Home Marketing Trends The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

The Marketing of Professional Coaching: An Eleven Year Perspective

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The coaching profession has grown enormously over the last ten years. To keep the profession dynamic and relevant it will be critical to address current and future challenges with an understanding of “where coaching stands in the lineage of business and other interventions”.  Coaching is a service industry. Like any other product or service it is subject to a product/market life cycle which occurs in four stages: product introduction, market growth, market maturity and sales decline.

The product or market life cycle is a well-documented concept in business literature. “Product life cycle is the postulate that if a new product is successful at the introductory stage (and many fail) then repeat purchase gradually grows and spreads and the rate of sales growth increases. At this stage, competitors often enter the market, and their additional promotion expenditures further expand the market. But no market is infinitely expandable, and eventually the rate of growth slows as the product moves into its maturity stage.”

The product/market life cycle construct is useful in analyzing the profession of executive coaching because it provides a framework for considering market interventions designed to maximize the growth and maturity stages of the cycle, when the market is most profitable. It also allows for the design of interventions that will forestall decline, such as refining and re-launching the product to better meet the changing needs of the market. Applying the market life cycle construct allows us to use our knowledge of where executive coaching has been and where it is now in the cycle in order to predict and offset a future decline. We can use this analysis to bring a new awareness and conscious action to the intentional design of the future of executive coaching—not unlike how we as coaches guide our clients in their businesses.

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