Several marketing-focused management consultancy companies were found by reviewing various trade publications, such as Forbes and Business Insider, and listing the companies that were frequently considered as top-rated firms by these publications. These companies are large, professional services firms, and many offer a variety of services, including the marketing consulting services requested.
Some companies, such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and Accenture, are global companies and are considered one of the 'Big Four' professional services firms and/or are generally well-known. These companies have a large client base and a big presence in North America, and were thus included in this list as they offer specific marketing consultancy services.
Most companies focused on adapting to the new, digital world, evolving customer needs, becoming customer-centric when developing marketing plans, optimizing marketing spending, and utilizing data analytics.
Firm #1: Bain & Company
Bain & Company helps companies to align their brand and marketing strategy with their larger business objectives to ensure investments are generating maximum returns and reinforcing the brand's positions. The firm also consults on how to use branding to build a loyal customer base to cultivate a "strong, trusted image." They assess whether the client company's products are delivering the value that customers desire and if the marketing is doing its job. They emphasize that in house marketing strategies should have a customer-centric, rather than brand-centric approach. This links with a strong belief that understanding what what customers value about brands, products, and services is important when creating a good marketing strategy and team. Bain & Company also have a strong focus on helping companies promote employee well being and engagement, as that in turn promotes growth.
Firm #2: McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company assists companies to design a consumer-driven structure and vision for the marketing department, as well as training and development by building collaborative institutional skills. The firm clarifies the role of marketing and sales, and helps to forge an organizational structure that best supports these roles. They also help clients organize, prepare, and adapt to a world which is growing increasingly digital. McKinsey & Company aims to encourage the client's entire organization, beyond just the marketing department to engage with their customers across different forms of media and interactive channels to match demands on digital media. McKinsey have an approach to building effective teams that relies on an inter-connected ecosystem, rather than a linear approach.
Firm #3: Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
BCG have a long term approach — they first help to identify the client's future goals and clarifies their purpose and vision for several years down the line. Following this, rapid actions are taken to drive meaningful immediate impact to the bottom line. Afterwards, the longer term programs are created to build capabilities and improve performance. BCG features tools such as the MSP Catalyst to provide clients with the capability to control and understand their spending on marketing throughout the organization. BCG also offer the data, tools, and analytics experts necessary for a to enable this transformation. BCG also helps teach a foundational knowledge of marketing, pricing and sales across the organization, and has partnered up with the Google Digital Academy to show how to build and upgrade their digital marketing skills. They also leverage Brighthouse, a BCG creative agency, to help foster innovation and to find the client's purpose.
Firm #4: Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman seeks to help clients use strategy and decision-making on pricing, marketing and sales to drive profits and margin growth. They use a combination of econometric analysis with scientific experimentation to allow marketers to engage better with customers and increase marketing spending efficiency across a variety of media (including digital) and other marketing investments. Higher revenues and/or marketing efficiency improvements gained through their services have been shown to demonstrate improvements of 5-10% in gross profit. We could not find any specific reference to building/training teams specifically for marketing on OliverWyman's website, however organizational effectiveness is listed as one of their areas of general expertise.
Firm #5: Deloitte
Although known as one of the 'Big Four' accounting firms, it has built a consultancy arm which offers marketing consultancy services with multiple offices across the United States. Deloitte US consultants assist in growing marketing departments and creating strategies. Their services have a focus on competitive advantage, in which "next-in-class capabilities and strategies" are able to provide practical and distinctive insights for their clients. There is a focus on having high levels of consumer empathy, and teaching custom-designed methodologies to achieve increases in growth rates, while uncovering and addressing barriers to growth and knowledge transfer.
Deloitte provide training regarding both traditional capabilities (e.g. global strategy/customer insights) and current industry leading capabilities like multichannel engagement and big-data analytics.
Relevant major issues and questions are identified, re-framed, and addressed. They also feature a 6-month game plan tailored to assist new CMOs to explore priorities, capabilities, new talent, and relationships.
Firm #6: PwC
Like Deloitte, although primarily known as a 'Big Four' accounting firm, PwC has a consulting arm with a large presence in the United States. PWC Consulting offers various marketing services to help train and grow a marketing department and create an effective strategy. PWC focuses on key areas like aligning sales and marketing channels to changing customer behaviors, and translating marketing strategies into marketing and sales plans.
They help companies to create a marketing and sales strategy using tools like customer insight/analytics, along with metrics including end-to-end customer experience. PWC also assist companies to build internal capabilities to build and execute digital marketing campaigns that are engaging and dynamic. A focus on human capital pervades through all of PWC's offerings, emphasizing the importance of hiring and training the right people in the right roles for sustainable growth.
Firm # 7: KPMG
KPMG is another 'Big Four' professional services firm that offers a large variety of marketing consulting services with numerous offices in the United States. They focus on creating meaningful customer influence and accountability for marketing spending, through effective brand strategy, consumer insight, media transparency, marketing integration, and new technologies. KPMG seeks to transform the client's organization by making sure the client utilizes the inextricable relationship between marketing, the brand and the customer. Hands on training is provided to the client's marketing team.
KPMG works with the client to implement new technologies, processes, and data analysis to become more focused on operations. This includes future-proofed distribution channels, customer service/loyalty tools, and sales and marketing analytics.
KPMG acquired Acuity Research & Insights a leading boutique insights consultancy in 2017. This allows KPMG to further enhance their expertise in employee engagement, customer experience, satisfaction and advocacy, strategy and communications, and community attitudes, behaviors and understanding.
Firm #8: Accenture
Accenture focuses on helping to develop data-driven digital marketing strategies and optimization using the Digital Customer Intensity Index. They also assist companies with market development, brand positioning, proposition development and marketing communications to help drive profitable growth in a customer-centric manner.
Accenture also helps companies train employees to design customer loyalty strategies covering loyalty program development through to the overall customer experience. They emphasise optimizing marketing operations to increase efficiency and thus profit, through the use of performance metrics and analytical decision-making.
Some marketing management consultancies with a large presence in the United States are: Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Oliver Wyman. Most marketing management consultancies focused on helping clients with adapting to the new, digital world, evolving customer needs, becoming customer-centric when developing marketing plans, optimizing marketing spending, and utilizing data analytics.