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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Commentary on “The Future of Executive Coaching: Analysis from a Market Lifecycle Approach”

Suzi Pomerantz, MT, MCC and Sheila Maher, MBA, MA

[This article first appeared in the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations, 2007.  Reprinted with permission of IJCO and Professional Coaching Publications, Inc.]


We, the authors, are delighted that our article was selected to be reprinted in this edition of IJCO and that we have the opportunity to update our thinking with this commentary. We are pleased that our article had its intended effect and sparked ongoing discussions and research about the stewardship of our profession. We hope that reprinting it will have the same effect today. The concept of product life cycle for executive coaching continues to provide a useful framework for the on-going discussion of the leadership, stewardship, and direction of our profession. In this commentary we seek to bring that discussion up to date and to provide our best thinking about the challenges that face our coaching profession today.

Executive coaching has continued to grow since we wrote the article in 2002 and published it in 2003 though the rate of growth has slowed as is indicative of a mature market. Nobody knows exactly how many coaches are working worldwide, as you can see from the following:
 In 2002, the Wall Street Journal estimated 25,000 coaches worldwide.
 In 2003, the Washington Post estimated 20,000 coaches worldwide.
 Also in 2003, Development and Learning in Organizations predicted an estimated 50,000 coaches worldwide by 2007.
 In 2005, Business Wire claimed 15,000 career coaches worldwide.
 Also in 2005, the Dallas Morning News reported 40,000 coaches worldwide.
 As of November 2006, the ICF reported over 11,000 members in 80 countries.
 And The Economist predicts annual growth of 40% a year for executive coaching.

Since there are no formal requirements for training and since there has been a proliferation of coach training institutions it is almost impossible to get an accurate count of the number of executive coaches in this country, let alone worldwide.

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