Category Archives for "Tools"

Measuring Awareness

What is Awareness? “Awareness” is a measure of how well known your brand is in the market. It usually takes 6-7 times for a person to see or hear about the brand before the person registers it into long-term memory. This is why it’s necessary to communicate continually over time to build awareness. What Tactics Are Used to Build Awareness? Awareness should always be measured within your Target Customer group – not everybody in the market. Typically, awareness tactics are broad reaching – tactics include everything from traditional media like TV, magazines, newspaper, billboards, to direct mail sent to a broad audience, or “top of funnel” digital tactics like display ads. Other awareness tactics include sponsorships, conferences, trade shows and other events. How Do You Track Awareness? Surveys are a popular way to measure marketing awareness. You ask respondents if they are aware of your brand or product and if they have seen or heard any marketing messages. For smaller markets or companies, it can be difficult and expensive to acquire names and contact information to conduct a survey. In those cases, “impressions” is often a good proxy for awareness. “Impressions” are a measure of the total number of times your brand is seen by a target customer. Here is how we measure “Awareness” with our clients using impressions:
  • Create a list of all of your marketing tactics in the top row of an Excel sheet
  • In the first column, designate the time period (usually weeks or months)
  • Add several rows of time periods going out into the future
  • For each tactic in each time period, add the number of people (“impressions”) you know or believe saw your brand.
  • Here are some examples of tactics and how to count impressions
    • Digital Media: count the impressions
    • Trade shows/events: Count the number of people who visited your booth or attended a presentation.
    • Sponsor an event: Count the number of people who attend the event
    • Traditional media like TV, print or out-of-home, the vendor should provide impressions by time period (and whatever breakout you are buying)
Building brand awareness is a long-term effort and should be tracked for several periods.

Industry Research Step-By-Step

Industry research is a great tool to build lists and target the right people. Use this resource to help guide your research on an industry, and start a foundation for your marketing and sales.


Example: “Seafood Wholesalers”

  1. US gov NAICS database –
  2. Search the NAICS for “seafood” –
  3. Review the list and choose a few that you think match what you are looking for:
    1. Fish (except canned, packaged frozen) merchant wholesalers 424460
    2. Fresh fish merchant wholesalers 424460
    3. Fresh seafood merchant wholesalers 424460
  4. Review the description to confirm that these are the types of organizations you want.
  5. Go to the IBIS World (industry research firm) site:
  6. Search for “424460” to see if they have a report –
  7.  Go to Reference Solutions (this is a free database to look up companies that you can get to via a Cincinnati library card) –
  8.  On the left-hand side, choose Keyword/SIC/NAICS, choose Search all NAICS, and type in the NAICS code (424460) in the box
  9. Click on each of the results (they move to the “selected” section)
  10. Click “view results” (green button on the top right)
  11.  Click on “download” (in menu bar)
  12. Choose Excel, detailed results and “download records” (see attached file – it’s just a sample)
  13. Get feedback from sales and others internally to confirm that the NAICS and the list are correct
  14. Consider buying an industry report from a company like IBIS (mentioned in step 5

Download the example HERE

Tagging Connections On LinkedIn

The power of the @ sign. It’s simple and easy and will deliver exponential results! When you post on LinkedIn, use the @ sign that opens the LI database. Continue typing the name of the person, company or organization until the name is bold. Choose the name and it will “tag” it, which will alert the account and its followers.

Why Tag?

  • When you tag a name in a post on LinkedIn, it associates your post to the person, organization, or group page you tagged. 
  • Once this happens, the person and their connections are notified. 
  • Net, one post now has the potential to reach exponentially more people.
  • People like to support other people, so there is a good chance that connections will share, comment or like the post.
  • The end result: Your post increases visibility and engagement and can even lead to increase visitors to your page!

How to Tag:

  1. On your LinkedIn homepage, click Start a Post or Comment at the bottom of someone else’s post                                                                 
  2. Type “@” and then begin typing a name. You’ll see a list of potential people you can mention.
  3. Click the name of the person or people you want to mention from the list and continue typing your message.
  4. Click Post in the bottom left corner.                                                                                                                       

How to Analyze Competitors on LinkedIn

How to Compare Your Company Page to Competitors on LinkedIn

  1. Navigate to your company’s admin page

      2. Click on the “Analytics” tab in the navigation bar

     3. Select “Competitors” from the dropdown menu

     4. Review the companies selected for accuracy, or add known competitors by searching the company name in the search bar.  Your account can have up to 9 competitors.

     5. Select “Continue” and view the analytics landing page

     6. Review the dashboard to see how your company page ranks against competitors in # of followers and engagement. 

     7. Change the Time Range in the top left corner to see data from different time periods.

     8. Conduct the analysis every few months to stay in tune to your brand’s LinkedIn presence versus competition.

5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Marketing

  Wondering what to do to enhance your company’s marketing? Here are 5 tips to help you find success.


  • Create a content calendar with useful, relevant topics that you can share
  • Add dates to the calendar and hold yourself accountable for sending emails/posting on the dates you set
  • If possible, add more detailed content on a blog on your website and link the email and the LinkedIn post to the site.


  • Post on the company page once a week something useful and relevant (Tuesday or Wednesday morning is best)
  • Customer-facing employees “repost’

How to Repost on LinkedIn

    1. Scroll to the bottom of the post, choose “repost”
    2. Choose “share with your thoughts”
    3. Add a sentence or two in the box
    4. At the end of your sentence, type @Company Name and click on the company name to tag it
    5. Click “post” 


  • Create a database (We recommend only including people you know)
  • Create an account with free software like Mailchimp
  • Use the same content as LinkedIn – send once a week if you can (you might need to start once a month because emails take a little bit of extra work). 


  • Review your website homepage. Does it immediately answer this question for your Ideal Target: Do you provide what I need for people like me?  If not, update the homepage to answer the question.


  • Each post -How many impressions and what % engagement did you get?
  • Each email – How many people opened it? How many people clicked?

Action Plan Template

Do you want to be more effective in your marketing implementation? One way we help clients be more effective is by creating an action plan that includes all of the marketing activities and deliverable due dates. Our action plan spreadsheet enables them to track activities, person responsible, due dates, next steps and any issues to ensure that everyone is clear on what needs to be done and when. We hope it helps you too!

Download the Action Plan Spreadsheet Here!

KPI Tracker & Results Dashboard Overview


These deliverables are how you track KPI’s (key performance indicators) and analyze results to enhance effectiveness

KPI Tracker: Excel worksheet with KPI’s for all relevant marketing channels 

Results Dashboard: Summary of the most important marketing KPI’s by funnel stage.

  • Shows how the tactics performed in the current time period, as compared to a previous time period and trends over time
  • The Insights and Indicated Actions provide an explanation of the results and what to do to enhance results

KPI Tracker

  • Excel worksheet with KPI’s for all relevant marketing tactics 
  • Data from many sources pulled in a consistent way
    • Time periods (weekly)
    • Type of data
    • How the data is pulled 
  • Shows how all marketing tactics work together during the time periods and over time

Results Dashboard

Summary of the most important marketing KPI’s by funnel stage. 

  • Shows how the tactics performed in the current time period, as compared to a previous time period and trends over time.


  • Table broken out by Funnel Stage
    • KPI’s, Current Period Result, Previous Period Result, Current vs. Previous, Trend chart
  • Insights and Indicated Actions - An explanation of the results and what to do to enhance results in the future
    • Insights – What’s working? Why? What’s not working? Why not?
    • Indicated Actions – What should you stop, start or continue to enhance results?

Results Dashboard - Example

Insights & Indicated Actions

An explanation of the results and what to do to enhance results

  • Insights – What’s working? Why? What’s not working? Why not?
  • Indicated Actions – What should you stop, start or continue to enhance results?

Insights & Indicated Actions - Example

CMO-OnLoan has a full funnel plan that is delivering results. Since we are 100% referral based, the most effort should continue to be building relationships and leveraging them with our clients. Our second biggest effort is increasing interest by Amy building stronger relationships with her COI network.

Budget Priorities

What are Budget Priorities?

  • An estimate of what investment is needed to deliver your brand’s Marketing Plan - Priorities, Tactics & KPIs


  • Start with your Priorities, Tactics & KPIs
  • Estimate the Cost of Activities for each Tactic
  • Calculate Total Estimated Budget & Priorities
  • Determine Marketing Budget as % of Revenue
  • Review & Refine

Start With Your Priorities, Tactics & KPIs

Estimate the Cost of Activities

  • Add all Tactics to the “Budget by Tactic” sheet
  • Add estimated costs for the activities needed to execute each Tactic
  • Add notes to explain breakout/costs if needed

Calculate Total Budget & Priorities

  • The “Budget Overview” sheet sums all of the costs = Estimated Budget
  • It also calculates Category % of Total Budget = Priorities

Determine Budget % of Revenue $

  • Add Total Revenue $ for the same period as the Estimated Budget
    • New Brand = 12% to 20%
    • Established Brand = 6% to 12%

Past Customer Re-engagement Plan

You are missing out on growth opportunities (and "leaving money on the table") if you don't stay in touch with past customers! So how do you do it? Follow these simple steps to re-engage with past customers.

Re-engagement Plan Steps:

  1. Pull a list of past customers from the past 12-24 months.
  2. Outline the process and timeline of when you will call, email, send direct mail, etc. to that list.
  3. Implement your plan:
    1. Create the 1st email to remind the list of your capabilities and how you can help their business. 
    2. Create a call script for how to follow up with them
    3. Develop any creative needed for direct mail - case studies, personal note, gift, etc. 
  4. Track results with email open rate, responses, clicks, direct mail delivered, etc. 

Calendar Overview

What is it?

  • A visual way to show your initiatives, events and communications in relationship to your Ideal Target’s mindset and relevant seasonality. 

Start with the Journey Map Calendar View

  • It shows your Ideal Target’s mindset during relevant seasonality and includes major activities, events, holidays, etc.
  • If your Ideal Target isn’t impacted by the calendar, use a simple excel file with columns by week or month

Add to the Journey Map Calendar View to create the Calendar Overview

  • Major activities, events, and initiatives
  • Use color blocks to show when the activity is happening in the market

Journey Map Calendar View

  • Shows mindset and seasonality if it’s relevant for your Ideal Target

Calendar Overview

Add to the Journey Map Calendar View to create the Calendar Overview

  • Add major activities, events, and initiatives

  • Use color blocks to show when the activity is happening in the market

Types of Information to Include:

  • Product Launches, Initiatives and Campaigns

  • Marketing Activities (Advertising, Digital & Social, Events, etc.)

  • Customer Activities (Key meetings, customer appreciation, etc.)

  • If messaging changes, use different colors for the color blocks

Calendar Overview - Example

Industry Ranking Framework

Many clients ask us for help identifying the "next best" market/vertical/industry growth opportunity. They often have great insights, but they want a bit more objectivity and full team alignment. We created a framework to help you determine which "industries" (markets/verticals) to prioritize for growth. Here's the process.

  1. Create a list of all your current industries 
  2. Add current sales by industry and estimated total industry sales 
  3. Define and determine the weight of each criteria 
  4. If needed, research each industry 
  5. Rank industries based on criteria
  6. Prioritize industries based on the weighted ranking 

Use our framework to identify your "next best" opportunity. 

Event Strategy

The main objective of an event strategy is to ensure you are building awareness and connecting with the right people at any given event. Review our tool below to make the most of your next event.

Event Plan Outline

  • Before: If you receive a list from the association, reach out 5-7 days before the start of the event and post on social media and employees share the post.
  • During: Post on social media and have attending employees share the post.
  • After: Within 1 day of being home, reach out to contacts that you met and did not meet and schedule debrief meeting within 5 days of the event. Post on social media and employees share the post. 

Before the Event

  • Objective - set meetings with priority contacts (current clients/new clients)
  • Email & Social Plan:
    • Email: send 1 email 5-7 days before event
    • Social Post: 1 post 5-7 days before the event and employees share

During the Event

  • Objective - remind your audience that you are attending the event and want to talk
  • Social Plan: 1 social post during the event and employees share
  • EX- "The ITS team is set up and ready for the [name of show]. Stop by our booth [include #] and say hi!

After the Event

  • Objective - connect with and schedule a meeting or call with those you met and didn't meet
  • Email & Social Plan:
    • Email : 1 email the day after the event to those you met. 
    • Social Post: 1 post a week after the event and employees share 

Marketing Plan Overview & Priorities, Tactics & KPIs


  • The Marketing Plan Overview and Priorities, Tactics & KPIs are foundations of the Marketing Plan Building Block
  • They are critical for delivering business results and marketing return on investment (ROI) or payout
  • Marketing Plan Overview - description and visual that provides the background and overall marketing focus by funnel stage. 
  • Priorities, Tactics & KPIs - specifics on what marketing will do by funnel stage and how you will measure results

Marketing Plan Overview

  • Description and visual that provides the background and overall marketing focus by funnel stage
  • Business inputs and insights that are guiding the marketing plan
    • 3-5 inputs and insights from Discovery, Brand Strategy and Communication Strategy Building Blocks
  • Marketing Effort by Funnel Stage
    • Description - bullets with which funnel stages we will focus marketing efforts and why
    • Visual - a chart to show which funnel stages we will focus on 
    • Note - all funnel stages need some focus

Marketing Plan Overview - Example

  • Business inputs and insights that are guiding the marketing plan
    • Business goal is steady growth, managing current team capacity
    • Largest source of business is from relationships (current clients or COI referrals)
    • Most clients aren't active on social channels, attend some smaller events
  • Marketing Focus by Funnel Stage
    • Priority 1. Build Relationships. Stay proactively engaged with current and past clients
    • Priority 2. Increase Interest. Build our reputation and stay top-of-mind with our COI's 
    • Priority 3. Gain Commitment. Implement our business development process. 
    • Priority 4. Build Awareness. Simple, low investment channels

Priorities, Tactics & KPIs

  • Specifics on what marketing will do by funnel stage and how you will measure results
  • Components:
    • Priorities - the funnel stage priority (1, 2, 3, 4) and brief description of what you are focusing on from the Marketing Plan Overview
    • Tactics - 3-5 activities that support the priority - refer to the Channel Strategy
    • KPI's - metrics that measure effectiveness of the tactics - refer to the Channel Strategy 

Priorities, Tactics & KPIs Template

Priorities, Tactics & KPIs - Example

Content Calendar Template

Develop and manage your digital content by creating a content calendar. This is a great and simple way to brainstorm, plan and schedule your communications so you aren't rushing to create and post at the last minute. It also helps ensure you're communicating your key messages over time. We created a template to help you get started. 

Download the Content Calendar Template!

The first tab is the main content calendar. This is where you will manage all of your content by:

  • Date to post
  • Type of content
  • Email subject line 
  • Email content
  • LinkedIn/Facebook/Google Post
  • Blog Content
  • "Learn More" Link
  • Images
  • Additional links

The second tab is the Topic List which is essentially your idea bank. This allows you to brainstorm content ideas and keep them all in one place. When you are ready to develop and post the content, you can move it to the content calendar tab and cross it off the topic list. 

Channel Strategy Overview

What is a Channel Strategy?

  • It is where and how you communicate throughout your Ideal Target’s journey

Step One - Create the Journey Map First

  • Uses the same funnel steps
  • Uses the Audience Mindset and How We Interact at This Stage

Channel Strategy Components

  • Audience mindset
  • How we interact at this stage
  • Marketing Channels
  • KPI's (Key Performance Indicators)

Journey Map Refresher

A visual way to show your Ideal Target's interactions with your brand throughout the journey. 

Channel Strategy

Where and how you communicate your Ideal Target's journey. 

Channel Strategy - Journey Map Input

Channel Strategy Reference Guide

Determining Marketing Channels & KPI's

  1. Choose one funnel stage
  2. Review the "Audience Mindset"
  3. Review "How We Interact at this Stage"
  4. Review the "Channel Strategy" Reference Guide
  5. Jot down how you communicated and interacted successfully in the past
  6. Choose 3-4 marketing channels for the stage
  7. For each marketing channel, identify 1-2 KPI's that will help you understand if your Ideal Target is "moving down the funnel"
  8. Repeat for the rest of the funnel stages
  9. If you have more than one "Audience," follow the same process

Channel Strategy - Example

Featured Client: Industrial Training Services

Building a Foundation for Sustainable Growth

Industrial Training Services (ITS) is a family and woman-owned business that helps their clients in the natural gas industry maintain safe and compliant programs through operator qualification (OQ) training, certification, and monitoring. For decades, ITS’s industry-proven solutions, effective tools and dedicated team have made them the choice for the largest natural gas companies with the most complex programs across the United States.


Until 2021, ITS didn’t have a focused marketing approach. Their marketing team tactically supported the sales, product, and internal teams, but they didn’t have a marketing leader and didn’t consider their approach “strategic.” In addition, ITS wasn’t sure what the best structure would be for their marketing organization. As part of their strategic planning process, Stephanie Balmer, CEO of ITS, determined it was time to build a solid marketing foundation. Stephanie said, “We knew the business could only grow so far without a strong and confident marketing department. We needed a marketing leader to come in and help us develop the marketing department so that we could continue to grow the business.”


Stephanie was introduced to Amy Connor, CEO & Owner of CMO-OnLoan, through a consultant who was helping ITS with its strategic plan. After several discovery meetings and conversations to determine the right approach, ITS hired CMO-OnLoan. Amy stated, “When I met with Stephanie, I knew CMO-OnLoan could make an immediate impact on their business. They had a best-in-class product, a strong team and a collaborative culture. They just needed guidance on how to build a foundation and align with the rest of the organization.”

The scope for CMO-OnLoan had three primary focus areas that spanned strategic planning, implementation of key initiatives for short term impact, and support to embed marketing expertise and confidence in the ITS team.

Amy and the CMO-OnLoan team were focused on defining a growth roadmap that would both deliver results and allow for the flexibility needed in an environment fast-paced change.

One of the first projects was updating the ITS brand architecture. The existing naming approach made it harder to build the core ITS brand, so ITS and CMO-OnLoan worked together on a revised structure that worked to build equity for ITS while also making it easy for customers to understand the differences between the various products and services. A second key project was defining the ITS promise and secret sauce that helped build a solid strategic foundation for all marketing communications.

With these and other brand strategy foundations in place, the team then shifted focus to implementation. CMO-OnLoan collaborated with sales consultant, Pam Beigh and her firm, SalesCORE to create an integrated KPI tracker and dashboard provided clarity on what was driving business results. CMO-OnLoan helped jumpstart several urgent initiatives by developing plans for upcoming product launches, building a plan for the website, and refreshing the sales booth. Additional implementation work including building a client engagement plan, an event strategy plan, a sales support plan and a content development process and calendar.

Throughout implementation, CMO-OnLoan met weekly with the marketing team to discuss projects and prioritize activities, share expertise, and provide coaching and support. In less than a year, the building blocks were in place, and the marketing team was confidently leading and managing the work their own.


Stephanie and the ITS team were pleased with the results of the engagement. The specific outcomes include:

  • Marketing results dashboard shows that marketing is impacting business and growth goals
  • Marketing believes that they can proactively help grow the business
  • Strong, consistent brand across all mediums
  • Collaborate approach with sales and marketing
  • Clear approval process for marketing activities and expenses

After the engagement was finished, Balmer stated, “Before CMO-OnLoan we weren’t clear on marketing’s role in growing the business.  Now we have the strategy and processes in place to confidently implement. We have a foundation for growth.”

Download the PDF


Industrial Training Services (ITS) leads operator qualification in the natural gas industry by helping clients maintain safe and compliant programs.

Having no marketing leader, Stephanie Balmer, ITS CEO, wanted an external resource to help build a marketing foundation.

ITS hired CMO-OnLoan to:

  • Build and begin implementing a customized strategic marketing playbook that would be a foundation for sustainable growth
  • Guide short-term priorities like developing initiative launch plans for upcoming product launches
  • Coach and support the Marketing Officer

When asked about the engagement, Stephanie Balmer, ITS CEO stated, “Now we have the strategy and processes in place to confidently implement. We have a foundation for growth.”


Build and Begin Implementing the Strategic Marketing Playbook

  • Brand Strategy
  • Communication Strategy
  • Marketing Plan
  • Resource Plan

Coaching and Support for the Marketing Team

Implementation Deliverables

  • Brand Rollout-Plan
  • Logo Refresh Brief
  • Initiative Launch Plan
  • Event Strategy and Plan
  • Sales Support Plan
  • Sales Booth Refresh Plan
  • Website Plan
  • Research Plan with Product
  • Client Engagement Plan
  • Renewal Segmentation
  • Content Development Process & Calendar
  • LinkedIn Plan & Training

Journey Map & Journey Map Calendar View Overview

What Is a Journey Map?

  • It is a visual way to show your Ideal Target's interactions with your brand throughout the journey. 
  • It identifies what your Ideal Target is thinking and what the person wants at each step.
  • It identifies what the brand wants and how we should interact with the Ideal Target. 
  • The stages are the same as the funnel from the Marketing Plan and Channel Strategy, just described from both the Ideal Target's point of view as well as the brand.
  • Complete a map for each Ideal Target or subgroups within your Ideal Target who have different journeys. 

Example Journey Map

What is a Journey Map Calendar View?

  • Add Seasonality with a Journey Map - Calendar view if it's relevant for your Ideal Target.

Example Journey Map Calendar View 

Key Messages Overview

What is it?

  • A visual way to organize your most important messages
  • It helps you prioritize what you want your audience to hear
  • It ensures consistency in how everyone speaks and writes about your brand
  • Only use a few - a primary and for initiatives, major news or a crisis

What does it include?

  • Key messages include bite-sized information
    • 1 Main Message
    • 3 Supporting Messages
    • 3-5 Proof Points per Supporting Message

Main Message

  • The main idea you want your audience to hear, understand, and remember
    • What's the ONE thing you want people to hear and remember?
    • It's like a thesis statement in an essay
    • If asked a question, what would you want a speaker to get across?
    • We often use the "Promise" from the Brand Strategy

Supporting Messages

  • Points that make the main message more clear
    • It's like the supporting messages for a thesis in an essay
    • Should summarize several detailed Proof Points
    • Limited to 3
    • We often use the "Secret Sauce" from the Brand Strategy

Proof Points

  • Specific reasons to believe each Supporting Message
    • What are the 3-5 reasons for a person to believe each Supporting Message?
    • Provide facts/proof with why the Supporting Message is true (often numbers-based)
    • Proof Points are a way to get to the Supporting Messages and ultimately the Main Message
    • When asked a question, sometimes a speaker starts with a Proof Point

Good Key Messages:

  • Aligned with overall business strategy
  • Unique, accurate and verifiable
  • Concise (you only have one page for a reason)
  • Easy to understand and easy to restate (no corporate jargon)
  • Relevant to specific audiences

Click here to watch the video!

How To Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Do you want to update your LinkedIn profile but don't know where to start or how to do it?. Updating your profile can be a quick and simple process. 

Our step by step tool will show you how to:

  1. Optimize Your Profile
  2. Add Profile Picture & Banner
  3. Create a Personalized URL
  4. Edit Header Information
  5. Add Header Section
  6. Edit Experience

Download The Tool Here To See How!

Hero’s Story Outline Overview

What is it?

  • It's the story of how you guide your ideal target through challenges to success
  • It focuses on the ideal target being the hero and you being the guide
  • You can use this outline in sales emails, your website, social media, etc. 

Hero's Story Outline

  • Your Ideal Target:
  • Has a Problem:
  • Meets a Guide (Promise): 
  • Has a Plan (Secret Sauce):
  • And Clear Steps:
  • End in Success:
  • Avoids Failure:
  • Transforms (from-to):

Hero's Story Outline Example

  • Ideal Client: CEO/Owner of a mid-market privately-held business
  • Has a Problem: Doesn't have a marketing leader and doesn't want one full-time, but needs the marketing expertise
  • Meets a Guide: CMO-OnLoan
  • Has a Plan: Build confidence that your organization's marketing will fuel growth
  • And Clear Steps: We build a customized strategic marketing playbook, begin implementing it and transition out once your team is ready
  • Avoids Failure: Waste time and money on marketing decisions; confidence in your marketing team, leading indicators show that marketing is growing your business
  • Transforms (from-to): From Unsure, Unfocused, Frustrated to Confident, Informed, Empowered

Hero's Story Example

CEOs of mid-market companies need the firepower of a senior marketing leader, but they aren’t ready for that level of expertise on a full-time basis. In the absence of a marketing leader, they get bombarded with sales calls and buzzwords, are concerned that their current marketing isn’t delivering results and are unsure about what would deliver results.

These business leaders shouldn’t have to compromise marketing results. With CMO-OnLoan, they don’t have to. CMO-OnLoan delivers CMO level expertise on a fractional basis.

Our consultants combine decades of marketing expertise with simple practices and a disciplined style that takes the burden off you. We work with your team to build a customized strategic marketing playbook that increases marketing effectiveness and builds confidence in making marketing decisions. We work side-by-side with you and your team, infusing marketing knowledge and useful frameworks at every opportunity. Once the fundamentals are set and your team is ready to lead, we transition out.

Stop feeling frustrated, and instead feel confident in your marketing, your marketing resources and your marketing team.

Call Amy Connor for a free discovery conversation to see if our approach meets your needs.

Click here to watch the video

How to Create an Employee Spotlight Post

Telling your employee's stories is easier than you think. Follow these 5 simple steps to create an employee spotlight. 


1. Pick an employee you want to highlight

2. Set up a 30 minute interview with them 

3. Interview employee with the questions below

4. Create a social media post by pulling a quote from the interview and posting their picture

5. If you have an email automation set up, you can share it there as well

Interview Questions:

  • What do you do in your role?
  • What's the best part of your job?
  • What is your favorite thing about working at [company]?
  • What has been your favorite project so far?
  • What has been one of your proudest moments working at [company]?
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

LinkedIn Audit Tool

LinkedIn can be intimidating. But you don't need to have the best profile on the platform to be impactful. It is important to have a profile that is updated and professional looking, so when current customers and prospects, and even potential employees, find you on LinkedIn, they are seeing a great representation of yourself.

Here are a few categories that you can start with.

  1. Up-to-date location and industry
  2. Customized LinkedIn URL
  3. Current contact information
  4. 1st person summary description 
  5. Current company name with logo from LinkedIn's database
  6. Up-to-date education with your degree

Download the LinkedIn Audit Tool

Featured Client: PQ Systems

Market-Focused Plans Deliver Business Growth

For over 30 years, PQ Systems (PQ) has helped manufacturers implement quality improvement programs. Their solutions include statistical process control software, gage management software, measurement system analysis, training, and consulting services. Beth Savage, President & Owner since 2015, had a desire to further amplify PQ’s reputation for customer focus, building on their history of growth and delivering even bigger growth in the future.


To meet these aggressive goals, PQ aimed to shift from a product-focused organization to a more market-focused one, and they wanted insight on how to best drive the process. Savage identified their needs to develop a plan that would deliver higher growth, to develop a sustainable, cross-functional, integrated go-to-market approach, and to develop internal capabilities so the team could implement ongoing. It was also important to bring in a partner that would maintain PQ’s strong culture. Savage stated, “We weren’t looking for an external resource to do the work, but to collaborate with us so we could build our capability and capacity through the process.”


Savage met Amy Connor, CEO & Owner of CMO-OnLoan, based on the recommendation of a mutual contact. After discussing multiple options, Connor proposed a monthly engagement where Savage and Connor would meet to discuss the roadmap for implementing the strategic plan with Connor acting as a strategic sounding board. In a few months, Savage and the team had developed internal capability and evolved their focus to an integrated, cross-functional go-to-market approach.

The next step was developing an outcomes-focused marketing playbook that clearly linked to business goals. With a small marketing team, PQ needed external resources to help them develop their plan and to identify the resources needed to implement it.  Savage’s goals were to see marketing KPIs that indicated marketing was driving business results and that the marketing team would be resourced appropriately to implement the plan. One of CMO-OnLoan’s senior consultants, Kathy Drury, led the project with the PQ marketing team. Drury worked with PQ to develop an integrated sales and marketing plan with corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.

Solution, Continued

A key project that enabled PQ to better link marketing results and outcomes was the customer funnel analysis. The team identified lead sources, costs per lead, and close ratio. This analysis enabled the team to create a lead generation plan that clearly linked to business results. The team then used a CMO-OnLoan tool, the Marketing ROI Calculator, to make confident decisions among marketing tactics.

The team delivered weekly and monthly KPI dashboards which kept them focused on the most important business drivers. The dashboards also provided leadership visibility into how marketing KPIs were impacting business results.

A second key project was developing a customer segmentation of current customers. The output included a contact strategy that prioritized the highest growth opportunities with clear roles for both sales and marketing. During this time, CMO-OnLoan analyzed resource needs and provided a short-term resource recommendation. It included Drury facilitating the request for proposal (RFP) process to find and onboard a digital agency to help PQ make significant progress in their digital presence.

Once the plans were aligned, Savage’s desired outcomes were:

a) clear indicators showed that marketing was driving business goals

b) successful implementation and enhancements based on results

c) increased confidence in marketing decisions

Drury collaborated with the marketing team, met with leadership weekly, reviewed and provided feedback on projects and analysis, reports, market analysis, etc. Within a few months, marketing KPIs continued to show how marketing was impacting business goals and the internal team was prepared to implement on their own.


In less than a year, PQ accelerated its shift from a product-focused to a market-focused organization with a strategic marketing playbook the team was confidently implementing. Savage concluded, “I appreciate how the CMO-OnLoan team both helped us meet our goals and were flexible throughout the process.”

Connor stated, “Beth and the PQ Systems team have great products and a strong culture. They just needed some guidance so they could build upon their marketing foundation and enhance their market focus.  I can’t wait to see what they will do next.”

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One Liner vs Competition

Your One Liner vs Competitions is a way of analyzing your brand message

  • Helps you review your messaging versus competition
  • Shows themes and gaps

Steps to Create the One Liner vs Competition Comparison

  • Insert your logo in the center of a blank slide
  • Add the most prominent message on your homepage under the logo
  • Add your competitors' logos around your logo
  • Add your competitors' most prominent message below their logos

What our video here!

Tone-of-Voice Guide

What is Tone-of-Voice?

  • It’s one of the “markers” of Brand Personality - How a brand communicates including the choice of words, communication style and emotional tone
  • Includes all the words used (written or spoken), including websites, emails, brochures, packaging, scripts, and presentations, etc. 
  • It influences how the listener will feel about the brand’s message you want to get across

Steps to Creating a Tone-of-Voice Guide

  • Review the Brand Personality
  • Decide where the brand’s tone-of-voice fits on 4 dimensions:
    • Funny to Serious
    • Casual to Formal
    • Irreverent to Respectful
    • Enthusiastic to Matter-of-Fact
  • Add descriptors to clarify what you mean for each dimension
  • Create a do’s and don’ts list – including specific situations
  • Write a sentence that summarizes the main points of the tone-of-voice

Tone-of-Voice Dimensions

  • Created by Nielsen Norman Group
  • Use it to define where the brand’s tone-of-voice fits on 4 dimensions
  • Can be at an extreme or somewhere in the middle

4 Dimensions:

  •  Funny or Serious
  • Causal or Formal
  • Irreverent or Respectful
  • Enthusiastic or Matter-of-Fact

Add Descriptors

  • Help Clarify what you mean for each dimension


Example Descriptors


Slapstick, deadpan, satire, self-deprecating, witty, humorous, quirky, sarcastic


Dry, weighty, pressing, urgency, grave


Conversational, friendly, fun, nostalgic, informal, everyday


Authoritative, conservative, smart, elegant, conventional, official


Edgy, provocative, sarcastic, snarky, unapologetic


Caring, nostalgic, sympathetic, polite, reverent, gracious


Upbeat, cheerful, fun, happy, romantic, trendy, upbeat, engaging


Coarse, frank, informative, literal, plain, simple, practical

Add Do’s and Don’ts

  • Provide specific examples of what people should and should not do
  • What types of words to use
  • Specific situations and how you respond to them
  • Who you are talking to
  • What exceptions there are to those situations
  • The goal of the communication (news piece or how-to article)

Finalize the Tone-of-Voice Guide

  • Add the visual of where the brand fits along each dimension
  • Add the Do’s and Don’ts
  • Write a sentence that summarizes the main points of the tone-of-voice

Watch our video here!

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