Tips and Tricks about my MBA experience

Strategy :: McKinsey :: The 7S Model




Most of us grew up learning about ‘the 4Ps’ of the marketing mix: product, price, place, promotion. And this model still works when the focus is on product marketing. However most developed economies have moved on, with an ever-increasing focus on service businesses, and therefore service marketing.


To better represent the challenges of service marketing, McKinsey developed a new framework for analyzing and improving organizational effectiveness, the 7S model:

The 3Ss across the top of the model are described as ‘Hard Ss’:

Strategy: The direction and scope of the company over the long term.

Structure: The basic organization of the company, its departments, reporting lines, areas of expertise, and responsibility (and how they inter-relate).

Systems: Formal and informal procedures that govern everyday activity, covering everything from management information systems, through to the systems at the point of contact with the customer (retail systems, call centre systems, online systems, etc).


The 4Ss across the bottom of the model are less tangible, more cultural in nature, and were termed ‘Soft Ss’ by McKinsey:


Skills: The capabilities and competencies that exist within the company. What it does best.

Shared values: The values and beliefs of the company. Ultimately they guide employees towards ‘valued’ behavior.

Staff: The company’s people resources and how they are developed, trained, and motivated.

Style: The leadership approach of top management and the company’s overall operating approach.


In combination they provide another effective framework for analyzing the organization and its activities. In a marketing-led company they can be used to explore the extent to which the company is working coherently towards a distinctive and motivating place in the mind of consumer.




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