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Raj

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Strategy consulting firms with the most clients in Comm / Media / Entertainment

Hello, I have had the chance to work for a top strategy boutique in Europe for the past two years. I chose it based on fit mainly and its international portfolio of clients. The boutique is quite specialized in life sciences and the industry. I didn't care about industry specialization at first as I wanted to start generalist and work for clients globally. However, I am reaching the stage where I want to specialize in an industry and thinking about switching. I know the idea of saying "go to MBB because they cover all verticals" is easy but I feel like MBB don't cover all the same verticals. I am highly interested in the media / entertainment / communication sector. I know this is covered by the "TMT" vertical, but most of the time it is highly focused on telco (for example McK is strong in Telco but not so much in media) and/or tech/digital. I am struggling to find a top consulting firms with a specialization in media (think BBC) / entertainment (think walt disney) / communication (think Havas).

1/ Would you know in Europe of a consulting firm with a strong portfolio of clients in those areas?

2/ Should I leave consulting and go into the industry? my gut feeling tells me those companies don't use a lot of consulting firms.

Thanks a lot for reading and for your advice

Hello, I have had the chance to work for a top strategy boutique in Europe for the past two years. I chose it based on fit mainly and its international portfolio of clients. The boutique is quite specialized in life sciences and the industry. I didn't care about industry specialization at first as I wanted to start generalist and work for clients globally. However, I am reaching the stage where I want to specialize in an industry and thinking about switching. I know the idea of saying "go to MBB because they cover all verticals" is easy but I feel like MBB don't cover all the same verticals. I am highly interested in the media / entertainment / communication sector. I know this is covered by the "TMT" vertical, but most of the time it is highly focused on telco (for example McK is strong in Telco but not so much in media) and/or tech/digital. I am struggling to find a top consulting firms with a specialization in media (think BBC) / entertainment (think walt disney) / communication (think Havas).

1/ Would you know in Europe of a consulting firm with a strong portfolio of clients in those areas?

2/ Should I leave consulting and go into the industry? my gut feeling tells me those companies don't use a lot of consulting firms.

Thanks a lot for reading and for your advice

6 answers

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Hi,

I specialised in M&E so can answer this with some confidence. You are right in that there is generally less coverage from the big strategy houses within M&E with most focussed more on the Telco side.

My observations on why this was the case was that

  • M&E corporates preferred to keep strategy work in-house instead of farming out - they would RFP out more tactical pieces around go-to-market such as pricing, M&A screening, tech transformation
  • The top studios, producers, broadcasters, and content creators had strong in-house strategy teams to rely on e.g. Disney SPG, NBC Strategy, BBC strategy - often poached from the consultancies
  • Geographic coverage played a part with the big conglomerates keeping strategic work close to base i.e. West Coast - and the regions acting almost as satellite offices - this meant the work shipped out in Europe was less corporate strategy and more executional

Now, that said, at Strategy&, there was a strong portfolio of media clients, particularly driven from the PwC relationship. Especially in MENA. Big 4 was a sweet spot for ops and strategy work within M&E. I personally know people at who did work in media were Deloitte(Monitor and S&O), Accenture (but more tech implementation so not strategic), and OC&C (a bit)

Boutiques that are known for this sort of work are - Activate, MTM, Oliver & Ohlbaum (index towards rights owners though).

I disagree with some of the other commenters on Delta Partners who are more heavy on the telco side more than anything else

Hi,

I specialised in M&E so can answer this with some confidence. You are right in that there is generally less coverage from the big strategy houses within M&E with most focussed more on the Telco side.

My observations on why this was the case was that

  • M&E corporates preferred to keep strategy work in-house instead of farming out - they would RFP out more tactical pieces around go-to-market such as pricing, M&A screening, tech transformation
  • The top studios, producers, broadcasters, and content creators had strong in-house strategy teams to rely on e.g. Disney SPG, NBC Strategy, BBC strategy - often poached from the consultancies
  • Geographic coverage played a part with the big conglomerates keeping strategic work close to base i.e. West Coast - and the regions acting almost as satellite offices - this meant the work shipped out in Europe was less corporate strategy and more executional

Now, that said, at Strategy&, there was a strong portfolio of media clients, particularly driven from the PwC relationship. Especially in MENA. Big 4 was a sweet spot for ops and strategy work within M&E. I personally know people at who did work in media were Deloitte(Monitor and S&O), Accenture (but more tech implementation so not strategic), and OC&C (a bit)

Boutiques that are known for this sort of work are - Activate, MTM, Oliver & Ohlbaum (index towards rights owners though).

I disagree with some of the other commenters on Delta Partners who are more heavy on the telco side more than anything else

(edited)

huge thanks for your answer! I will look into those boutique right now — Anonymous A on Apr 12, 2020

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Hi there! I was active in the media industry and as consultants in the media industry in Europe prior to joining strategy consulting. I can tell you from that experience that the media industry is a very particular industry.

As you pointed out strategy consultants are heavy on comms; they all have experience with media clients but it is generally a weak portfolio. Second, clients in media and entertainment are not fans of using consultants, they generally struggle with budgets, and it is not a fast-growing industry. Therefore, making it very unappealing for bigger consultant firms as well as for the clients themselves.

1) There are some boutique consulting firms including Bow and Arrow (now a part of Accenture) that have a strong portfolio in media. Out of all consulting firms, PWC is most likely the consultant with the largest presence in the media industry.

2) If you really want to work in media you are likely to be better off going into industry. The exit from consulting into media/entertainment is also not particularly high until you get to a VP/C-level situation

Hi there! I was active in the media industry and as consultants in the media industry in Europe prior to joining strategy consulting. I can tell you from that experience that the media industry is a very particular industry.

As you pointed out strategy consultants are heavy on comms; they all have experience with media clients but it is generally a weak portfolio. Second, clients in media and entertainment are not fans of using consultants, they generally struggle with budgets, and it is not a fast-growing industry. Therefore, making it very unappealing for bigger consultant firms as well as for the clients themselves.

1) There are some boutique consulting firms including Bow and Arrow (now a part of Accenture) that have a strong portfolio in media. Out of all consulting firms, PWC is most likely the consultant with the largest presence in the media industry.

2) If you really want to work in media you are likely to be better off going into industry. The exit from consulting into media/entertainment is also not particularly high until you get to a VP/C-level situation

(edited)

Thanks a lot for your reply! very interesting — Anonymous A on Apr 11, 2020

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Hello!

Interesting question!

MBBs don´t focus too much on this indsutry, since they are not fast-moving players or with the budgets needed to pay for a project that Telco´s can afford.

This said, there are some projects, and for sure you can get specialized on those. However, I see it very very difficult -and you will do many telco engagements along the way, hehe-.

I would investigate mostly Accenture and PwC in your shoes.

Best of luck!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Interesting question!

MBBs don´t focus too much on this indsutry, since they are not fast-moving players or with the budgets needed to pay for a project that Telco´s can afford.

This said, there are some projects, and for sure you can get specialized on those. However, I see it very very difficult -and you will do many telco engagements along the way, hehe-.

I would investigate mostly Accenture and PwC in your shoes.

Best of luck!

Cheers,

Clara

Thanks a lot as well! It helps to get your view and feedback — Anonymous A on Apr 11, 2020

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Hi, I would recommend to check Delta Partner because they are specialist in this area. Other than that I find it this sub-sector typically don't use a lot of consulting services.

Hi, I would recommend to check Delta Partner because they are specialist in this area. Other than that I find it this sub-sector typically don't use a lot of consulting services.

(edited)

Thanks for the answer! Yes, I know Delta but they are highly focus (only?) on Telco — Anonymous A on Apr 12, 2020

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Hello!

I hope everything is going well!

I answer your two points:

1) For TMT consulting the firm Delta Partners does an outstanding work both in Telco and Media. Their main offices are in Dubai, Barcelona and NYC and have offices mainly in developing countries, where they focus part of their work. It is really good firm and I would definetely recommend them to you if you want to pursue a career in TMT, they are specifically focused on the sector in stategy consulting, investment banking and corporate finance. I can provide further references of people there if needed, don`t hesitate to contact me if you want

2) This is a more personal decision. I would only recommend jumping into industry at least after ~5years in consulting as it is the time when you might be able to enter in a good position and balance the lost on caree speed progression that you are ensured in consulting. In any case we can discuss further if you want my point.

Hope it helps!

Hello!

I hope everything is going well!

I answer your two points:

1) For TMT consulting the firm Delta Partners does an outstanding work both in Telco and Media. Their main offices are in Dubai, Barcelona and NYC and have offices mainly in developing countries, where they focus part of their work. It is really good firm and I would definetely recommend them to you if you want to pursue a career in TMT, they are specifically focused on the sector in stategy consulting, investment banking and corporate finance. I can provide further references of people there if needed, don`t hesitate to contact me if you want

2) This is a more personal decision. I would only recommend jumping into industry at least after ~5years in consulting as it is the time when you might be able to enter in a good position and balance the lost on caree speed progression that you are ensured in consulting. In any case we can discuss further if you want my point.

Hope it helps!

Hello Marcello, thanks a lot for your feedback. Regarding point 2, interesting and I'll try to think about it. It is true I don't want to lose career progression. Regarding point 1 I somehow disagree (only my own opinion though) I have looked deeply into delta before and the feeling it gave me was that it is quite a Spanish culture (not sure how other nationalities would fit) and heavy on telco / licensing (not really where I want to specialise). — Anonymous A on Apr 12, 2020

Hi! as for the Delta comment, from what I know it is a highly international firm and all profiles fit. It is true that the leadership is mostly Spanish (as it was founded by Spaniards) but it has an international mindset. Also feel free to contact if you want to discuss anything else! Regards — Marcello on Apr 12, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend you to put an eye not only on MBB, but also on Oliver Wyman, because they are strong in that particular sector, as well as boutique firm called SOLON. It's really great boutique, totally specialized in these three sectors and could be a good fit for you. I have helped one of my mentees to get an offer there, and he is absolutely satisfied. And, for example, in Italy they pay the same as McKinsey.

Hope it helps,

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.
André

Dear A,

I would recommend you to put an eye not only on MBB, but also on Oliver Wyman, because they are strong in that particular sector, as well as boutique firm called SOLON. It's really great boutique, totally specialized in these three sectors and could be a good fit for you. I have helped one of my mentees to get an offer there, and he is absolutely satisfied. And, for example, in Italy they pay the same as McKinsey.

Hope it helps,

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.
André

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