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Jeff Jacobs

Partner, Chicago
Drives business growth through excellence in brand strategy and insights, customer experience and marketing efficiency

About Jeff

A leader of McKinsey's category growth strategy and marketing procurement groups, Jeff brings 20 years of experience in global line marketing and sales, brand strategy, end-to-end transformations, and innovation. He also has deep expertise in agency management, particularly how companies need to evolve their agency relationships in the digital age.

His recent experience includes working with a client on the marketing transformation of a leading packaged goods company to counter a competitive threat. Jeff helped identify gaps in the brand equities, incremental growth opportunities within specific regions, channels, and consumer targets, consumption occasions, and optimal marketing spend levels. He also developed a marketing planning process and skill development program for a leading consumer company, which included workshops—such as helping people turn data into practical insights—creating strategic priorities, improving below-the-line promotions, and enhancing marketing efficiency and effectiveness. He helped a global packaged goods company redesign their global marketing organization, including identifying which processes belonged at a global vs. regional vs local level. In addition, he led an agency selection process across five global marketing services for a leading consumer packaged goods company. The work included identifying agencies best suited for the client, and developing detailed ‘should cost’ models. Working closely with the client, he translated the analysis into detailed bid-sheets and developed a successful negotiations strategy.

Jeff is deeply involved in developing new thinking about and insights into marketing and sales topics, and was one of the creators of the Consumer Decision Journey framework.

Published work

Zero-based productivity—Marketing: Measure, allocate, and invest marketing dollars more effectively,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

How to get the most from your agency relationships in 2017,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

“What’s your sponsorship worth?” Economist Group, January 2014

Presentation: Marketers, make procurement your friend,” ANA conference 2013, McKinsey on Marketing & Sales slideshare

Past experience

Campbell’s V8
Business director, innovation and strategy

Aon Corporation

Global brand equity director


Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University
BA, Political science