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 market maturity stage, the rate of growth of the product or service declines.  Market share stabilizes and there begins to be a consolidation of the products in the market. Price competition becomes more aggressive, and profits decline as the rate of growth slows. With so many products in the market, the market becomes saturated, leading to price competition, and product quality begins to decline. Consumers begin to demand more for less, and put downward pressure on prices. Profits decline because competition requires increased expenditures on promotion as well as price-cutting to attract new clients. In order to forestall the decline and demise of mature products, it is critical to redefine the product, re-launch or innovate the product—essentially restarting its life cycle.

By the early 2000’s, the rate of growth of executive coaching began to slow, hastened by the declining economy. We have seen a decline in attendance at coaching conferences. The number of new coaches entering training has also declined. For example, in 2001, the ICF conference attracted about 1500 coaches. In 2002, only 850 coaches attended the ICF conference and fewer potential new executive coaches entered coach training at CoachU and other major training programs. As executive coaching enters the maturity stage, coaching is increasingly becoming a commodity, with price being a key differentiating factor. Clients are becoming increasingly price conscious and the increased availability of executive coaches has allowed clients to put a downward pressure on prices. Large users of coaching services are negotiating fixed rates for coaches in their programs (e.g., World Bank, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac).

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