Category Archives for "Tools"

Google Search Competitive Analysis Template

You can see how you rate versus your competition by looking at their search results and comparing the data to yours. We created a template so you can do it yourself.

Steps for Analyzing Your Search Results Versus Competition:

1. Choose 5 keywords or phrases that people would use/”Google” to find your category/business

2. Type each word or phrase into a Google search bar

3. Record the number of results, the top paid (Ad) results, the top Map results (if applicable) and the top organic results

4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see ‘Searches Related to keyword’ and decide if any of these keywords/phrases are relevant

5. Review all results to determine if you and/or your competition are in the Top 3 results.

6. If you don’t find your company or key competitor(s), you can scroll further down and note the position in the “insights” column

7. There are many steps you can take to increase your ranking. One step is to ensure that your website pages (both the text and the meta tags) include content that relates to the keywords and phrases.


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Social Media Competitive Analysis Template

You can see how you rate versus your competition by looking at their social channels and comparing the data to yours. We created a tool so you can do it yourself.

Steps for Analyzing Your Social Presence Versus Competition:

1. Choose up to 5 competitors

2. Follow the template, filling out the information for your company and each competitor for each social channel

3. Review once complete. How do you compare?

4. What 1-2 opportunities do you think you should focus on?


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Google My Business Overview

google my business tips Google My Business ought to be one of the pillars of your digital presence, but it can be difficult to have it all figured out. We created a guide that explains what it is, why it matters to you, the process to start/verify, and how to manage and track it. Download the Google My Business overview for tips on how to make it work for you.

Download Google My Business Overview Here

Featured Client: Convergence Research

Driving Growth through Differentiation

Convergence Research was founded in 2007 by Drew Wildner and Steve Hartz. The Cincinnati-based company provides Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) with accurate, timely research used for background check reports. To achieve its mission, Convergence Research developed and continue to enhance a comprehensive, scalable, high-quality process with best-in-class technology. They are a growing firm with what they believe is untapped potential. To support their efforts, in 2019, they set up a new sales team led by Kyle Warmouth, VP of Sales.


While Convergence Research’s offering is superior, it’s hard to differentiate in the industry. Warmouth quickly identified the need to develop a differentiated brand message and develop a consistent cadence of communication to support their sales efforts. Because Convergence didn’t have an internal marketing team, Warmouth knew he needed to find an external resource to help.


Warmouth reached out to Amy Connor, President and Owner of CMO-OnLoan to discuss the marketing needs based on his knowledge of the firm’s expertise. “CMO-OnLoan was able to propose a partnership that met our needs in terms of cost and deliverables. Instead of using a one-size-fits all approach, they worked within our budget to provide the help that meets our needs,” said Warmouth.


CMO-OnLoan broke up Convergence’s marketing needs into pieces and tackled them one at a time.  In order to fully understand the Convergence business, CMO-OnLoan conducted an analysis of current plans, results, and processes, completed a competitive audit, and performed stakeholder interviews with company leadership, staff members, and customers.

CMO-OnLoan then determined short-term marketing needs including the development of key marketing messages, sharpening of Convergence’s unique brand positioning, and refreshing marketing materials including Convergence’s website.

CMO-OnLoan conducted a working session with the leadership team, shared findings of their research and together, determined Convergence’s unique value proposition.

CMO-OnLoan also led the process of refreshing Convergence’s website, from choosing an agency, editing copy, and then guiding the implementation.  The new site not only represents, showcases, and supports the Convergence brand, but it serves as a sales tool.

Together with Warmouth, CMO-OnLoan created an integrated sales and marketing playbook. This is now the roadmap that Convergence uses to deliver its growth targets.

Now, CMO-OnLoan stays alongside Warmouth and the sales time to provide on-going marketing guidance. Convergence Co-Founder, Drew Wildner, says “CMO-OnLoan is a true partner, always willing to offer expertise and advice. They are responsive and talented collaborators. They approach the business holistically, starting from the top and bringing everything together to get results.”


“We were impressed with how much CMO-OnLoan delivered in a short period of time.  They quickly gained an understanding of the business and rolled up their sleeves to get the work done with us. After working with CMO-OnLoan, our leading measures indicate that we are on the path to the growth plan and we have a clearly defined, strong, and consistent brand,” concluded Warmouth.

CMO-OnLoan Delivered:

1.           Integrated sales & marketing playbook

2.           Clearly defined brand / Unique value proposition

3.           Website refresh plan and implementation leadership

4.           Ongoing marketing guidance CMO-OnLoan+Case+Study+-+Convergence+Research

Increasing Effectiveness on LinkedIn

linkedin cmo

It’s not as hard as you think to increase your effectiveness on LinkedIn! Share this presentation with your employees to help them understand WHY it’s important to stay top of mind and HOW to leverage LinkedIn effectively.

Download Guide Here

Simple Steps for Sharing on LinkedIn

linkedin sharing

Sharing posts on LinkedIn not only increases the reach of your company’s content but also helps attract more visitors to the page. It only takes 5 simple steps to share a post on LinkedIn. Follow these simple steps to share a post. 

5 Steps to Share on LinkedIn 

1. Navigate to the LinkedIn page 

2. Scroll to the post

3. Click Share

4. Add a comment in the text box

5. Click Post

Click Here To Download Steps

Guide to Help you Come Out of This Crisis with Momentum

crisis response

There are always external factors that you can’t control. COVID-19 is just one we haven’t experienced before. No matter what factors you are facing, you can’t stay stagnant. Momentum is your biggest asset, and we encourage you to take advantage of this time to ensure you come out of this crisis with momentum.

We created this guide to help you!

1.      Before you do anything, get your thinking right

  • Your thinking drives your actions. Identify what thoughts you have right now and decide if you need to change them so that fear doesn’t drive your decisions.
  • Create a clear intention to be stronger on the other side of this and define what that looks like for you and your organization.

2.      Maintain momentum during the crisis

  • Look for ways to deepen relationships by helping current clients, former clients, prospects, communities, etc.
    • There is no better time to reach out to people to understand how they are impacted.
    • Use video if possible. It’s more personal and people don’t want to read more right now.
    • Ask them what help they might need right now.
    • Offer to help! It could be something simple like asking, “If I could connect you to one person, who could that be?”. Or it could be something more like modifying payment terms.
  • Defining success might be different during this time. Keep track of your actions and successes.

3.      Use this time to get better

  • Use this as a time to step back and evaluate your organization.
    • What’s working?
    • What could be improved?
    • What’s not working?
    • What are the gaps between now and your organization’s vision?
    • How can you close the gaps?
    • What resources do you need to make these things happen?
  • If your business model is less effective during this crisis, identify why and try a different approach.
  • What new opportunities could you take advantage of?

4.      Take control

  • Formalize it by documenting it!
  • Develop a clear action plan. Focus on “3 things” people can do each day so they feel in control.
  • Create a united effort by sharing the intention and action plan with your organization.
  • Make sure the action plan is visible. Put it in a place or places that you can all see it often.

5.      Act with discipline and purpose

  • Follow the action plan and hold each other accountable.
  • Track a few relevant trends, both internally and externally. Determine what shifts you should respond to instead of reacting to every change in the market.
  • Learn and enhance by reflecting on what actions you have taken, what response you are getting, and how you need to adapt your plan.

Download The PDF Version Here

Guide for Communicating During the COVID-19 Crisis

In times of uncertainty, people need help feeling at ease and hopeful about the future. You can help by communicating clearly, concisely, and accurately. Follow these steps to develop and implement a communications plan.

1.      Establish a Communications Team

  • Form a small team with people who can identify and prioritize issues and can approve communications.
  • Determine a time when you will meet, probably daily, to discuss the current situation and your response.
  • If possible, meet via video conference. It keeps you safe but also more connected than phone or email.

2.      Identify which audiences need communications from you

  • Employees
  • Clients / Customers / Patients
  • Contractors / Vendors / Suppliers
  • Stakeholders / Board of Advisors or Trustees
  • Communities

3.      Determine what you need to communicate by asking yourself, “What impact do we have on the audience and what do they need from us to feel more at ease and hopeful?”

A.      Clearly communicate how your organization is operating during this time.
  • If possible, reassure that you can still provide quality services, products, and support (or how you are adjusting during this time).
  • If there is an impact on how you operate (like working remotely, no in-person classes, closures, service support hours, etc.), communicate it to the impacted audiences.
  • Add a banner to your webpage, post on social media, and update Google MyBusiness with the level of service you provide and how to contact you. Update as necessary.
  • Review and update your content calendar to ensure that you are communicating relevant information.
B.      Communicate each time there is a change to the services/products you provide or how you operate.
  • Communicate as soon as you have accurate information.
  • Be transparent with your updates.
  • Be flexible and ready to adjust as things change.

4.      Use the following guidelines as you evaluate your marketing

  • Focus on what is important to the audience (like service and support availability, enhanced cleaning procedures, etc.).
  • If the audience is impacted, focus on empathy rather than trying to create selling opportunities.
  • If you’re running advertising, make sure the message is relevant for this time.
  • Potentially lower budgets or even pause non-essential campaigns for the moment.

5.      Offer your help

  • If you have relevant knowledge or useful products that will help, share.
  • Don’t play on fear, and don’t exploit.
  • Provide relief when possible (like extra licenses, delayed payment, free support for 3 months, etc.).
  • Maintain connections with people. Check-in and use video if possible.

Download The PDF Here

Creating an Ideal Customer Profile

Being intentional about who you want to serve will help you find your “Sweet Spot” customers. How do you start? Start by creating an ideal customer profile. Download the tool that will help you create your ideal customer profile. 

Download The Tool Here

Conducting a Website Assessment

Your website is a salesperson, 24/7/365. Not an “in your face” pushy salesperson, but one who builds long-term relationships that serve customers and grow your business. Your site should be easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to navigate for visitors.

Not sure how to do this? The first step is assessing how well your site is working for what your visitor needs. Use this simple three-step approach to identify what your visitors want and how well your site meets their needs.

Download the Three-Step Approach Here!

Event Planning Template

event planning template

Events can be powerful tools in building your reputation and generating revenue. Without a plan, there’s a good chance the event won’t deliver the results you want. To get started planning your next event, use this template. 

Download The Template Here

Featured Client: Aileron


Aileron was founded in 1996 with a mission to unleash the potential of private business through professional management. Founder Clay Mathile understood that passion alone was not enough to propel an entrepreneur. In addition to passion, entrepreneurs also need tools, strategies and processes to advance their businesses and have a meaningful impact on their communities. Aileron’s focus was on constantly researching, innovating, and developing the very best tools and programs to bring to their clients. By 2017, Aileron had a rich client base and a long history of success in helping entrepreneurs thrive.


Aileron was doing well with a constant stream of innovative products, tools and programs, and they decided they were ready to expand their footprint. They had a strong team of smart, dedicated and innovative leaders working in Research & Development (R&D) and program development, but they had no marketing structure and no dedicated resources focused on building their own value proposition or increasing awareness of the brand. They had great products, but needed to shift their overall offering to a client-centric one. To address the challenge, Joni Fedders, President of Aileron, asked the head of R&D, Nicole (Luisi) Dalichau, to add marketing as part of her purview. Dalichau posted a marketing manager role, but was not having success finding the right person. At the same time, the team was short-handed and had a few critical projects that needed to be managed. With the team strapped more than usual, Dalichau knew she needed to find a resource that could help with both strategic positioning and short-term marketing implementation.


Both Fedders and Dalichau knew Amy Connor, President and Owner of CMO-OnLoan, from past working relationships. Through a number of exploratory conversations, Aileron and CMO-OnLoan built a strong foundation of trust as well as a clear understanding of the work that needed to be done.  Aileron engaged CMO-OnLoan for a contract with the goals of helping Aileron both begin their strategic shift from being product-driven to being client-centered as well as providing more tactical marketing support during Aileron’s short-term capacity issue.

Unlike some big, expensive consulting firms, CMO-OnLoan is more interested in understanding what will help vs. just billing hours.  Aileron’s Nicole Dalichau says “We talked to Amy 4 or 5 times before official engagement and each time she was patient and added something extra for me to think about. She would give me a small kernel and help direct me to sharpen what I was actually looking for.”


Since Aileron was starting from a place without a marketing structure, CMO-OnLoan began by working with Dalichau and her team to establish fundamental marketing processes that would build Aileron’s internal capability in marketing.

The work then shifted to a simultaneous flex between strategy and execution. The team worked together to clarify and build alignment around the customer target. Together they uncovered the drivers that were causing their value proposition to be less clear and some needed changes to clarify the brands within the portfolio. They revised the brand architecture to ensure the Aileron brand was clear and at the forefront. Simultaneously, CMO-OnLoan worked as a part-time embedded team member to translate the new strategy, build an annual marketing & communications plan, and take the lead on some detailed project management work. Says Dalichau “CMO-OnLoan is not about just getting it done or showing what we did, but enabling the team to be the winners.”


The two primary drivers of success for were CMO-OnLoan’s commitment to uncovering and understanding the work that needed to be done before starting an engagement and the ability of CMO-OnLoan to quickly and easily flex from strategy to execution.

CMO-OnLoan delivered:

+ Marketing foundation – team understanding of definitions & processes

+ Marketing organization – roles & responsibilities, job descriptions

+ Customer Target

+ Brand architecture

+ Naming architecture

+ Value Proposition

+ Annual Marketing Plan

+ Marketing implementation

“CMO-OnLoan is driven to have a real and lasting impact – not just doing the work, but also building the skills of the team already in place. Their ability to easily flex up and down from strategy through execution was exactly the combination that Aileron needed. R&D Leader, Nicole Dalichau, says, “Amy puts her ego aside. She has humility and is willing to help the team wherever they need it. She’s not about just getting it done or showing what she did. She wants to enable the team to be the winners.”CMO-OnLoan+Case+Study_Aileron

Top Account Planning

top customer action plan

Want to enhance the value you provide to your clients and fuel growth for your organization? Develop “Top Account Plans” for your most important clients.

Download The Tool Here

Growing top accounts is often an important focus area for organizations. But we can get busy “doing the work” for our clients and we don’t stop and reflect on how we can serve them better. Developing and implementing a top account planning process has been shown to not only enhance the value you provide to your clients, but also fuel growth for your organization.

First, it’s important to identify which of your clients you want to create plans for. Start with the top few that you believe are critical to the success of your organization.

In order to create the plan, you need to review your impact in the last period and identify opportunities for the next period.

  1. For each client, answer these questions:
    1. What did you set out to accomplish together?
    2. What were your biggest accomplishments?
    3. What worked well?
    4. What didn’t work well?
  2.  Document the answers
    1. Try to keep it to 1-2 pages.
    2. You can add more details, but to start, you want to focus on the main points.
  3. Set time to meet with your client and go through the responses together.
  4. Ask for and gain your client’s feedback on the questions.
  5. Together, answer the following questions:
    1. What are the top 3-5 priorities for the next period?
    2. What is our action plan to implement the priorities (what, when, and who is responsible)?
  6. Document the priorities and action plan and send them to your client for confirmation.
  7. Execute the action plan and track results throughout the next period.
  8. “Rinse & repeat” – Conduct the process again after the next period.


  1. Determine the top accounts you will use this process with.
  2. Choose one of the top accounts to pilot the process.
  3. Follow steps 1-7.
  4. Once completed, review the process and answer these questions:
    1. What worked well in the process?
    2. What didn’t work well in the process?
    3. How should we enhance the process?
  5. Document the enhanced process.
  6. Follow the process with your other top accounts.
  7. Continue to review the process and enhance it as necessary.

Download The Tool Here

Segmenting Your Referral Network


Referral networks are a powerful source of business development. It’s important to stay in touch so you don’t lose out because the person just doesn’t think of you when an opportunity comes up. But we are often overwhelmed by the idea of maintaining relationships with so many people. A way to help is to segment your network so that you can focus on the most important referral sources. Here is a tool to help. 

Download The Tool Here

Featured Client: Modern Ice Equipment & Supply

Building Capabilities for Growth

Modern Ice Equipment & Supply (Modern) is a privately-held company that has operated in Cincinnati for over 50 years. Today, they are leader in the packaged ice industry, providing equipment, supplies and technical support to thousands of clients across the globe. Over the years, Modern has built a strong reputation based on key capabilities in engineering and in customer service. Modern has aggressive growth goals, and leadership identified the need to change the approach to marketing in order to meet their objectives.


Historically, Modern has not had a marketing leader, nor have they significantly invested in marketing. Marketing at Modern was handled by the CEO and his assistant using a part time, ad hoc approach. They had a marketing budget, but they had no real plan, no focused resources, no metrics, and no idea of what was working and what was not. “I should not be running marketing,” said Gary Jerow, CEO and President of Modern.


Modern tried several approaches to solve their marketing capacity issue, including engaging various agencies and other internal team members to take on marketing responsibilities. However, without focused leadership, none of these options proved viable. The Modern team was at a crossroads. They knew they needed help, but they didn’t think they could afford, nor needed, a full time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). “As a smaller company, we don’t always get the advantage of hiring someone with big business process and thought-leadership,” noted Jerow. They were looking for a consulting partner that could act as a hands-on and collaborative member of their team. One who would not just identify problems, but who would also be part of the solution.


One of Gary’s trusted advisors introduced him to Amy Connor, President & Owner of CMO-OnLoan™. After several discussions to clearly identify the deliverables and approach, Modern hired CMO-OnLoan on a 6-month retainer. The first priority was to establish a marketing plan and to enhance the consistency of marketing execution. Modern embedded Amy as part of their leadership team. Amy acted as the marketing leader with Gary’s assistant supporting Amy with specific responsibilities for marketing. The work began with a quick review of plans already in place – continuing initiatives that were working and stopping those that were not. From there, CMO-OnLoan built an annual marketing plan and calendar, established key metrics, and built the team and work-flow processes for marketing. Based on early results, Modern extended their work with CMO-OnLoan to an on-going retainer. Once the run-the-business marketing activities were being consistently implemented, the team then began work on strategic initiatives to make an incremental impact on the business. These strategic initiatives included launching an innovation process, developing segmented messaging to better support the sales team, and increasing website performance with search engine optimization, paid search and Google shopping. The Modern marketing team now runs the day-to-day activities and CMO-OnLoan focuses on strategic initiatives. “CMO-OnLoan’s goal is to get mid-market companies up and running. It has been a pleasure helping Gary and the Modern team develop internal capabilities so they are empowered to continue the work.” Concluded Connor.


In the words on Modern Ice President and CEO, Gary Jerow, CMO-On-Loan has had a concrete and tangible impact:
  • We have a strategy now. We’re more disciplined in what we’re trying to accomplish
  • We are getting things done and making a difference in our company
  • We are communicating with our clients more
  • The website is getting more traffic
  • The Marketing team is executing the strategy consistently
  • I don’t have to pay attention to it because the team has it

CMO-OnLoan delivered:

  • Leadership of the marketing team and marketing execution
  • Integrated sales & marketing strategy, plan and annual calendar
  • Marketing objectives, key metrics, tracking process and dashboard
  • Employee and customer research/insights and recommendations
  • Marketing processes, systems and work flows
  • Innovation strategy & process
  • Hours back to the CEO to focus on growth and running the company
Download the PDF.

CEO’s Guide to Marketing


Who is helping you with marketing? CEO’s have told us that they want marketing help but aren’t sure how to choose the right resource. Have you ever been in this situation? We want you to be confident in making marketing decisions. We created a “Perspective” that gives you an overview of marketing resources, along with a “CMO’s Tool” that will help you decide which ones are right for your business.

Download The Guide Here