What do marketing coaches actually do?.

Janine looking confused with the title next to her

The term ‘marketing coach’ is one of these labels that doesn’t really mean very much, despite there being lots of us. And, because the title isn’t very descriptive, a question I get a lot is:

What do marketing coaches actually do?

Bearing in mind that I can’t possibly know how all the other marketing coaches in the world work; I’ve written this blog based on my marketing coaching approach and the way my marketer friends always tackle a new job.

This is a pretty standard checklist that marketers have in their heads.

  • Your goals (Why)
  • Your customers (Who)
  • Your offer and messaging (What)
  • Your communications (How)

Cor, that’s a riveting sounding list isn’t it!

Well, if you haven’t fallen asleep yet, I’ll explain each one, why it’s on the marketing coach to do list and why it is very interesting actually.

It may not be a written down checklist, but most marketing coaches will be covering each of these elements, searching for gaps and opportunities.

But first, allow me to blow your mind for a moment…

Every item on the list has to be considered at TWO DIFFERENT LEVELS.

Long-term and high-level versus the short-term and tactical.

For example:

  • The distinction between the changes you want to see in 5 years time versus what you aim to achieve in the next 3 months is essential.
  • Trying to do an ideal customer avatar for your whole business? It doesn’t work.
  • Deciding to launch an offer that will appeal to your whole, broad audience? Veeeery tricky, Dicky.

Project managers will hear me rattling on about tactical vs high-level planning and think ‘well duh!’ But I promise you, the muddling up of what is long-term versus what is short-term leads many an entrepreneur into choppy waters.

So read on, sweet chariot…

1. Your goals

High-level goals = Your mission and your vision

When we think about long-term goals, we’re taking low detail. A vision of the future. What do you want your business to look like in 5- 10 years time? What mission do you hope to have made headway on by then?

“But how on earth do I know what my business should look like in 10 years, Janine!?” You may enquire.

Calmez-vous. No details are needed at this level. Any objectives you discuss here are fluid. High-level goals are like a long-distance destination on a cruise. Remember, you’re the captain. If you decide to change course during your travels, that’s a-ok Skipper.

A marketing coach will be able to:

Draw this out of you. Possibly over time. Allowing for greater clarity and accelerating your motivation to set your motor revving NOW for something that’s barely on the horizon.

Short-term goals = What you want to achieve in the next 3-6 months

  • What one thing in your portfolio or services do your ideal clients want most within the next 6 months?
  • What do you need to be selling to help your ideal clients RIGHT NOW?
  • What is the one activity that will move you forwards with the most ease in the next few weeks?

This category is under one year and gets into the nitty gritty detail.

A marketing coach will be able to:

help you chunk down those big scary goals into smaller and smaller ones, until you have a realistic and manageable set of activities. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you feel that confidence, that certainty that you’re moving in the right direction.

2. Your customer

High level definition of your customer = Your audience

It’s broad, it’s big (in an ideal world) and it’s not too well defined. If you’re lucky enough to have an audience, you might also be lucky enough to be able to say ‘they have these problems and this outlook on life’ but then it tends to get a bit hazy. For example, Janet Murray’s audience consists entirely of small business owners who want to build their audience (#meta) but they’re from all age groups, all parts of the world and run all different types of businesses.

This is a level in which ideal customer avatars do not exist!

A marketing coach will be able to:

Spot whether your perception of your audience matches up to reality and whether they’re actually the right people to target if you want a smooth path to world domination

Short-term, tactical definition of customer = Your ideal customer for a specific offer

Carrying on the Janet Murray example, she doesn’t then try and formulate every offer to appeal to every single person in her audience. She’ll examine them, realise there’s a specific problem they’re struggling with, for example moving a bricks and mortar business online, and then pull together an offer for that slice of her audience.

So if you’re desperate to do yet another ideal customer avatar exercise, this is the level to do it at. I see people trying to do it for their business as a whole. Frustration and tears frequently ensue.

Newsflash: Doing ideal customer work on your own is painful.

A marketing coach will be able to:

Help you get clear on your ideal customer for a certain offer, while simultaneously making sure that the aforementioned ideal customer actually exists and isn’t a figment of your imagination. Like a flipping magician or something.

3. Your offer and messaging

High-level offer and messaging= Your brand and what your business is known for

At the highest level, this category is all about your brand and how you position your business. Your brand is what people say about you and your business when you’re not in the room. Your position is what people think you can do for them, in comparison to their other options.

You can’t control these things but you can influence what people think through your marketing communications and the offers you put out into the world.

We’re now edging closer to the realms of what most people consider as ‘marketing’.

A marketing coach will be able to:

Look out for ways to raise your brand visibility. In other words, to get more people to know about you and what you do.

Low level offer and messaging: The promise, package and price.

Again we enter the domain of the specific. You’re selling something (hopefully). You know who you want to help (your customer) and you know how you want to help them. This is what I call the ‘promise’.

The promise

It’s the emotional reason why they’d buy it from you. Some marketing coaches are more gifted than others when it comes to messaging. I have my own ‘messaging tripod’ model that I use with clients. Which is a fancy way of saying that I have in depth conversations with the client, scribble like I hate the paper and then tidy my thoughts up in a way that makes it legible.

The result is a core sentence or phrase that sums up the problem your client is having and how they feel about it. That sort of thing.

The package

Humans buying stuff first make the decision based on emotion and then look to back up that decision with rational arguments. That’s what I call the ‘package’. Why package? Because it starts with a ‘p’ and fits in nicely with ‘promise’ and ‘price’.

It means the nuts and bolts of what you’re offering and proactively managing objections like ‘is it worth the money’, ‘why should I trust this person’, and ‘will I have the time’ and other popular hits. A marketing coach will be able to objectively tell whether the package sits together well. Whether it is attractive enough for your ideal customers.

The price

And of course lastly, and in this case leastly, the price. People get their knickers in a right old twist about price. Honestly, if people see the value in what you’re selling, they’ll buy it. If they don’t, they won’t. But pricing is usually a hot topic that marketing coaches can support with.

Mindset gremlins love money decisions. One of the key differences between a marketing coach and a marketing consultant is that the coach will support more on self-limiting beliefs. Most entrepreneurs will make assumptions that aren’t based on fact. A marketing coach can gently separate the fact from the unhelpful fiction.

4. Communications

Marketing communications, everyone’s favourite! There are so many options of how to get your high level message out there (your brand message) and how to sell your stuff (low-level messaging).

I’ll admit it, there are some marketing coaches that dwell in this box. Just the marketing communications. But hopefully you can see the limitations of that approach. If you’re not clear on your two levels of goals, both definitions of customer and your high-level versus tactical offer and messaging, how on earth do you know what to put in your marketing communications?

Examples of long-term, brand building communications

  • PR
  • Writing a book
  • Speaking

Examples of tactical, short-term communication and sales channels

  • Email marketing
  • Advertising
  • Affiliate schemes

And of course there can be cross-over between the two; the results will depend on the messaging you put out in each communication channel.

For a more in depth rundown of your marketing communication options, have a look at this. It’s probably the most boring blog I’ve ever written, but you can scan it in a few seconds and perhaps you’ll get some inspiration of other things you could be doing other than content marketing and advertising.

Marketing coaches will be able to:

Draw on their experience and help you decide which channels you should be using for brand building and visibility raising. And which would be best to make your latest launch fly.

What do marketing coaches do with all this info?

 Short-term and tactical (Under a year)Short-term and tactical (Under a year)
Your goalsVision/ mission
The direction of your business
Targets to reach in 3 – 6 months
Your customerYour audienceThe ideal client for this offer
Your proposition and messagingYour brandWhat thing you’re offering right now
Your communicationsBrand building & visibility raisingSales messages

Once the marketing coach has a map of all this in their noggin, they can spot the gaps, inconsistencies and opportunities for you.

For example, if I were to work with a menopause trainer who was on a mission to get big businesses to have an open dialogue about this very natural thing, but she wasn’t talking about her opinions in her content, this would be a gap and I’d encourage her to rectify.

Whereas if I were to work with a service provider who didn’t run any particular ‘campaigns’ or launches, that would be an easy area to improve on.

Some marketing coaches are highly analytical and will love to dive into the data, set lots of targets and will be keen to measure results. Others will let intuition lead the way.

Personally, I have a pragmatic approach. I don’t need access to your mailing software’s analytics to find out if your lead magnet is working or not. You probably know that already. I work to improve on what’s working and fix (or change) what isn’t as quickly as possible.

Putting it another way, a marketing coach:

  • Will review your long-term and tactical goals, target customer, offer and messaging and communications.
  • Does a lot of similar work to a marketing consultant, but with more focus on the mindset and energy of their client.
  • Might do similar work to a business coach, but you’d need to check that before signing up with one.

A great marketing coach will be looking out to do all of this AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE.

One of the key reasons people hire marketing consultants is to save time and money. A marketing coach will be aiming to save you time, money and energy.

Thinking of working with a marketing coach? Download the free Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Coaches and find out which type of marketing coach would be right for you.

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