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Matt Schmitt

President, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Reflect

Matt Schmitt founded Reflect in 2001 with the purpose of providing businesses with solutions to power in-store digital media networks. Reflect’s software and services enable large, geographically dispersed organizations to share and disperse rich media content over distributed corporate networks. In his role as president, Schmitt leads the company’s efforts in its mission to empower consumer-facing companies, positively impacting sales and brand equity through the strategic use of in-store digital media solutions.

Prior to founding Reflect, Schmitt created and managed the emerging technologies group for Yahoo! Inc., where he worked with business units to develop and deploy rich media solutions to Yahoo! properties. Schmitt also managed several groups at, the pioneering webcasting company which had a successful IPO and was subsequently acquired by Yahoo! Inc. in 1999.

Schmitt is also an active member and committee chair of the Digital Screenmedia Association.

  • Posted on: 12/30/2016

    Burger King launches its own augmented reality game

    When Starbucks partnered with Niantic to leverage the buzz associated with Pokémon Go, there was little downside risk or investment for the retailer. The game has lost a significant amount of momentum as the initial wave of interest tailed off, but Starbucks is still benefiting from the dedicated user base. The effort by a retailer to invest in developing their own consumer game, promoting it and maintaining it is high risk. Partnering with existing entertainment and game providers allows the brands to be agile and have more active touchpoints with the consumer.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2016

    What does Alexa’s holiday win mean?

    Home automation has long been a tantalizing idea, with very low adoption and traction because of the lack of standards and the high costs of outfitting the home with the necessary technology components. We're now seeing a tipping point approaching as big consumer players (Amazon, Apple, Google) race to stake a claim and get consumers locked into their respective platforms. The Echo products, powered by the Alexa virtual assistant, create a low-hurdle starting point for consumers. The assistant's ability to easily facilitate commerce transactions is compelling, but it's only part of the story. The hooks in the system to assist with music, movies, and other daily activities will continue to be a big driver of adoption. Component manufacturers (Sonos, Philips, etc) will benefit from the adoption of the virtual assistants, creating a jumping off point for consumers to incrementally add more home automation elements and expand their usage. I am interested to see if tech services companies like Geek Squad will make it easier for consumers by providing programs for in-home installation, training, and support for the myriad devices and configurations. Seems like a good opportunity to help the "non-hobbyists" to more easily jump in and navigate this exciting space.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2016

    Staples brings Watson to digital office assistants

    I applaud Staples for demonstrating innovation in an area ripe for learning. For customers who try the voice-based assistant, I hope the experience is seamless. There will likely still be a lot of going online through the web or mobile app to modify or change order details, and I hope it doesn't prove to be somewhat frustrating if the process takes longer or adds steps rather than speeding things up. I'd love to see some voice-based, AI-driven assistance applications tailored to retail employees. There have to be myriad ways to help associates at the store level.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2016

    How can retailers satisfy entitled consumers?

    I agree. The expectations and "demands" are being fostered by new players and new business models and are not really driven by the customers asking or demanding things. They are just reacting and expecting based on new offerings and approaches. Retailers need to adapt to the competition and to alternative and innovative approaches, and the customers will respond.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    Can pop-ups wake up mall traffic?

    It's all about enabling experiences. Malls need to facilitate uniqueness, whether that's pop-up stores, concerts or other limited-time events. And with it becoming tougher to compete for attention, anything that's perceived as an "exclusive" is a plus.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

    Why are retailers struggling to get social media right?

    Much of the focus on retailers' social media tactics has been revolving around the areas of commerce and customer service. Retailers are trying to figure out how best to use social media as a sales channel while also working to leverage it as a customer service channel where a more fluid, transparent conversation can be fostered. While these areas are worthy of consideration and analysis, there is still a big strategic tentpole in social media planning to not lose sight of - branding. One of the biggest benefits of social media is users telling their stories. Retail marketers can benefit by amplifying and nurturing the content generated by social media users. This may seem too soft for tracking quick win metrics and results. But the brand benefits by sharing and showcasing the content generated in the social sphere. I hope to see more retailers showcasing social content across their marketing channels.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

    Will Lands’ End hit pay dirt on Amazon?

    Lands' End is likely to realize some benefit in leveraging Amazon. The brand could benefit from two areas of Amazon's strength -- audience and efficient operations/logistics. Now, if Lands' End can focus strategically, they may be able to get some traction by enhancing the brand perception and finding a lifestyle story to connect with consumers. If they focus on product and brand, then leveraging key partner channels for reach and efficiencies may be a viable path.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2016

    Is it OK for brands to have emotions?

    Brands have always leveraged emotion. Increasingly, we're seeing a movement beyond "feel-good" messaging to "do good" positioning, with brands choosing to convey where they stand on issues. Coca-Cola may choose to mostly cover the well-worn path of conveying the athletic spirit in their "feel-good" campaign during the Olympics, while Nike is running a spot that tells the story of a transgender athlete's journey to winning a place on an elite running team. With messaging channels and mediums being so fragmented, it's likely that we'll see some brands tell their traditional "feeling" messages to older audiences, while they simultaneously announce their positions on issues or talk about the causes they support to Millennial audiences through targeted campaigns. Young consumers may indeed demand more from the brands they favor with their business. Perhaps they will "ask not what a brand can do for them, but what it can do for the world."
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