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 decline stage, the final stage of the market life cycle, new products are introduced into the market and challenge the declining product. Price competition is more vigorous, but those products that have been successfully differentiated will still make profits. Old products will still retain a few loyal customers and some conservative consumers who may not accept new ideas as easily as others—preferring the old product rather than discovering the new.

For executive coaching, this means that if we fail to intervene as our service matures, we are headed for an inevitable decline in sales, where coaches may still retain some loyal customers, yet the number of new clients will decline. As the market shrinks, coaches will increasingly find it difficult to sustain themselves with the decreased level of activity and many may be forced to leave the profession. Ultimately, a new product or service could replace executive coaching.


Stewardship for the profession of executive coaching dictates that we pay attention to the product cycle and act accordingly. As stewards of the profession we must do everything we can to ensure that clients have a very positive experience of executive coaching.  Clients should not only become committed, loyal users of our product, but become advocates and “raving fans” thus further building the market. As our service matures, we need to determine how to respond as a professional community to keep our service relevant, strong, and agile. We offer the following recommendations to meet the current challenges of our profession. We hope that these recommendations will initiate an urgent dialogue and result in actions that will maintain and sustain the health of our profession.

1. Provide leadership

In a maturing market it is essential to meet the increasing demands of clients. As a profession we must assure the quality of services, support innovation, document successes and impact, and communicate the results of these efforts in a unified voice. To accomplish these ends, the executive coaching community needs leadership. Our community currently lacks a common vision compelling us to act in alignment.

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