Marketing Is Not Advertising

Like many coaches, you might be under the impression that marketing and advertising are the same thing. But in reality, they couldn't be more different.

Coaches tend to avoid marketing because they believe it's solely about interrupting people and asking them to buy something. However, marketing is not just about selling a product or service but also about building relationships and understanding and meeting the needs of their current and future clients.

I began to correctly understand marketing myself more than 25 years ago during my first marketing course in my business degree. At the time I had no interest in marketing because I had no intention of becoming a salesman or an ad man. I only took the course because it was required. One of the learning tools I remember very clearly was the “5 P’s of Marketing”. It changed my perspective of marketing forever.

As a coach, you may not realize it, but you are already doing marketing. Almost everything you do in your business is a form of marketing. Every business engages in marketing, the difference is, some businesses are more intentional with their efforts. It's these businesses that typically thrive.

Marketing encompasses a wide range of activities that extend beyond advertising and begins well before it starts, continuing long after it ends.

Understanding the 5 Ps of Marketing for Coaches

The 5 Ps of marketing are product, price, place, promotion, and people. These elements make up the marketing mix and are key to the success of your coaching business. Understanding them will help you see that marketing is about understanding your target market and creating a strategy to reach them and then help them in the most effective way possible.


Product refers to the coaching services (or products) that you offer. This includes the features, design, packaging, and branding of your services. As a coach, it's important to know what your target market is looking for in a coach and make sure your offerings align with those needs.


Price refers to the cost of your coaching services. This includes the cost of your services, any discounts or pricing structures, and the payment options you offer. As a coach, it's important to know the value of your services and price them accordingly, so it's a win-win for both you and your clients.


Place refers to the location or distribution channels through which your services are made available to customers. This includes your physical location and any online channels you use to reach your target market. By understanding where your target market is most likely to find and access your services, you can ensure that you're reaching them in the most effective way possible.


Promotion refers to the methods used to communicate with and persuade potential customers to purchase your services. This includes advertising, public relations, and personal selling. But advertising is just a small part of the promotion element and there are many other ways to promote your services like building relationships with potential clients, creating valuable content, and building a strong brand.


People refers to the target market and how they perceive your services. It also includes the people who will be involved in your services, such as employees, partners, and customers. By understanding the needs and wants of your target market, you can tailor your services to meet those needs, creating a win-win situation for both you and your clients.

The 5 Ps of marketing give you a framework to effectively market your services. Understanding them will help you see that marketing is not just about advertising, but a holistic approach that includes a wide range of elements that can help build a successful coaching business. By putting your clients' best interests at heart, you can ensure you're providing services that meet their specific needs, creating a win-win situation for everyone. And by using this approach, you can develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with your clients and grow a sustainable business.

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