Category Archives for "Tools"

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.”

Download the PDF

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!

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.

Get Better Response To Your Sales Emails

The approach is to focus on a specific group of people and address one relevant problem that they deal with enough that they might be motivated to do something about it. 

Why not include multiple points? It's been proven that trying to say many things dilutes your message and reduces the chance that your email will even be noticed.

We loosely use the "hero's journey" format, a common template for stories. Follow the steps below to craft a single-minded email using this approach:

1.  Identify one ideal target group that you want to reach (title, role, industry, type of issue, etc)

2. Brainstorm all of his/her problems as it relates to your category. Keep asking "what causes the problem" until you get to the real problem the person is facing

3. Choose one problem that you believe is the most relevant and irritating 

4. Create an outline by answering the questions below:

  • Character: Brief description of your ideal target's title, role and/or situation
  • Has a problem: The one problem you chose in step 3
  • Meets a guide:  The benefit you offer that will help the problem
  • Has a plan: Your offerings + an example of how you've overcome these challenges before
  • Avoids Failure: What the person is most afraid of happening
  • Ends in success: What makes the person successful? What does he/she really want to happen?
  • Transforms (from-to): Two word combination. One that describes how the person felt before and then after he/she experienced success or avoided failure. You can brainstorm multiple word combinations
  • Call to action (CTA): Link to a case study, landing page, call now, set meeting, etc. 

5. Use this outline as a starting point to craft the email. Don't overthink it. Write an email that helps the person understand that you "get" the problem and genuinely can help. 

6. Write the subject line - pose a question or provide a statement that is about the problem, the potential failure or the success 

7. Ask someone who has insight about the ideal target and problem to read it for you

p.s. Even if the person doesn't open it, you can still call and follow-up to see if there are any questions about it. 

Want to check out other tips and tools? Click here

Featured Client: go2-pros

Bringing to Life a New Brand

After working as A-Abel Family of Companies for over 30 years, Jay Moran and his family bought the outright ownership of A-Abel Exterminating and TubMasters Renovation in late 2020. In 2021, they began providing the same unmatched professional services, but through a different brand name. Now known as go2-pros, the company minimizes property-owner hassles by providing pest control and renovation services to families throughout Southwest Oh


Once the Moran family bought ownership of the service lines and decided to create a new brand, they knew they needed a trusted marketing expert to guide them through the branding and new brand launch process. To be successful, they needed a new brand name and logo that were distinctive, easy to remember, and that demonstrated their expertise. They also needed a launch plan that included everything from new invoices to a new website and advertising. They already worked with a design agency, digital agency and advertising partners who could implement the plan with excellence, but needed a branding expert and “marketing quarterback” who could lead the effort.


Moran asked his advisors for names of marketing firms who could help. One advisor suggested talking to Amy Connor of CMO-OnLoan. Connor shared templates and examples of how they could help and what was needed for a successful rebranding. After meeting with Connor, Moran believed that the CMO-Onloan team’s branding and marketing expertise, along with their collaborative style would fit well with them and their current agency partners.



The CMO-OnLoan team started by conducting a thorough discovery process to understand the current brand and markets. They reviewed messaging, analyzed prior activities and results, conducted a competitive review and interviewed stakeholders.

The CMO-OnLoan team then led the full team, including internal team members and the agencies through a collaborative process to develop a new brand name, brand architecture, naming architecture and tagline. The designers created logo options and service line treatments that the full team discussed, reviewed and finalized together.

CMO-OnLoan developed ideal customer target profiles for each service line, gaining insight by conducting customer interviews. They developed the brand “why we exist” statement, promise and secret sauce and key messages that would be used across all communications.

Once the brand name, logo, tagline and messages were finalized, CMO-OnLoan developed and implemented the launch. This included developing the launch strategy and writing briefs for agencies and media companies to create assets within the message strategy. CMO-OnLoan also developed an implementation action plan to help the team keep track of everything that needed to change for the rebranding. Finally, CMO-OnLoan managed the action plan and provided guidance to ensure the deadlines were met and the brand was strong and consistent. Connor remarked, “It was a wonderful, collaborative experience where everyone provided their expertise and worked together to make the launch happen quickly. It was a real joy to be a part of!”


The new brand, go2-pros, launched successfully in April, 2021, in just five months. The go2-pros team also gained increased confidence in how to make smart marketing decisions and how to spend their marketing budget. Jay Moran, President at go2-pros stated “The CMO-OnLoan team turned something scary into something we enjoyed. We could not have launched our new brand without their expertise and guidance. It really was a team effort!”

Click here to learn more about go2-pros

Download the PDF

Lead by Lead Source Estimator

If you want to increase your sales, start by tracking your leads by lead source. This allows you to estimate how many leads you need from each source to deliver your goals. Download our estimator and follow the steps below.

Follow These Steps:

1. Type your goal for # of new clients.
2. Type your sales team's average close rate (use what they consider a person/company worth exploring further to when they make the sale).
3. In the excel sheet, the number of "Qualified Leads" will calculate in cell B22.
4. Type each Lead Source in column "A".
Some examples include: Referral partners, client referrals, lists, events, digital marketing (SEO, paid ads, social), etc. 
5. Type the % estimate for how many leads come from each Lead Source in column "B"
6. Column "C" will calculate how many "Qualified Leads" you need from each Lead Source
7. Column "D" will calculate how many new clients you could gain from each Lead Source
8. Add any notes in column "E"
9. In the excel sheet, B22 and C37 should be the same number

Download the Lead by Lead Source Estimator

Marketing Leadership

The fourth building block in The Strategic Marketing Playbook is Marketing Leadership. It ensures you have the right resources, team culture, and action plan to get results. Learn more below!

Marketing Leadership Deliverables

  1. Marketing "Quarterback" 
    • The person who ensures that marketing outcomes are met, responsibilities are done well and the team is high performing
  2. Resource Plan & Structure 
    • A system that outlines how certain activities are directed in order to achieve the goals of an organization
  3. Development Plans 
    • Identify skill needs for the organization and the individuals and develop a plan to enhance the skills
  4. Skill Development 
    • Skill training for the team to enhance performance and deliver business objectives
  5. Coaching 
    • Helping leaders at all levels build on their abilities to do exceptional work
  6. Hiring & Resourcing 
    • Finding, selecting and hiring new employees and/or external resources
  7. Onboarding 
    • Integrating a new person with a company and its culture, providing the information and tools needed to become a productive team member

Click Here for The Strategic Marketing Playbook Overview

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