Marketing Procurement for Business Growth
Brands that can end the divide between marketing and procurement are likely to get smarter solutions from their agencies.
Procurement can get a bad reputation from agencies and there’s a reason. Because a procurement team solely focused on cheaper media creates a Jekyll and Hyde client, one part – the marketing team – demands business growth and great ideas and the other – the procurement team – insists cheaper and cheaper media.
It’s not possible to do both. Agencies have tried. They’ve split the functions of group buying into holding companies such as GroupM and kept the agency brands to work with marketing. But even this approach ultimately it ceases to work once media prices reach the bottom and you can’t go any lower without devaluing the quality of the inventory you buy.
Today, however, there is evidence that many procurement departments have learnt these lessons. They still keep an eye on costs but they have also worked with the marketing team to agree a common set of KPIs that both teams work to.
The benefits are huge because getting this right is like lifting a weight off the agency’s shoulders. Even if the marketing and procurement teams have different reporting lines, they are at least working to the same common objective.
Some brands have achieved this by creating a council with marketers and procurement leaders representing different geographies and functions, which can work together to create those common KPIs needed to ensure corporate alignment.
Many procurement teams are also taking this further by upskilling their own knowledge, particularly in the digital media buying space.
That makes sense because while the drive to in-housing might occasionally be overstated, if it does happen or is investigated it makes sense to have smart procurement people assessing the real cost benefit of doing so.
The bottom line: Agencies and advertisers win when marketing and procurement find common ground.