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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In the growth stage, consumer awareness grows, and increasing numbers of consumers try the product. Satisfied consumers become committed to the product and tell others about their experience, thus building the market for the product. As more consumers successfully try the product they create a “buzz” in the marketplace encouraging more mainstream consumers to try the product and become committed to using the product. (Obviously, there is a negative impact and damage to the market if consumers do not have a positive experience when they try the product.) At this stage new entrants providing the product come into the market, and the product begins a rapid and dynamic growth. This stage is characterized by market expansion, substantial profits, increased competition and the subsequent need for product differentiation.

Executive coaching entered the growth phase in the early 1990s. Both The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and CoachU were founded in 1992 and began to promote the concept of coaching. The profession experienced a marked increase in the number of coaches entering the field as coach training schools became established and grew. The Personal and Professional Coaches Association (PPCA) was formed in 1994, and the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association (PCMA) began in 1996. In the same year that PCMA was established, PPCA was transformed into the International Coach Federation (ICF). The field of executive coaching was introduced in mainstream business publications in 1993 with the article “The Executive’s New Coach” in Fortune magazine.  In a 1996 Newsweek article,  Thomas Leonard, considered to be one of the fathers of coaching, estimated there to be 1000 coaches nationwide. By 2002, the Wall Street Journal estimated the number to exceed 25,000 worldwide.  One indication that executive coaching was becoming mainstream was that major universities began offering executive coaching degree programs. Coach programs began in 1998 at George Mason University and in 1999 at George Washington University. George Washington University was the first to offer graduate credit for coaching courses. The growth stage for executive coaching has only covered about ten years. Certainly, the economic downturn exacerbated by the effects of 9/11 contributed to slowing the expansion of the market and truncated the growth of executive coaching.

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