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Organization & Capabilities

Working with clients to build capabilities that help them grow and sustain high-performing organizations.

We clarify the role of marketing and sales within a company and then help design the organizational structure that best supports those functions. We also help clients organize for digital leadership so that they can adapt and succeed in an increasingly digital world. To sustain success, we build the client's institutional skills.

Each of these transformational elements is a challenge in its own right. Since 2006 we have helped more than 50 Fortune 100 companies attain substantial and sustained impact on growth and margins through marketing and sales transformations.

Our work helps clients come to grips with the most difficult issues and questions relating to commercial transformations such as becoming more customer-centric; establishing structures and processes to better link marketing with the rest of the business; boosting efficiency and effectiveness; and capitalizing on emerging market and digital marketing opportunities. Our outside perspective helps provide unbiased viewpoints, and our collaborative style helps minimize potential conflict.

What we do

Our experience conducting complex marketing and sales transformations helps clients get things in the right order, fund the project as they go along, and build the capabilities they need in a coordinated and sustainable way. Our rigorous analysis is grounded in detailed performance metrics that link back to the company’s financial and management system. We collaborate with clients in four primary ways:

  • Clarifying the role of marketing and sales. We determine what role marketing and sales plays within the organization before helping evaluate how best to link it with other areas of the business to achieve strategic goals. After assessing which of the company’s activities should be “housed” in the marketing group—and which elsewhere—we help define the CMO and other key roles accordingly.

  • Taking marketing “beyond the marketers.” We work with clients to energize the entire organization—from finance to operations—to engage their customers across proliferating media and interactive channels within the rapid time cycles digital media demands.

  • Designing the optimal organizational model for marketing. We help companies design and structure their marketing organizations to best support the strategic objectives of the business as a whole. We enable better efficiency and performance by identifying and either repurposing or discarding less essential activities. Collaborating with our clients, we help build clear understanding of what marketing “owns”—and which activities reside elsewhere in the business.

  • Building capabilities for performance. We help clients build institutional skills grounded in the right behavioral, management, and technical systems, and help drive change at the front line, working collaboratively at all levels and across all functions of the organization, including more traditionally skeptical constituencies, such as front-line sales.

Examples of our work

  • helped a media company stem rapid market-share erosion by working with its marketing group to emphasize customer retention, resulting in a 3–5 percent increase in retention rate in its highest priority customer segments
  • collaborated with a global pharmaceutical company to transform marketing capabilities and sales execution at the local level. This effort led to improved brand positioning, a dramatic turnaround in sales, and an approximately three point gain in market share
  • worked with a global electronics company to transition from an engineering- to a consumer-driven culture by designing and deploying new marketing and sales capabilities in local markets
  • helped a leading high-tech firm to upgrade top talent, redesign core decision rights, and hire a topflight CMO who would report directly to the CEO

Featured capabilities

  • A “Role of marketing” workshop helps senior leadership assess what level and specific role marketing should play in driving their business, from simply stewarding the corporate brand to playing the central role in all key brand and business decisions.
  • A marketing and sales organization design workshop helps clients address difficult trade-offs—central versus local governance and control; in-house versus partnered capabilities; shared or distributed services; etc.—while attending to key integration points with the broader business.
  • Marketing and sales transformation training modules clarify roles, responsibilities, and core processes for the leadership and front line of each marketing ability, such as key account management, strategic planning, pricing, and consumer insights.
  • The Marketing 360 Benchmarking Tool provides a comprehensive benchmarking database of cost and headcount facts and statistics. The capability also provides a spend allocation and performance survey illuminating the purpose and effectiveness of current marketing spend; structured interviews assessing operating practices across seven drivers of marketing and sales performance; and a marketing capability assessment establishing the current capability level of the organization.
  • M&S-Matics is a unique modular approach to boost the performance of the marketing and sales teams of B2B companies. It offers an integrated set of analytical tools and expert support to assess, frame, and refocus capabilities.


Lareina Yee

Senior Partner, Bay Area

Related Insight


Six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities

– More than two-thirds of traditional commercial transformations fail. Here’s an approach to upgrading your marketing, sales, and pricing capabilities that works.