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About this practice

We help our clients set their strategic direction, develop their marketing and sales capabilities, and connect their organization to realize the full potential of today's omni-channel opportunities. To deliver above-market growth in today's market, we believe that organizations need to build two things:

Excellent “3D” capabilities

  • Discover: Building a data advantage by pulling in relevant data sets, analyzing the data at high speed, turning it into relevant business insights, and then delivering those insights to the decision makers so they can take meaningful action. The discovery needs to be based on a thorough understanding of today’s customer decision journey. Our investment in proprietary tools and research as well as global expertise helps clients quickly discover the insights that matter.
  • Design: Creating business strategies, processes, pricing programs, products, and experiences that the brand can deliver to customers. Fed by a continuing stream of insights, strategists in business units rapidly learn what is and is not working, innovate new solutions, assess their economics and feasibility, and then work with the frontline on implementation. Our strategic vision and proven methodologies help shape successful strategies.
  • Deliver: Getting the right offerings to individual customers across a complex range of online and offline channels. Orchestrating the delivery of products and offers across marketing and sales channels requires operational excellence and organizational agility. We build lasting client capabilities by using proven approaches, flexible programs customized to client needs, and experiential training labs.

Organizational skills to multiply the “3D” impact

  • Effective Discovery-Design-Delivery is essentially a balancing act that requires getting into the guts of the organization to align its people, processes, and capabilities. We work with companies to link their analysis and decisions to frontline realities, and make sure the frontline understands the logic for decisions.
  • We enable top global brands to deliver above-market growth by raising the tough questions about how to take advantage of shifts in competitive landscapes and customer needs. We not only collaborate with all our clients to generate practical insights; we also help implement solutions and build the capabilities to sustain above-market growth. Our proven expertise in designing transformations helps clients mobilize organizations for successful change over the long term.

Read more on Our Insights page.


Our Marketing & Sales experts in our global practice offer real-world experience and extensive knowledge in disciplines from pricing to branding to digital marketing. As one of McKinsey’s largest practices, our experience and scale working across the boundaries of client organizations ensures that solutions and capabilities are relevant to the client’s business goals. Our leaders include former marketing and sales executives from top global consumer products and marketing companies—Ph.D. s in branding, social scientists, copywriters, and agency veterans.

We also have dozens of market specialists in the Consumer & Shopper Insights and Consumer Marketing Analytics Center groups, who do leading-edge econometric modeling, in-depth research, and also work with clients to develop proprietary tools. With 90 locations around the world, our people also know local markets firsthand.


We invest significantly in research and thought leadership in marketing and sales topics. Our practice provides clients and the broad marketing and sales community with timely studies, white papers, and other publications, which are available on Our Insights page. Classics like “The Price Advantage” and “Retail Marketing & Branding” have been published in multiple editions, while “Sales Growth” and “The Future of Marketing: Big Data, Analytics, and Marketing & Sales” have pushed the boundaries of knowledge on these topics.

Read more on Our Insights page.

Featured capabilities

Our knowledge development efforts have also yielded a wide range of tools and analytic frameworks that help establish practical perspectives based on hard facts. McKinsey teams can measure with precision where markets are headed and help clients make sense of their own data. These tools deliver crucial—sometimes surprising—insights. For example: In India, cell phones must be washable; in China, shampoos must work in cold water. Frameworks and tools range from Consumer Decision Journey, which helps track how consumers interact with brands, to a joint venture with Google called OMEX, which helps companies understand their Web performance, to Periscope, a collection of proprietary advanced pricing tools and services.


Our network of industry experts includes more than 5,000 active senior marketing and sales executives around the world as well as our expansive group of alumni. We actively participate in and convene forums, webinars, workshops, and roundtables with top leaders to share knowledge and debate ideas. Increasingly, we host online discussions between gatherings to keep the conversations going. These forums not only help our clients build their own networks and learning, but help us to continually bring the latest innovative thinking and practical knowledge to our work. We are also actively involved in—and experimenting with—Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest, and Facebook to participate in conversations on the leading topics of the day.

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