An overview of the marketing activities of coaches in South Africa
Thesis (M.Phil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The coaching profession is thriving and the future looks bright. The coaching industry has reached this advantageous position as a result of a number of interdependent drivers. Firstly, there is more complexity, uncertainty and volatility in the personal and business environments of people. In the second instance, the accumulated coaching experience on a global scale as seen in increased and “better” awareness, more focused training of coaches, and evidence-based research on the benefits of coaching makes coaching an attractive intervention. This optimistic picture is somewhat tarnished by another driver that is associated with any area that experiences unprecedented growth, namely the ever-increasing entry of people into coaching with diverse backgrounds, training and qualifications. This influx of newcomers to coaching leads to two distinct and real disadvantages: firstly, not all of the entrants into coaching are suitably qualified or experienced to be a coach and secondly, it is becoming more difficult for coaches to differentiate themselves and to earn a decent living from coaching. This study aims to contribute to the body of knowledge around coaching in general by investigating and describing the marketing practices of coaches in South Africa. A survey was conducted among the members of COMENSA by means of a self-completing questionnaire. The study found that coaches in South Africa are generally well qualified and experience the same opportunities and obstacles as their global counterparts. They have a clear sense of what they wish to achieve with their coaching approaches and have used a variety of different marketing channels to convey this to their target markets. However, the study also found that most of their activities were disorganised and that they were unsure about the success of these activities. It is clear from this study that the importance of marketing needs to be emphasised in the training of coaches as well as in support from professional bodies such as COMENSA in South Africa. Recommendations of this study include the noted need for a more informed view around the value of marketing for coaches. Recommendations furthermore include a number of future research areas such as studies aimed at the use of social media, competition within the coaching environment and general perceptions around coaching within different demographical cohorts of the South African population.
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