The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Marketing Coach

Marketing is fundamental to the growth and success of every business today.

Put simply, unless a business can navigate the complex challenge of presenting an attractive offer to the right prospective customers (a core function of marketing), it’s very unlikely they will make sales. 

Without sales, there is no revenue. And without revenue, any business is destined to fail.  

As the economic landscape becomes increasingly competitive, marketing coaches—professionals who offer their expertise to shape robust marketing strategies—are becoming indispensable to businesses of all sizes. 

If you’ve ever wondered about becoming a marketing coach yourself, we’re going to cover everything you need to know in this article.

We’ll get into what marketing coaching actually is. Common roles and responsibilities of marketing coaches. The pros and cons of certification. And how software platforms, like Quenza, can help you operate your coaching practice. 

If you want to try Quenza out for yourself right now, you can sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.

Empowering Business Owners to Achieve Their Goals

At its core, marketing coaching is about providing guidance to businesses on their marketing strategies. 

To provide a broad overview, a marketing coach works closely with businesses to:

  1. Identify their business goals, exploring how marketing might facilitate these
  2. Develop marketing strategies that align with the businesses goals
  3. Support the execution and evaluation of these strategies

A Varied and Diverse Role

Getting into the more nitty gritty now, a marketing coach can help businesses:

  • Understand their target audience
  • Refine brand positioning
  • Conduct market research
  • Choose the right marketing channels
  • Develop compelling messages
  • Manage relationships with customers
  • Mentor and grow a marketing team
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts 

Furthermore, marketing coaches offer customized expert guidance based on the particular needs and goals of each business they work with. 

One of the main reasons an individual or organization hires a marketing coach is to bring out the unique vision of the business. This is in contrast to the “done for you” type approach provided by some other marketing professionals.

Marketing Coach vs. Marketing Consultant

Like the profession of coaching, marketing is a field where the exact responsibilities and areas of focus can differ a lot between practitioners. Just as two life coaches might provide vastly different services, two marketing professionals can work with businesses from completely different angles.

For this article, the biggest distinction to be recognized is between a marketing coach and a marketing consultant.

Marketing Coach

A marketing coach tends to focus on helping business owners and organizations to independently clarify, develop, and execute their marketing strategy.

The value of this is that the key individuals in a business grow and learn new skills, which they can continue to build upon and use in different areas.

In short, businesses that hire a marketing coach are looking for expert guidance and teaching. Not someone to take over all or a part of their marketing efforts.

Marketing Consultant

Marketing consultants usually (but not always) take over responsibility for certain aspects of marketing.

A good consultant will always work with a business owner or organization on clarifying goals and preferences. However, then they would get to work on producing a key deliverable. That might be designing and executing an email marketing campaign or coordinating the creation of a new website.

The value of a marketing consultant is that they can provide a “done for you” service. This can be expensive, but it’s far less time-consuming than doing the marketing activities yourself.

A word of caution: The distinctions provided above are only a guide. 

Many marketing coaches also work as consultants and vice versa. Furthermore, marketing professionals can also blend the two roles, especially when working with smaller businesses.

The most useful part of understanding the difference between a marketing coach vs. marketing consultant is that you can use this knowledge to position your own services.

For example, your coaching bio might read, “A marketing coach who specializes in mindset, helping you overcome limiting beliefs about selling to grow your business.”

Or you might offer marketing consulting as an add-on to your services as a marketing coach. Such as, “In addition to marketing coaching, I also offer a bespoke consulting service, where I can take time-consuming and complex marketing tasks (like market research and developing customer personas) off your to-do list.”

The 4 Domains of Marketing Coaching

If you’re considering specializing as a marketing coach, it’s worth giving some deep thought to the 4 domains described below. 

To be successful, you will need a reasonable understanding of each domain. Plus, it may be helpful to niche down into one or two areas. That way, you’ll have a point of difference when positioning yourself amongst the growing number of marketing coaches in the industry.

As we go through these domains, we’ll describe specific activities and exercises from the Expansions library in Quenza

Expansions are ready-to-use, yet customizable activities that you can use with your coaching clients. They can be delivered in 1:1 coaching, as part of a group or workshop, or even built into your own online course.

To try Quenza out today, you can sign up right now for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.

1.   Goal Setting

When it comes to goal setting, marketing coaching is no different to life coaching or organizational coaching—clear goals are crucial to success.

Unless the individual or organization you are working with knows what they want to achieve from their marketing efforts, it will be almost impossible to develop a clear strategy and plan of action. So one of your first jobs as a marketing coach with a new client is to engage in some goal setting exercises.

Before you start, it’s useful to define what a marketing goal is:[1]

“A marketing goal is a specific and measurable objective that helps you meet your broader business goals. It can be anything from generating high-quality leads and raising brand awareness to increasing customer value and improving your referral rate.”

Quenza has dozens of goal setting exercises in our Expansions library for you to use with clients. 

Some particularly suited to marketing coaching are:

Using Role Models to Facilitate Goal Attainment

Motivational Vision Board

Pre-Coaching Questionnaire

2.   Consumer Psychology

If there is one common thread throughout all marketing coaching, it’s the importance of utilizing consumer psychology in marketing efforts.

Ultimately, the goal of marketing is to get customers to buy a product or service. And while most businesses do a reasonable job of communicating the general benefits of their offer. Those that rise to the top can position their product as the obvious choice to solve a specific problem being faced by their target customer.

As a marketing coach, your job is to help your client develop a deep understanding of the psychology and buying habits of their target customers. Because only then, can they create an offer and marketing material that will resonate with their audience. 

In his pivotal work on consumer psychology, Robert Cialdini describes this as, “The Psychology of Persuasion.”[2]

One of the best ways to coach your clients in this area is to help them come up with a customer avatar: A profile of a hypothetical client, complete with name, demographics, and psychological insights. 

The most important (and most difficult) part of a customer avatar is the information about their core values, as this is what drives purchasing behavior.

To flesh out the values for a customer avatar, you can go through one of Quenza’s values activities with your client, with their ideal customer as the subject.

Here are a few snippets from our Top 5 Values expansion.

It starts with explaining why values are important.

Before going through a structured process to ascertain a person’s (the customer avatar) top 5 values.

3.   Offer Development

Perhaps the most overlooked area of marketing, whether coaching or otherwise, is offer development.

It sounds simple when said directly: “Your offer must be something that actually appeals to your target audience.” Yet far too often, business owners become overly attached to the current design of their product and service, failing to see that this isn’t always a good match for their customers’ desires.

To put the importance of the offer in perspective, direct marketing veteran Brian Kurtz uses a 40/40/20 rule for determining the importance of the various elements of marketing[3].

In this rule, the importance of each element in marketing success is broken down into the following ratio:

  • 40% the list (i.e., the people you’re presenting the offer to)
  • 40% the offer (the exact product or service you’re presenting to the audience)
  • 20% creative (the copy and content used in marketing efforts)

To kick-start marketing coaching with a new client, you might like to adapt one of our coaching intake forms to get clients thinking about their offer before your first session together.

The best-suited Expansion for this is our Business Coaching Intake Form, which can be customized with the exact headings and information you would like (including changing the title to Marketing Coaching Intake Form!).

4.   Communications

Many business owners feel anxious about the communications side of marketing—with good reason.

Marketing inevitably involves putting yourself, and your brand, out there. And while this can result in more sales, it makes many people feel vulnerable and self-conscious. 

Your role as a marketing coach is to help individuals and organizations spread their message in a way that feels authentic and aligned. And most importantly, it must be effective. You may also need to help clients deal with anxiety or mindset challenges about content that will be released to the public.

Communications marketing coaching might involve any number of the following:

  • Collaboratively workshopping ideas for a brand story, business values, or list of product benefits
  • Helping a business owner decide what marketing channels to use (e.g., digital, print, social media, seminars, etc)
  • Working on phrases, taglines, and content ideas for marketing materials
  • Developing a response to a difficult or sensitive issue, such as responding to a data breach or product recall

If you’re working with a business owner who is particularly anxious about releasing marketing content, you might like to take them through our I Can/Can’t Control Exercise.

When framed in the context of marketing efforts, this activity helps clients to get comfortable with the fact that there is an element of faith involved in marketing. The realization that the only path forward is to put out material, then evaluate how it performs, can ease the “paralysis by analysis” felt by many people who are new to marketing.

Remember, you can access all these Activities (and more) right now by signing up for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1. Our Expansions Library contains over 250 exercises, forms, and worksheets similar to those detailed above.

Special Mentions: Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Two services we’d recommend all aspiring marketing coaches offer are marketing strategy coaching and marketing coaching for entrepreneurs.

Marketing Strategy Coaching

Marketing strategy coaching is when a coach helps a business clearly define their target market, value proposition, marketing mix, and methods for measuring success. With their expertise, marketing coaches can guide businesses in developing and refining these elements, aligning them with their broader business goals.

It’s important to offer marketing strategy coaching in your suite of services, as it is an incredibly flexible way to work with clients. 

You can scale marketing strategy services all the way from one-off calls for advice, to monthly retainers with set activities and deliverables.

Marketing Coaching for Entrepreneurs

Marketing coaching for entrepreneurs is a great niche because startups and small businesses often lack the marketing expertise needed to effectively reach their target audience. Marketing coaches can provide this much-needed expertise, helping entrepreneurs understand their market, develop effective marketing strategies, and avoid common marketing pitfalls.

Coaching entrepreneurs is beneficial for both newer and more experienced practitioners. 

If you’re a beginner marketing coach, entrepreneurs often operate on tight budgets, meaning they’re more likely to give a less experienced coach a chance (which will help you build your skills). And if you’re more experienced, what starts out as a smaller job initially, can easily turn into a long-term arrangement if the startup succeeds. 

Recommended: Understanding Strategy Coaching: How Businesses Use Coaching to Gain a Competitive Edge

The Many Paths to Becoming a Marketing Coach

To become a marketing coach, one typically needs a solid background in marketing and a good understanding of business strategy. This might come from personal experience, formal education, or both.

As you may have already noticed, a background as a coach is an asset as well. The valuable insights into psychology and human behavior learned as a coach will help you understand both consumers and business owners on a deeper level. 

If you’re currently practicing as a coach in a different area, gaining practical experience in marketing roles can provide invaluable insights into the challenges businesses face and how to address them effectively. Operating your own social media channels or writing a blog are good options if you aren’t able to take on a traditional marketing role to gain experience.

The Importance of Training and Certification

While many marketing coaches get by in their first few years of practice without formal training or a coaching certification, both are usually required to progress to higher-level clients.

Simply put, clients of a certain caliber will expect you to have some form of marketing qualification and coaching credentials to work with them. 

Pursuing a relevant marketing and coaching certification can significantly bolster your credibility. Certified coaches are more likely to attract high-quality clients, as certification offers assurance of their competency and adherence to professional standards. 

The good news is, you have a lot of choice in what training and certification to undertake.

Training and certification in both marketing and coaching are now offered by many mainstream training organizations and online course providers. And you can easily find lots of options through a simple web search.

Marketing Coach Software

Like training and certification, there are numerous options now available for marketing coach software.

Providing exact recommendations is difficult, as the best marketing coach software depends on the specific needs of you and your clients.

In general, you’ll probably want a digital coaching platform for:

  • Communicating with clients and storing notes
  • Sending and receiving coaching activities and homework exercises
  • Creating online training packages to walk through various aspects of marketing
  • Managing groups of clients and other professionals

For those functions (and more), Quenza provides an all-in-one solution to increase client engagement, deliver automated coaching, and scale your practice. You can try it out now by signing up for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.

In addition to Quenza, you’ll probably need access to some technical marketing software. This list is by no means exhaustive, but some popular examples are detailed below. However, keep in mind, the need for technical marketing software is entirely dependent on your client base and area of work.

Technical Marketing Software Examples

Final Thoughts

Marketing coaching plays a pivotal role in the success of many individuals and organizations in today’s competitive business landscape. 

Whether you’re an aspiring marketing coach or a business seeking to enhance its marketing efforts, understanding the dynamics of marketing coaching is invaluable. From defining strategies to executing them, marketing coaches offer the expertise businesses need to navigate the complex world of marketing.

If you’re considering becoming a marketing coach, the first step is to deepen your understanding of the field. Start by gaining a thorough understanding of the 4 domains of marketing coaching that we discussed in this article. Then, consider pursuing a marketing and/or coaching certification.

Remember, Quenza is here for you every step of the way in your coaching journey. And you can start using our powerful digital coaching platform right now, by signing up for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.

References

  1. ^ Higa, H. (2022). The 9 goals to consider when creating a marketing strategy. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/goals-of-marketing.
  2. ^ Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: The psychology of persuasion. HarperCollins Publishers.
  3. ^ Kurtz, B. (2022). Overdeliver: Build a business for a lifetime playing the long game in direct response marketing. Hay House Inc.

About the author

Eamon is an ex-social worker turned freelance writer, from Perth, Western Australia. Eamon has worked as a clinical social worker for 15 years, in several positions across the healthcare, justice, disability, substance misuse, and mental health systems.

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