Kelli Schmith is a marketing strategist, writer, and communications advisor. Described as someone who “turns information into gold,” she has the gift of uncovering the marketable relevance of a person, company or idea.

Kelli is a social media practioner and has been a technology early adopter since the 80’s. Kelli loves to watch companies scramble to understand the why and how of customer-centric marketing.

Business owners who demand to know ‘what’s in it for me’ are asking the wrong question,” she says. “The customer-driven, social web is about what’s in for THEM (them being your market, your stakeholders — anybody BUT you). We’re at a point of no return regarding consumer and buyer leverage. They have a lot of pent up energy and are using every possible social technology to get it off their chests.”

For 18+ years, Kelli has served in sales and marketing leadership roles that have taken her around the globe. She logged a dozen years in technology publishing then enjoyed a 5-year stint in logistics and transportation. Since then, she’s been in the software business, including voice messaging technology and e-commerce solutions.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.”  — Will Rogers

An intensely intuitive person, Schmith uses the 80/20 rule when she engages with people.

“Put me with a group of people to solve a problem or find an opportunity, and I spend 80% of the time with my mouth shut so I can watch and listen.  You’d be amazed at how much brilliance emerges when you sit still and find the ideas that flow out of what people say and do. If you’re too busy talking, you’ll do a lousy job of asking the questions that trigger the best solution.”

Insatiably curious, Kelli hangs out with social marketers, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and adventurous people who generally don’t take themselves too seriously. Her to-do list includes squeezing in a Library Science degree, visiting her CFCA friends in Kenya, and mastering mountain climbing.

Kelli, who is a Hoosier by birth, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism and business.  She credits IU professor and author Philip (Ward) Burton for teaching her the importance of customer and market insight. “Phil wouldn’t tolerate two things:  typos and failing to understand your buyer’s real need.”

Her favorite spots on earth include Amsterdam, the Cape of Good Hope, South Kensington, and Virgin Gorda.

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