Motiv Space Systems

Their Work Was Headed to Mars, But Nobody Knew


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Is anybody out there? In space, no one can hear you scream… your accomplishments.

So that’s why Motiv Space Systems, Pasadena-based makers of robotic arms and other high-tech robotics for spacecraft, came to Echo-Factory, Pasadena-based makers of attention. 

It was time to take Motiv’s growing recognition across the space industry and make their reputation—and capabilities—known nationally.

Founded by three engineers in 2014 with an aim of “Creating Robotic Infrastructure For A New Era Of Space,” Motiv was quickly able to secure contracts for a range of high-profile NASA mission technology developments, which ultimately culminated in Motiv providing the robotic arm for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover.

2020 also saw Motiv readying to launch a revolutionary space-rated modular robotic arm system that would drastically reduce the cost of missions. The modular system also offered previously unheard-of equipment customization, versatility, scalability, and more, putting exciting new exploration opportunities within reach. 

Far-out stuff. But it’s hard to get attention in a vacuum. 


We were building some very impressive things and it was time to get the word out. Echo-Factory was the right agency to help us do it.

Tom McCarthy, VP of Business Development

Robotic arm drawing 3


And so, in January of 2020, we got to work, with the overall goal of raising Motiv’s profile with major customers and partners such as NASA and large private space companies. To do so, we began with an immediate strategy of improving Motiv’s major method of communication and marketing at that point—their presence at industry tradeshows. On the eve of Motiv’s first major event, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and people were rushing to put as much space as possible between each other. Mission aborted. Time for a new one.

Getting mission-ready meant immersing ourselves in a highly technical industry well enough to be able to turn around and market those sophisticated concepts in a way everyone could understand and connect with. And so, we began a research and strategy project that eventually yielded a 152-page PDF deep-dive into Motiv’s business, competitors, opportunities, and more. Yes, you read that right: 152 pages. But, if you’re going to space, you’d better be prepared.

Brand update examples
View of Motiv website on a computer
Design examples


With the strategy workbook providing a firm launchpad, one interesting project after another began to take off. First up, we helped brand and name Motiv’s revolutionary robotic arm as the xLink. The project was more than just providing a name. It was also a way of organizing and titling the various component parts of its modular system so Motiv and xLink would always receive brand recognition while continuing to build a reputation for reliability.

Key product named and branded, it was time to get it some well-deserved attention with a PR campaign crafted across high-profile sites such as Wired, respected industry sites such as Tech Republic, Space Daily, and Robotic Tomorrow, as well as the local commerce community in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Launch Results.

We tracked brand awareness throughout the campaign and measured a 128% increase year-over-year.

We knew how to grow and expand our internal capabilities. Echo-Factory’s work has made the rest of the industry aware of those growing capabilities, and helped us to earn the opportunity to take larger roles in bigger missions.

Tom McCarthy

Image of press coverage


The success of that campaign combined with our “Yes, and…” approach to business led to our next project, a complete website redevelopment and redesign in 2020. The project included new messaging concepts (“Extending Your Reach”), compelling product videos, and clear information that helped generate inquiries from Motiv’s customers, and industry partners.

Echo-Factory’s work has helped us in the public space and has given us the extra benefit of being able to collaborate more with our partners by sharing our mutual successes in the media together.

Tom McCarthy

Image of robotics in space
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Image of robotics in space 3

Next, it was off to Mars, as the Motiv robotic-arm-equipped Perseverance Rover touched down on February 18, 2021, and launched another PR campaign worthy of the achievement. This time, Motiv made it to mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal and Forbes as it racked up over 800k coverage views across 45 pieces of content. Our PR effort helped build name recognition for Motiv and more than doubled the previous number of inquiries they received.

Launch Results.


Coverage Views


Pieces of Content

Searching for Ancient Life on Mars graphic
Visit the Red Planet graphic

We used to be seen as a subcontractor or vendor. But we knew we had the capability, experience and offerings to be a true partner. Our maturation as a business, coupled with our work with Echo-Factory, has helped us be seen as one by the industry, as a partner who can help solve complex problems, not just provide a part here and there.

Tom McCarthy


The real-world evidence of Motiv’s growth is clear. The company’s project pipeline is substantially ahead of their internal goals, and they recently added additional buildings to their production facilities to meet demand for current and future scheduled projects.

And the work continues with ongoing marketing efforts, artful promotional materials, PR campaigns, technical videos, and more.

As a wise space explorer once put it, “To infinity, and beyond!”

When it comes to advertising and marketing, we mean business.