Meredith Eldred
Author Archives: Meredith Eldred

How To Organize Your Marketing Spending

Follow the steps below to organize your marketing spending.

Current Marketing Spending & Estimated Budget Steps 

1. Ask Accounting for 12 months of spending associated with marketing. 

2. Categorize the spending with the below categories in column A (change the categories if necessary) 3. Type in the current spending by category in column B.

4. If you want to create an estimated budget, fill out column D.

5. In the notes column, add any specifics on how you allocated the spending.

6. If you want to calculate the budget as percent of total brand revenue, add your brand's total revenue to B21.

Define Your Brand’s Personality

We created a process to help you define your brand's personality using Jennifer Aaker's "Dimensions of Brand Personality." Check out the overview and steps below:

What is a Brand Personality?

How your brand looks, sounds and feels, as if the brand was a person.

  • Makes the brand more human and unique
  • Best ones are instantly recognizable and relatable

How It Helps

  • Differentiates you versus competitors
  • Human characteristics build brand awareness
  • Human relatedness increases brand loyalty

How It’s Used

  • Inspiration and guidelines for anyone who creates messages, visuals, videos, experiences, etc. for the brand
  • Helps the brand stay consistent

Brand Personality Framework 

There are 5 Dimensions with Several Personality Attributes for Each Dimension

  • Sincerity
  • Excitement
  • Competence
  • Sophistication
  • Ruggedness

How to Define Your Brand's Personality

  • Choose one primary dimension - choose a secondary if needed
  • Select attributes from the dimensions ~4 characteristics and behaviors
  • Write a statement with the attributes
  • Once the personality is defined, brands choose "markers" that can become tied to the brand
    • Look - logo, colors, fonts, photography, etc. 
    • Sound- voice, music, etc. 
    • Scent - aroma
    • Touch & feel - shape, design
    • Actions - movements, behaviors

Watch the video here. 

Download the tool here. 

Featured Client: The Hill Hear Better Clinic

Helping More People Hear Better!

Since founding The Hill Hear Better Clinic (THHBC) over thirty years ago, Dr. Mike Hill Au.D. has built and maintained loyalty among a growing number of patients, including families that have trusted the audiology practice for multiple generations. Today the practice serves patients in three locations with five audiologists including Dr. Ryan Hill Au.D., Mike’s son, who leads the Montgomery, Ohio office. Private audiology practices have increased competitive pressure from hearing aid retailers who focus on selling hearing aids versus treating patients. THHBC believes in helping the “whole patient,” not just selling hearing aids. They provide holistic hearing evaluations, cognitive testing, and use cutting-edge technology to ensure that they identify the root cause of hearing loss. They then treat the whole person, helping patients find the best treatment using industry best practices. It’s hard to break through the confusion in the market but the Hill’s believe it’s worth it!


The Hill’s believe in marketing and have tried a variety of approaches. As doctors, though, the focus is on patient care, so they were concerned about the time it took to manage marketing activities on their own. Over the years, they tried many marketing companies, but found that the marketing offerings were cookie cutter and didn’t meet their needs. They needed a customized, hands-on approach with a stronger focus on individualized implementation. They were looking for someone to help develop and maintain a strong, consistent brand across all locations, for metrics to show that marketing was helping make progress towards business goals and for the doctors, especially Dr. Mike Hill, to have more time to focus on patients and the business side.


Thanks to a networking connection, Dr. Mike Hill met Amy Connor, CEO & Owner of CMO-OnLoan. Connor proposed a monthly retainer where she and her team would act as the practice’s marketing “quarterback.” They would lead an action plan for implementing the strategic marketing playbook, monitor implementation and track results, meet with leadership to discuss results and indicated actions, collaborate with agencies to implement and recommend adjustments to plan, resources, budget, etc. based on results.   

Dr. Hill believed that CMO-OnLoan’s customized approach was what they needed so hired them in the spring of 2020. Even though the practice was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hill and CMO-OnLoan developed a “strategic marketing playbook” for the practice to come out of the pandemic stronger. The playbook prioritized increasing physician referrals, increasing patient referrals, and enhancing messaging across all marketing channels. 

THHBC was already working with a digital agency, Punch Bug Marketing (Punch Bug), that was leading the practice’s digital plans and content development. Connor met with Mark Walker, Owner of Punch Bug, and together they developed a collaborative approach of meeting weekly with both Dr. Mike Hill and Dr. Ryan Hill to align and make progress towards the marketing goals. 

Through their collective efforts, the team created a new physician outreach plan with physician-focused materials, website landing page, interview scripts, and materials. They tested several tactics, tracked results and reapplied learning to enhance future programs. They increased communication with patients and have a path to update the offices. CMO-OnLoan collaborated with the staff to get on the same page and prioritize consistency in their brand and language. 


The Hills are confident that they made the right choice. Metrics show that marketing is helping make progress towards business goals. The doctors have more time to focus on patients and THHBC promise is clearly communicated across marketing channels. The Hill’s stated, “CMO-OnLoan’s work has conveyed the practice’s promise to the patients while successfully reflecting their attitudes and beliefs.” Hill continued, “Amy listens, leads discussions, and helps us prioritize the practice’s goals, vision, and mission.”

In 2021, Dr. Ryan Hill bought the practice from his father, Mike, and is looking forward to building on the foundation of holistic patient care that the practice is known for.

Connor stated, “We are proud to help The Hill Hear Better Clinic help more patients. Their approach is about the whole person, which is unique.” 

Click here to learn more about The Hill Hear Better Clinic

Download the PDF 

Importance of an Event Plan

Events can be a useful way for you to drive leads and build relationships. However, if you’re just “showing up” without an action plan, you may miss out on great opportunities. Use this action plan to generate leads and build relationships at your next event.

Click here to download.

Posting & Sharing on LinkedIn

Creating and sharing a post on LinkedIn doesn't have to be a stressful task. It's a powerful form of social media that should be utilized to connect with people professionally, and spread information and updates about your business. That being said, here are some basic instructions on posting and sharing on LinkedIn. 

How to Post

  1. At the top of your feed, click Start a post.
  2. Type your post in "What do you want to talk about?" 
  3. Use the icons at the bottom left to attach a photo, video, article, or document.
  4. Click the three dots for additional options. 
  5. Add a hashtag by clicking the blue Add hashtag.
  6. Hit the "post" button at the bottom right.

How to Share

  1. Go to the LinkedIn page.
  2. Scroll to the post.
  3. Click "share".
  4. Add a comment in the text box (@company to connect to your company).
  5. Click "post".

For more details on posting, sharing, and tagging, download our "How to Post & Share on LinkedIn" guide. 

Click here to download. 

What is “Naming Strategy”?

Naming strategy can be defined as using names in from a company's portfolio to simply convey what is offered, including brands, products, and services.  It's important to create this structure so that the brand is distinctive, easy to say and spell, appropriate, and most importantly, likable. 

Tesla, as shown above, is an example of a strong naming strategy. It's very clear the names of the brands, products, and services that the company offers and what falls under the name Tesla. 

To develop a naming strategy for your brand, it can be done in 6 specific steps:

  1. Develop criteria for what you want.
  2. Document and categorize your current names.
  3. Benchmark others for inspiration.
  4. Identify any gaps.
  5. Develop options.
  6. Get feedback, refine & finalize.

A good naming strategy is also simple, but can be evolved to meet needs, includes names that make sense in relation to each other, includes names within a consistent type of name, and makes it easy to create names for new offerings. To learn more about naming strategy, watch our in depth video where we walk you through the details and explain why it's important for your brand.

Click here to watch our step-by-step video.

What is “Brand Architecture”?

Ever wondered how organizations decide on their logos, especially in relationship to the other brands in the organization? They are probably following a brand architecture. It's just a way that the brands are organized so people know what is being offered. But its simplicity is powerful. Having a brand architecture gives you guidelines that will help you across all of your communications. When followed well, it makes building brands much easier and more efficient.

Here are a few things to consider about brand architecture. 

  1. Brand architecture is a part of CMO-OnLoan's brand strategy building block. This means that it's something you decide on and use as a filter for decisions for several years.
  2. There are three types of brand architecture:  
    1. Branded House
    2. Hybrid
    3. House of Brands
  3. Once you define which type you want to use, then review all of your materials and communications to make sure that they're consistent.

To learn more, we've created a video that will go into more detail. 

Click here to watch our video on Brand Architecture. 

How to Create a Speaking Plan

As a business, we hear all of the time that clients want to build their reputation through speaking opportunities, but they don't know where to start.

When creating a speaking plan for your company, the main goals should be increasing speaking engagements both quarterly and annually. Our team has created a strategy in order for you to best reach these goals and grow your company's engagement, organically. 

The strategic approach we recommend is such:

  1. Create a prioritized target list
  2. Create a presentation portfolio
  3. Create a “pitch deck” for speaking
  4. Track results

For more information on this approach, here is a simple tool to guide you through the creation and implementation of a speaking plan. 

Click here to download our step-by-step powerpoint.

How Much Do You Really Know About Your Ideal Target?

You probably already know who your "favorite" or "ideal" customers are and why. But did you know that writing down details about them and what makes them "ideal" helps you and your entire team find more of them? Within the CMO-OnLoan Strategic Marketing Playbook, finding the Ideal Target falls under the Brand Strategy building block. Brand Strategy is when you define what you want to stand for in the minds of your customers.

The key questions to be asking yourself about your company in order to discover more about your Ideal Target are:

1. Why are they in your "sweet spot"?

2. What market or markets are they in?

3. What do they care about?

4. What is their buying process?

Finding your Ideal Target means identifying and describing the people/companies who have similar needs and are likely to be interested in buying from you. Once you get specific about your ideal target, you can create a plan to better serve them. Watch our video to learn how!

Click here for our step-by-step video.

Recruiting on Social Media

In today's day and age, it's more important than ever to be on top of recruiting. This includes knowing all the new and unique ways to go about it, namely, social media. That's why we've compiled information and created a straight-forward, step-by-step guide to recruiting via social media so that you and your company can take recruiting to the next level.

When creating job listings on social media, it's important to remember a few things: 

1. You'll want the post to be short! 

2. Use a balance of formal and informal language to appeal to the audience. 

3. Provide job details such as requirement and pay. 

4. You'll want to post it early in the week. 

5. Be sure to use gender-neutral words. 

6. Set measurable performance goals. 

7. Make sure the company is not the focus of the post. 

Where to post, you may ask? LinkedIn is a great and reliable platform to use, but consider utilizing Facebook as well. LinkedIn reaches a more narrow audience, about 27% of adults. While Facebook has a more broad audience, about 69% of adults. You can post, manage, and respond to job listings on each of these platforms. 

If you want to learn more on how to post, manage, respond, and overall, recruit via social media platforms, refer to our resource linked below.  

Click here to download our step-by-step guide.