I receive The McKinsey Quarterly which has some great management articles relevant for today’s times. Recently they have been covering “social media” and their articles have been very good. However, I received today’s articles from McKinsey and noticed a promotions for their “premium service” which looked like this:
With a Premium Membership in The McKinsey Quarterly, you’ll have exclusive access to business strategies from McKinsey & Company and perspectives from top thinkers and executives.
Upgrade to Premium Membership and receive:
- Unlimited online access to Premium content and Web exclusives
- A subscription to the collector’s edition print journal
- The complete Quarterly archives online
- Downloadable PDFs of all articles
Upgrade now for only $150 annually (with significant savings on the two- and three-year terms).
After reading this I thought “Would I spend $150 a year for McKinsey’s premium offering?”. My immediate answer was no and here is why.
- While McKinsey is a very smart consulting firm they do not own all the “smart content” on the web
- There are numerous Universities offering “free papers” from Professors researching relevant topics that McKinsey writes about.
- Most, if not all the candidiates that work for McKinsey came out of the classrooms from Professors writing for free.
- Most people learn more from their host of “favored contacts” who are on the fringes of the web and their content is very valuable and free
- I am certainly not the smartest guy in the world but I do study my subject matter and offer my own “thoughts” on my blog for free
- The social web is based on a “freemium model” that accelerates knowledge exchanges through conversational content and mass distribution.
- Traditional media in the form of magazines, newspapers and television are learning a hard lesson about “free”content.
- I am connected to tens of thousands of individuals with diverse backgrounds about anything and everything.
- If I need to know anything about something finding a qualified “expert” from my network is a “click of the mouse“.
- Besides that I can also ask a question on Twitter and get an immediate response.
Those are the primary reasons I saw no need to spend $150 on a McKinsey Premium offering.
Thinking through this made me wonder what the “consulting industry” will look like is a few short years. Virtual technology lets us reach millions of people and within that crowd there are experts willing to share and advise without a retainer. Now don’t get me wrong, a long term consulting engagement will still be a fairly sound model but the delivery mechanism of the service and the transfer of the knowledge will most likely change significantly as will the price points.
Imagine a time that any department manager or employee will have access to a “virtual expert” network of qualified people. These virtual resources can analyze, guide and education people to solve their own problems or find products and services that enhances their primary offerings and collectively exceed the end buyers expectations at lower cost. After all, isn’t that the mission of every business?
Just maybe McKinsey should consider creating “McKinsey Virtual” and develop a network for all businesses to access expert resources at incremental cost. It would expand their market and deliver services beyond current and future customer expectations.
Just maybe the McKinsey Way will be forced to change to survive. Certainly they are smart enough to know that a promotion for a $150 premium publication service isn’t the smart or social thing to do. Then again common sense doesn’t always equate to being smart.
What say you?