Thought and Growth Leader Christina Motley Creates Marketing Strategies that Drive Sales as CMO on Demand

Is Your Marketing Plan Integrated?

What exactly is integrated marketing communications?

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is more than a combination of a business’ marketing, public relations (PR) and advertising. By definition, integrated marketing communications is consistent brand messaging across all channels, including organizational culture, the 4 P’s – Product, Price, Promotion and Place – advertising, online marketing, sales and customer service, PR, trade shows and corporate philanthropy.

Creating an integrated marketing campaign

While there is no established formula for creating a successful integrated marketing campaign, there are steps that businesses and marketers can take to maximize engagement and prevent fragmentation. While part of integrated marketing is about selecting the most effective channels to reach your target audience, companies must be more open to evolving continuously as technology progresses and new methods of engagement are created. The different teams must come together to make sure customers’ needs are being met and that the company’s brand is consistent. According to DC Marketing Pro, “General marketing, customer service, reputation marketing, and sales are morphing into one big beast that needs to be tackled and tamed.” Companies that are not willing to do so will get left behind and eventually fail.

When constructing your marketing plan, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can your customers find you easily online?
  • Are your customers’ online user experience on desktop computers, smart phones, tablets and mobile apps as good as their experience in person at brick and mortar stores?
  • Is your customer experience aligned with your messaging and brand promise?
  • Are you maximizing your messages across all communication channels for each of your target audiences?

So how can you create the best integrated marketing plan for your business?

Integrated marketing is more than pushing out a company slogan or image on randomly selected channels that you believe will reach your target audience. Integration means communicating a consistent identity from message to message, and medium to medium, and (more importantly) delivering consistently on that identity (Business Week). Below you will find the seven steps for a successful integrated marketing plan, as told by writer Jennifer Lonoff Schiff:

  1. Have a clear understanding of who your target audience is.
  2. Pick your channels.
  3. Have a consistent look.
  4. Create clear, consistent content that can easily be adapted or repurposed to suit different media or channels.
  5. Ensure that your messaging is integrated.
  6. Make sure your marketing teams/agencies are working in sync.
  7. Don’t forget to track your campaigns.

There is no concrete formula for a great integrated marketing plan, but determination, a forward-seeing CEO and a great CMO are the perfect ingredients to get one started.

A Look at Marketing Strategy, Objectives and Tactics

A successful Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will have a firm grasp on their marketing strategy, objectives and tactics for executing initiatives that should be aligned with both their marketing objectives and overarching business goals. However, these are often confused because multiple strategies, objectives and tactics can support multiple goals.

Want to learn how you can solidify your strategy, objectives and tactics to build a great marketing plan? We dissect these components of a marketing plan with accompanying examples to help you stretch each to its maximum capacity.

Marketing STRATEGY

Definition: An organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan. A specific marketing strategy is the way or approach you are going to reach the overarching marketing and business goal.

Example 1: Drive brand awareness to become the “go-to” source and known authority on [industry of expertise].

Example 2: Facilitate organizational growth and enable sales through a strategic and measurable marketing platform to drive online and offline leads.


Definition: The group of goals set by a business when promoting its products or services to potential consumers that should be achieved within a given time frame. A company’s marketing objectives for a particular product might include increasing product awareness among targeted consumers, providing information about product features, and reducing consumer resistance to buying the product. Objectives should ideally be specific, quantifiable and include a time frame.

Example 1: Increase the frequency and mediums in which success stories and use cases are shared for at least one per quarter.

Example 2: Optimize the website, news releases and all content to yield positive search engine results. Increase website traffic by 10% per month.

Marketing TACTIC

Definition: Tactics are tasks or sets of strategic methods intended to promote the goods and services of a business with the goal of increasing sales and maintaining a competitive product. Good marketing tactics typically result in substantial customer satisfaction while facilitating the business in focusing its limited financial resources in the most efficient manner to maximize the effective promotion of its products.

Example 1: Create systematic ways to solicit success stories and use cases from past, current and future clients.

Example 2: Identify and use keywords for SEO and to drive organic website traffic. Implement keywords and optimize all content.

If you are struggling with your marketing efforts, or not getting the results you desire, call Christina Motley today. Her team delivers on-point marketing strategies and results to achieve your marketing and business goals. 919-208-0963 or

Venture Capital Firm Marketing

CMOs the New CEOs?

A recent study from Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud and Deloitte Research illustrated that CMOs today have a strong grasp on in the customer experience and revenue growth of a company (Fineberg). Salesforce CMO Lynn Vojvodich reported that that half of CMOs today feel responsible for revenue growth and are actively taking on more customer-focused tasks. Why is this significant? Though there is a very small percentage of CMOs to date that have climbed the career ladder into the CEO seat, the social engagement of today’s society is connecting companies with their customers in a way that was not possible before.

According to, there are 5 reasons why CMOs are in a prime position to be considered for a CEO candidacy:

1. CMOs listen to everyone
2. CMOs have put in the time and gained industry experience
3. CMOs are creative leaders
4. CMOs lead business transformation
5. CMOs have realistic, but aggressive vision

The customer is the modern day driving force for a company, and it is the CMOs job to tap into their experience and try to make it a flawless one. The aforementioned report showed that the top three marketing priorities of the CMOs surveyed included data acquisition, testing and optimization, as well as flexible and agile marketing processes. A CMO is well equipped to hold a CEO position because the 5 facts above help them develop traits that every CEO must have: empathy, responsibility, innovation, leadership and decisiveness.

With their current customer knowledge and experience to boot, today’s CMOs are in a perfect position to effect real change within their respective organization. Do you know a CMO who could become a CEO? Want to know what CEOs think make a great CMO? Be sure to read “8 Holes in One Great CMOs Offer CEOs.”


Marketing Analysis

The Marketing Analysis and What To Include

After a marketing plan is created and implemented, it must be analyzed to understand what worked for your company and what didn’t. An article by the U.S. Small Business Administration illustrates what should be included in a marketing analysis.

Describing the industry, life cycle stage, projected growth rate, etc., is an optimal starting point in creating a marketing plan. As much information about the target market should be included as well, including characteristics (What do they NEED? What do the demographics tell you about the market? What are their trends you can analyze?) and the size of the market.

Analyzing the competition by defining their target market (Are they the same? What are they doing differently?), their strengths and weaknesses, their place in the market share, etc., can help determine how you can successfully enter the market, or if there are any barriers you may encounter.

It is also important to consider government regulations currently in place that may affect your business. Constructing a solution to such problems is also an important part of analyzing. 

A blog by Mike Nale, managing partner at The Brand Management Group, LLC, discusses what should be included in a market analysis, shedding light on a few features that are commonly excluded.

The first is an overview of the current economy. Studying trends and how your current market relates to them can help you understand where your business is going and where it is currently.

The next is regional and local competition: What do the other companies have that you are lacking? Do they make up more of the market than you, and why? This can help make changes to the market.

Companies who fully analyze their market will be privileged with strategic advantage. Understanding as much about the market you are submerged in can only benefit a company and will give them knowledge on how to surpass the competition.



8 Holes in One Great CMOs Offer CEOs

Golf is not an easy sport. It takes time, patience and a keen observation of the world around you. Like golf, marketing too requires these traits. Successful marketing today is highly reliant on an individual who can calmly observe the playing field and make calculated decisions based off of their observations. Within the marketing realm, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is that individual. A CMO can balance creativity and hard science. A CMO must focus on captivating an audience, along with uncovering what drives a business. Due to this, many CEOs have set high expectations for their CMOs. Some CMOs meet these expectations, but a significant amount do not. For CEOs, finding the CMO who is compatible to their work style and demands can be a challenge, but a sweet reward when the right one is found. This article lists 8 qualities of a great CMO.

1) A passion for data – The greatest CMOs in the field stress measurement and analytics, according to Joanna Lord of Marketing Land.

2) Confidence – CMOs who believe in the organizations they work for and exude confidence and pride in their work will always win (Sauers).

3) A social media wiz – CEOs are not always in tune with how the world of social media works, but they do know that their companies should be on them and active in them now. It is the job of the CMO to sit back and organize a strategy for a business’ social media presence. Great CMOs understand which channels work best for a company and should have time invested in.

4) Constant Communicator – A great CMO will not only lead and manage the marketing team, but intertwine themselves with the entire company and work well with every team. As the company’s brand ambassador, they will ensure consistency throughout all content released externally and lead the way for new ideas.

5) Customer Centric The customer is the driving force for a company’s profit, and a great CMO will understand that and knows how to acquire, engage and retain customers. They can provide great customer service and know exactly how to react to a poor review.

6) Humble by Nature CMOs receive a lot of face time outside of the company and hold the megaphone for the company’s brand. Joanna Lord states that great CMOs “realize they are just the microphone for a brilliant team and amazing products. They facilitate a story, but they are not solely responsible for it.” A great CMO respects the team behind them supporting their efforts.

7) Enthusiasm – A CMO is an employee of a company, but a great CMO will take their title and become a passionate and active supporter of their company’s brand. They look towards the future with excitement and anticipation, knowing that they have what it takes to push that business forward.

8) Passion Not only should a CMO be passionate about their work and the company they work for, but also about the members of their team and their success. Striving to excel at everything they do, a great CMO will spread their passion throughout the company and celebrate when their teammates succeed.

If you are striving to be a CMO who is the driving force for a company brand, evaluate yourself on these 8 qualities, and you will sink a hole in one within your market and in the eyes of your company’s CEO.


What Does Your Consumer REALLY Want? | Christina Motley

What Does Your Consumer REALLY Want?

Being familiar with customer needs and behavior is crucial for a successful product launch and business. Companies that consider themselves to be customer-centered or customer-focused take the extra steps to ask their customers directly what they expect and want from a product. For those working to become more customer-focused, the best starting point is asking the question, “What do consumers want?”

A great example of a customer-focused business is Nestle. They recognize that what consumers want may vary from person to person. People have diverse lifestyles, are part of different cultures, have varying budgets—basically, every consumer is different. These variables shape how consumers buy, and are also a determining factor in what they buy. Because of these things, Nestle creates different foods for all aspects of their  consumers’ needs based on their findings during research and development. This is especially important because Nestle is a food company, but all businesses should follow this idea in understanding their consumers. Knowing these important things about your target market can tell you what they want now and in the future. 

Jim Haselmaier of Pragmatic Marketing explains the problem that companies that are trying to inquire about consumer behavior are experiencing. Companies ask consumers about what they want a product to be like or how it can be improved, but the truth is that most of the time consumers don’t know exactly what they want. And it makes sense. It is not the responsibility of a consumer to sit around and brainstorm product improvements. When asked, most consumers are happy to provide feedback and recommendations, but meeting the needs or implementing the suggestions of customers can be difficult or even an impossibility for some products. An alternative route to asking what a customer wants from a product is to be more specific in questionnaires. When do you use this product? Is this product easy to handle? Have you experienced any storing difficulties? Etc. Discovering consumers’ interactions with a product throughout their day to day lives can make it much easier to determine what they need out of a product.

It is not necessary to routinely observe consumers to gain insights on product effectiveness, though consumer shadowing can be very useful by observing how a customer lives, works and spends time. However, by performing qualitative, interview-style research, data for customer retention can be collected quickly and effectively. Just asking what a customer wants should not be the only aspect of an Integrated Marketing Strategy, but excluding marketing intelligence from a strategy entirely would be unwise.