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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


Idea Pool

Some Final Thoughts for Friday

Mary Schmidt

Nov 20, 2015

Heads Up: Today, I’m talking about a personal passion instead of biz, We all can make a difference in small ways. Those small ways add up to big change.  So, I’m resuming my Friday “Do Good. Do Well” posts. Each Friday I’m going to post ideas about how we can all listen to our better angels, counter the fear, stop the toxic silliness…make a difference!

The past week we’ve seen an appalling outpouring of (and pandering to) fear, loathing and downright hysteria. And,many of us despair about

In Do Good. Do Well.

Biz Planning “The What Ifs”

Mary Schmidt

Oct 09, 2015

I’m a big believer in having a plan B and even C or D.  However, this requires us to step outside our comfortable, well-worn, “proven” assumptions and the status quo. 

This is why otherwise smart people didn’t understand how anyone could possibly want something like a home PC, telephone, or fax machine.  We didn’t have them, so why would we want them?  (Yes, Virginia - fax machines were once leading, bleeding cutting edge.)

Also, we tend to view the future in terms of the present. Things

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks

Stop “Educating” Your Customer.

Mary Schmidt

Sep 16, 2015

Teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day OffIf - after months of effort - you find yourself saying one or more of the following:

“They just don’t understand how our product can…(cure cancer, make their teeth whiter, solve world hunger…)
“They just don’t understand our value proposition.”
“They just don’t understand our pricing model.”

Bill the Cat Stop! If customers “just don’t understand” - it’s not their problem. It’s also not their job to buy your product, make you profitable, or grok your models or value proposition - particularly if you’re

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Nobody Cares What “I” Want or Think.

Mary Schmidt

Aug 06, 2015

Full disclosure: I’m an Aries which means what “I” think or want is OF COURSE what everyone should think or want. Alas, I’m also a realist and know this simply isn’t true. 

“I” can be the single most dangerous word when deciding how to develop and launch new businesses or services.  Whenever a client starts with the “I like” or “I want” I do my best to steer them back to the reality that customers have their own “I” perspectives. Some of which may make no sense to you or me. However, the

In Brain Food, Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves


Mary Schmidt

Aug 04, 2015

I recently discovered the author Michael Sears and his Jason Stafford series of Wall Street-themed mysteries. Stafford has an autistic 6-year-old son…who somehow, in the second book of the series, ended up attending one of those way overblown Broadway musical spectacles. The little guy starts to melt down and screams “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST TELL THE STORY??!!!”  Now, can’t we all relate to THAT plea?

Look, I love words. I even love complex sentences and big words. But, less is often more. This

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves

Advertise with Google! It’s Simple! It’s Cheap! It’s Easy! (Not)

Mary Schmidt

Jul 29, 2015

This keeps coming up as I travel around the interwebs and attend meetings…so, from the archives.

...Well, it can be cheap, but it ain’t easy…

Recently, I once again heard “You only pay for what you get!” and “You can cancel any time!” and “You can adjust the ads as you go!”  Which is all well and good, but Google ads, like any other form of advertising, is both an art and a science.

And depending on what you pay and the ad text, you may never actually show up, at least not on the first

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Pet Peeves, Web Bytes

But what if your customers will BUY a faster horse?

Mary Schmidt

Jun 22, 2015

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”—Henry Ford

Of course, this quote has also been used by entrepreneurs as an excuse for ignoring market reality. (It’s a GREAT idea!” Everyone SHOULD love it! Who needs a business plan? Or a market analysis? We HAVE no competition!  LET’s GO!”)

And, I’m all for wild ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. Once upon a time, I’m sure the general consensus was that newfangled fire thing would never catch on…and what’s with

In Brain Food, Start-Up Sanity Checks, 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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