." - Leslie Elgood, CEO, New Mexico Community Capital

“Mary provided me with valuable feedback on how to improve Comcast's customer service in Albuquerque. That lead to a mutually beneficial friendship that included our company sponsoring a seminar series she organized and her valuable counsel on high level marketing strategy. She shoots straight, is of impeccable character and has a boundless work ethic. If she takes on a project for you, you will see results.” - Scott Westerman, Regional VP, Comcast

Want to talk about how I might work with you?

Drop me a line at mary@maryschmidt.com Or, call me at 505-856-2551.

I've been working since I was 16; I started flipping burgers in high school to help my mom pay the rent and have worked ever since. Paid for college as a cocktail waitress and bartender, a great way to learn people-management and problem-solving skills (You try getting a drunk bull rider to pay for the glasses he ate...yes, really.)

My clients have ranged from two-man software start-ups to global corporations such as Mitel/Gandalf and Hewlett-Packard. I've worked with clients to do successful IPOs (ah, the good old days), craft licensing agreeements with companies such as Microsoft, and design new approaches to saturated markets.

I'm a proud and happy corporate refugee, having held Corporate HQ staff and executive positions in business strategy and product development for companies such as NEC, Memorex Telex, Verizon, Nortel, and Unisys. I've built and managed international teams and held up to $30M in P&L responsibility. My last "real job" was Director of Strategic Alliances for a technology services start-up, where I was responsible for negotiating and managing channel agreements with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Verizon.

I also work with nonprofit clients, such as The Loan Fund and Habitat for Humanity, as I'd like to leave the world a bit better than I found it. And I've served on the boards of the National Association of Women Business Owners, NM (Corporate & Economic Development VP), YWCA of the Middle Rio Grande (Development chair). the Albuquerque Independent Business Alliance (president) and Duke City Civitan (president).

I do my best to live according to a favorite Oscar Wilde Quote, "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

Everyone needs a little help now and then.

I wouldn't be where I am today without help from a lot of smart, experienced, and generous people; so I'm paying it forward as best I can online - with the free downloads in the right column and in my blog posts.

If you're thinking of hiring a consultant (of any kind) - here's some quick advice:

1. Has he or she actually done work in the discipline for which they're pitching their expertise? Unfortunately, there's nothing preventing anyone from deciding to become a business consultant, life coach, or social media guru. Print a biz card. Throw up a web site. They're ready to roll! (And if they're pitching you with a PhD after their name, ask in what area of study. A PhD in, for example, biochemistry, while admirable, doesn't mean he or she can help you launch your software app.)

Ask about their actual experience. If they're selling - for example - marketing help, ask what kind of marketing? There's a huge difference between writing ad copy for a consumer product and developing a B2B product. (For more about what I've actually done, and what I can do for you, see my History, Results, and Services pages.)

2. Beware of those absolutely free, risk-free, money-back guarantees! If you read the fine print, there's always a gotcha. ("You didn't do exactly as I told you in binder #3, page 50 on getting 50% return on your direct mail piece.") Wouldn't we all love to think there's some easy, magical solution to all our problems - from weight loss to becoming the next Google? Sadly, there's not. It takes a lot of hard work to succeed.

And, there's really no such thing as free or no-risk. Even if you're not paying actual money - you'll still be investing time, effort and thought. Time, effort and thought that might better be spent elsewhere (like following up/keeping up with existing or potential customers.)

3. Get to know the person (people) behind the logo, web site, and client quotes. If the consultant is going to be truly useful - you're going to be spending a lot of time together. If you don't click, then it'll be frustrating for everyone...and a waste of your money. For example, if you don't like what I'm saying here - or elsewhere on my site - and the way I'm saying it...then I'm not a good choice for you.

You've got a great idea that will change your life, your company…maybe even the world.

Now what? How will you get funded? How do you translate lab perfection into real-world profit? How should you go to market? Etc. etc. etc.

I'll work with you to answer such questions and then implement the answers.

"Mary rolls up her sleeves to provide what's needed for success, from initial analysis to launch."
Mike Marett, EVP, Numerex
mary

What Everyone Knows About Good Ol’ Email (or not)

Oct 16, 2014

fireFrom Email Etiquette, Business 2 Community

Is email really the right communication method? Just because it’s the easiest doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Any major problem or issue is best resolved either face to face, or on the phone. If the person sits next to you or down the hall, get out of your chair and go talk to them. If you need to have the discussion captured in writing, send a follow-up note.

And haven’t we all sent flamers? In fact, back in my corporate days, there was even a flame icon you could put on your Lotus emails. I sent my share of those, much to my chagrin (now). (And typing speed is not always your friend. I can flame out in about ten seconds.)  I was working in a high-pressure, highly toxic company, but

Read More

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).

Free Downloads

New!

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.)

More Free Advice