Back to How We Help Clients

Marketing & Sales

We help clients use all possible marketing & sales levers to increase returns on their marketing investment.

What we do

Marketing and sales strategies, particularly pricing, in Paper & Forest Products are in constant flux. We help companies across the value chain refine strategies to better reflect the continued retreat from traditional graphic paper products in mature markets as well as meet the growing demand for new packaging materials and consumer paper products such as personal tissue. We work with clients to respond to current changes, and anticipate how future consumer demographic trends and shopping behaviors may present opportunities for differentiation and higher margins.

Industry changes frequently require a rethinking of commercial approaches, building different marketing and sales internal capabilities, and reshaping external channel and distribution networks. We help clients align their marketing and sales organization’s structure, capabilities, and processes to better support these strategies, attract new customers, and work more productively with partners.

Examples of our work

A recent example of our work includes conducting a pricing diagnostic for a paper manufacturer. Our work together identified significant price and margin variability among similar customers, and determined that nearly half of its customers generated negative contribution margin. We helped the firm develop more consistent pricing policies and processes for a wide range of products and services, from long-term contracts for traditional materials to rush orders and design work. Implementation of these new policies, processes and roles was forecast to improve return on sales by up to 4 percent, and translated to millions in potential EBIT growth.

Additional examples of our work include:

  • developing a plan for improving the productivity of trade promotion spend to support growth of new business
  • designing a 'clean sheet' value proposition and sales approach (including distribution) for expansion in a major business segment
  • creating a systematic, repeatable process so that a paper and forest products company could improve sales force effectiveness and channel productivity to grow sales revenue

The marketing and sales specialists collaborate with McKinsey’s global Marketing & Sales Practice, and use relevant tools and solutions developed by them to support paper and forest products organizations. These include:

  • Micro Market Management (M3) Growth Finder, which helps companies identify granular pockets of unmet need
  • Periscope, which helps companies pinpoint hidden sources of value and pricing power in B2B and B2C businesses
  • Sales Operations Benchmarking, a database tool that helps companies understand overall sales operations and costs relative to peer companies

Learn more about our expertise on the Marketing & Sales Practice site.

Featured Experts

Yasir Mirza

Partner, Sydney

Oskar Lingqvist

Senior Partner, Stockholm

Dieter Kiewell

Senior Partner, London

Related insights

Article

Avoiding the winner's curse: Capture Value Through Differentiated Pricing

– Customized offerings present real opportunities for pulp and paper suppliers, although pricing them is difficult. The authors propose guidelines to help.