Translating consumer insights and big data into concrete initiatives that drive above-market growth.
A company’s ability to drive above-market growth hinges on the depth of its consumer insights and how well it translates those insights into effective action. Our area of work is made up of more than 130 dedicated insights and analytics experts and professionals—with more than 900 years of collective experience in 12 countries and 25 cities across the world—focused on helping our clients do exactly that.
To develop deep customer understanding, we employ a range of quantitative and qualitative marketing research approaches plus big data techniques that are both innovative and pragmatic. We’ve grouped our capabilities into two areas:
Consumer & Shopper Insights
Insights into consumers can help companies spark innovation, uncover the most promising (though not always most intuitive) sources of growth, and develop or maintain successful products and brands. McKinsey’s qualitative and quantitative marketing research approaches, tools, and techniques help our clients discover why their customers behave as they do at every phase of their purchase decision journey, understand their customers’ experiences, and dig deeply into their best drivers of customer loyalty. By applying these insights, our clients can develop innovative and differentiated marketing strategies that include effective value propositions, segmentation, branding, product design, pricing, and customer experiences.
McKinsey’s Consumer Marketing Analytics Center (CMAC) accelerates the potential of big data by translating insights from advanced analytics into action across the marketing and consumer-facing organization. Using its global team of analytics professionals with deep expertise in all aspects of big data acquisition and interpretation, CMAC has acquired a track record of success identifying and applying best practices to create insights-driven organizations across a range of industries, including retail, consumer goods, banking, insurance, telecom, media, and healthcare.
What we do
Our goal is to help our clients develop a set of practical and interlocking capabilities that reveal—and maximize the profitable use of—the data appropriate to their situation. We do this by:
- Discovering insights by analyzing multiple data sources. We identify and source both relevant internal and external data, and help upgrade the necessary IT infrastructure. We focus on speed to deliver consumer insights quickly, sometimes in as little as 10 days.
- Designing programs based on the insights generated. We work with leaders and frontline users to develop internal processes and incentives as well as a culture that uses insights for profitable decision making. We build prediction and optimization models, for example, to focus on the biggest drivers of value. These models balance complexity with ease of use. In setting up programs, our aim is to create an ongoing “insights factory.”
- Delivering insights-driven growth for the short- and long-term. We develop simple tools for the front line and provide training in how to use them to extract meaningful insights from complex data sets. Our state-of-the-art, ISO-certified data center in Atlanta provides IT and data-support infrastructure. Our teams are fluent in a wide range of crucial software languages.
How we help
- Customer-lifecycle management. By using proprietary customer data and analytics, clients can acquire, develop, and retain high-value customers more profitably and effectively—and drive the necessary organizational changes from the C-suite through to the frontline.
- Marketing return on investment. Our tools track activities along the entire customer decision journey to bring transparency to marketing return on investment. By optimizing the effectiveness of marketing spend across the board, clients can free up 10 to 20 percent of their investment to reinvest for growth or take as bottom-line savings.
- Pricing and promotions. Our suite of proprietary methods, innovative research, analytic software solutions, and economic simulators for complex scenario analysis aid clients in pricing, promotions, and trade terms to optimize return on sales.
- Assortment optimization. Adopting an analytically driven approach to assortment optimization helps clients determine which items should be stocked where to maximize profit. Our approach has the flexibility to optimize at multiple levels, from department and category down to microspace.
Examples of our work
- Our consumer-insights generation helped a global consumer-goods manufacturer redesign both its product portfolio and packaging.
- Through a rapid deployment of existing solutions and custom-built designs, we partnered with a client to capture an immediate opportunity—in pricing and promotions, marketing-mix optimization, and campaign effectiveness. We applied a proprietary tool to develop targeted recommendation models for acquisitions, revenue generation, and customer retention, and an implementation team to help build and support it.
- We built a test lab for a client who wanted to improve the execution of campaigns and analytic models by testing them before they went into the field. We tested marketing vehicles, monitored and measured performance, and ran peer-group models to continually improve results.
- Our approach helped unify a leading Internet company around a global and enterprise-wide strategic segmentation of customers, enabling effective prioritization and coordination of marketing and product-development activities.
- Following a merger, we collaborated with a retail bank to conduct conjoint-based research into current customers and cross-bank shoppers to achieve financial targets and improve market share.
Customer Insights drives growth by leveraging consumer, buyer and market insights. By integrating hard scientific methods, objective facts, and cutting-edge analytics, Insight Solutions help companies generate a 360° view of their customers.
Category Solutions helps retailers and consumer goods companies develop effective assortment strategies based on buyer behavior data. We leverage point-of-sale data, syndicated 3rd party data, and online competitor insights to help category managers sustainably improve commercial performance.
Marketing Solutions comprehensively cover the broad spectrum of tactical and strategic decisions that CMOs are responsible for and help them drive significant topline growth and marketing budget savings by improving mROI and leveraging personalized marketing messages.
Performance Management integrate data from multiple sources to create a single source of truth that helps leaders identify commercial improvement opportunities at the account– and product-level.
We have invested millions of dollars to develop proprietary tools that analyze and visualize data in real time to draw out true insights:
- Our innovative approach to measuring the impact of social media (SocialGRP), and our leading Next-Product-to-Buy modeling are two examples of proprietary techniques designed to deliver lasting impact.
- We have developed a set of end-to-end analytics software solutions with a strong ongoing support model in order to ensure adoption and impact.
- We have acquired Henry Rak (HRCP), a pioneer in data-driven growth, and partnered with Journey Analytics, a leader in multichannel customer-behavior analytics, and with Lixto, which brings additional innovative digital capabilities.
- McKinsey Digital Labs can rapidly build custom software solutions for our clients.