Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 463,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Market Sizing in Non-Market Sizing Focused Case

Candidate-led interviews Market sizing
Edited on Aug 26, 2021
8 Answers
1.7 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 12, 2020

I have encountered a few market sizing questions in candidate-led cases in the middle of a profitability issue case or a strategy case (eg. client wanting to enter into new distribution platform) and I noticed that I often take a lot of time to do market sizing to the point where I run out of time to answer the rest of the case. Is there a technique to handle market sizing questions in non-market sizing cases? How much time should I put to answering these questions?

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Indeed, you are right. Usually you find market-sizing exercises inside of other big exercises (e.g., profitability, etc.)

It´s very rare that you find a market sizing case just by itself, without other content, in MBB interviews.

The way to prep this particular piece, if it´s the one making you struggle and consuming all the time, is to do as many as possible:

  1. In this Q&A, you can filter dozens of them by typing market sizing, commented by experts
  2. There are tons in Google, with solutions
  3. PM if you want some MBB-like, since I have 3 self-contained exercises precisely for a coachee of mine who used to struggle with this part too

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Aug 26, 2021
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First, in regards to "Is there a technique to handle market sizing questions in non-market sizing cases?"....get this out of your head! They're the same! Just focus on handling market sizing questions period!

Some tips:

  1. Just like in a case, make sure you understand the question - what are you really being asked to calculate
  2. Decide whether a top-down or bottom-up approach is best
  3. Figure out what you know you know, and what you know you don't know, but could estimate
    1. This helps you determine how to split out buckets
  4. Stay flexible - you can start with a "high-level" market sizing, but gauge your interviewers reaction....if it looks like they want you to do more...then go along level deeper in terms of your splits

In general, for a market sizing, you really shouldn't spend more than 5 minutes

Take a look here for additional practice! https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/intermediate/taxis-in-manhattan-market-sizing-229

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi,
usually, these types of sub-cases should be solved in 5-8 minutes, since they are considered only a part of a bigger business case. I recommend presenting the whole structure and making top-down assumptions to quickly arrive at its resolution. The experience will help you in understanding what you are supposed to estimate and what to assume, but I recommend always to ask permission to the interviewer before strong assumptions, my mentioning that you are working for a quick estimation. As next steps try to show all the detailed approach you could have used if you have had more time.

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

There is no universally valid answer to how much time you should spend. The correct way to approach the situation is to clarify the expectations of this chunk of the case with your interviewer.

Needless to say, a decent performance of solving market-sizing questions is a prerequisite.

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button!

Robert

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous A on Jun 12, 2020

Hi Robert! Thanks for this. Just wanted to clarify what you meant by “clarify the expectations”? Would you mind giving some form of example on how this can be done? Do I outright ask the interviewer how detailed my approach should be?

(edited)

Robert on Jun 12, 2020

Exactly - if a rough ballpark-number is enough, or if you should detail out your approach to come up with a more precise esimate.

Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

That's an issue really common among candidates. There isn't a general rule, but you should try every time to understand the importance of the market sizing in the case, dedicating it the right time (considering that you have 30-40 minutes foir the entire case). You are usually asked to solve the market sizing part in around 10 minutes.
You can address this issue in 2 ways:

  1. Practice a lot with market sizing, this will make you able to design an approach for the mkt sizing in no more than 3 minutes
  2. Ask the interviewer the permission to do some assumptions instead of calculating everything.If your market sizing has to require no more than 10 minutes, the interviewer will provide you with some data/information that will simplify the case

Best,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi,

Given that it is part of a wider profitability or strategy case the expectation is that you can size the market in around 5 minutes. My guess would be that you are making the market sizing too complex but doing a complex segmentation or trying to capture many complex drivers when a top-down approach will be accurate enough for the purpose of the case.

Maybe you can share some examples and your approach to make the discussion more tangible?

-A

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 14, 2020

Hello,

It depends on the cases. Sometimes, interviewer is expecting to spend a lot of time on the market sizing and keep just a few minutes on other dimensions to investigate. Sometimes, the market sizing should last only 5-7 minutes ... Please PM if you want to test yourself in one or the other option.

Best

Was this answer helpful?
4
Anonymous replied on Jun 29, 2020

Hi,

You can indeed find market-sizing questions in non-market sizing focused cases. I ran a specific course on market sizing and would be happy to help.

You should first focus on you segmentation skills:

B2C:
- Demographics (Age, education, income, family size, race, gender, occupation, nationality)
- Behavioral (Purchasing behavior, customer journey stage, occasion & timing,
customer loyalty & interest, risk tolerance, user status)
- Psychographic (Lifestyle, personality traits, values, opinions, interests of consumers)
- Geographic (Geographical boundaries)

B2B:
- Company characteristics (Industry, company size, number of employees)
- Geography (Geographical boundaries)
- Purchasing Approach (Occasion & timing, customer capabilities, nature of existing relationship)
- Personal Characteristics (Loyalty, risk attitude, user status)

B2G:
- Demographics (Type of agency, size of budget, the amount of autonomy)
- Geographic (Geographical boundaries)
- Government Tier (Federal , State, Local, Quasi-governmental, International)
- Bid type (Closed, Open)

But sometimes you don’t need to segmentation. Here is an example of case that could be solved with high level top down approach - estimate the size of credit card market in the US:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-should-i-approach-the-following-question-estimate-the-market-size-of-credit-cards-in-the-us-6695

Best,

Anton

Was this answer helpful?
0
Clara gave the best answer

Clara

Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
68
Meetings
25,085
Q&A Upvotes
156
Awards
5.0
57 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!