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2021 Top picks: From recovery to growth

Companies are developing new growth strategies and tools to meet the demands of pandemic recovery in a digitally transformed economy. Here are some of the most promising.

As leaders position their businesses for growth and renewal in the coming months, we offer our year end compendium, a curated set of articles around four key trends shaping the growth agenda for CEOs. We start with several perspectives that our leaders have published on growth, starting with how important sustainable, inclusive growth is to the world’s recovery. We explore the role of intangibles in driving growth and the importance of purpose, analytics, and creativity. In addition, we’ve included several articles specific to our current inflationary context, given we have not seen an inflationary surge of this magnitude in four decades.

And as the pandemic continues to shatter brand loyalty, we have included perspectives on the big shifts in consumer and customer behavior, and how business leaders can respond in time. We then dive into how leaders are balancing brand marketing and performance marketing using a ‘full-funnel’ marketing approach and how they are building stronger customer experience and personalization capabilities. Finally, we share how leaders are improving their e-commerce capabilities by using analytics to improve their marketing and commercial growth.

Many businesses have responded admirably to the current challenges, pushing their rate of innovation and driving scale. Given the continued challenges in front of us, winning the future will require leaders to be even bolder. Leaders will need to enable growth that is sustainable and inclusive, operating at unprecedented speed, acquiring interconnected capabilities, and developing future-ready talent. We hope our work here helps provoke your thinking on how to do so.

From all of us at M&S, here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to continuing to bring you the best of our insights in 2022.

All the best,
Greg Kelly, Brian Gregg, Eric Hazan, Dennis Spillecke, and Bruno Furtado

Powering catalytic growth


Getting tangible about intangibles: The future of growth and productivity?

– Companies that master the deployment of intangibles investment will be well positioned to outperform their peers.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Our future lives and livelihoods: Sustainable and inclusive and growing

– Growth for all, growth for good. Here, we offer a proposal for business, government, and society leaders.

The growth triple play: Creativity, analytics, and purpose

– Companies that integrate creativity, analytics, and purpose are delivering at least two times the growth of their peers.

Seven principles for achieving transformational growth

– Dogged persistence and nimble execution underscore a set of proven ground rules for growth.

Revenue growth management: The time is now

– Market challenges and legacy decisions are forcing consumer-packaged-goods companies to rethink their strategies for revenue growth... management.

Defying cost volatility: A strategic pricing response

– While input cost increases and volatility are challenging, they present an opportunity to improve pricing and institutionalize... best practices—but margins will likely suffer if these are not executed in a strategic way.

By the numbers: What drives sales-growth outperformance

– New data reveals that outperformers are ahead of the pack where it matters in insights, agility, talent, and tech.

Winning the loyalty battle


B2B sales: Omnichannel everywhere, every time

– Our latest B2B Pulse research shows how the shift to omnichannel has permanently changed sales and suggests what companies can... do to adjust.

US consumer sentiment and behaviors during the coronavirus crisis

– US consumers exhibited strong optimism and spend in October, driven by consumers across the age and income spectrum.

Next in loyalty: Eight levers to turn customers into fans

– How do top-performing companies maximize the impact of their loyalty programs in the next normal? By focusing on customer behavior,... segment by segment.

Creating a customer-centric growth model


Why every business needs a full-funnel marketing strategy

– Full-funnel marketing is not just a campaign strategy; it’s a total shift in how marketing works.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Prediction: The future of CX

– Designing great customer experiences is getting easier with the rise of predictive analytics.

The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying

– This Next in Personalization 2021 Report reveals that companies who excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate... faster rates of revenue growth than their peers. And the closer organizations get to the consumer, the bigger the gains.

Harnessing the digital surge


Five traps to avoid: The long game of DTC and e-commerce

– Simply selling online is relatively easy. But unless you plan from day one to build a sustainable e-commerce business, you risk... crippling your ability to scale over time.

B2B commercial analytics: What outperformers do

– B2B companies that successfully apply commercial analytics are uncommon—and more likely to achieve uncommon success. Outperformers... share four behaviors.

The big reset: Data-driven marketing in the next normal

– Savvy marketers are rethinking their tech and data strategies to double down on precision marketing following COVID-19.