Nadia Shchipitsyna
By Nadia Shchipitsyna
Aug 1, 2019, 12:46:00 PM

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 rap from agencies. 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 on cheaper and cheaper media.

It’s not possible to do both. Agencies have tried. They’ve split functions, with buying going into holding companies such as GroupM and kept the agency brands to work with marketing. But even this approach ultimately ceases to work once media prices hit rock bottom and you can’t go lower without devaluing the quality of the inventory.

Today, however, there is evidence that many procurement departments have learnt these lessons. They still keep an eye on costs of course, but they have also worked with the marketing team to agree a common set of KPIs that both teams stick to.

The benefits are huge because it 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 objectives.

Some brands have achieved this by creating a company council with 10-12 people representing different geographies and functions, working together to create the common KPIs needed to ensure corporate alignment.

Many procurement teams are also by upskilling their own knowledge, particularly in the digital media buying space.

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That makes sense because while the drive to in-housing might occasionally be overstated, it makes sense to have smart procurement people assessing the real cost- benefits.

The bottom line: Agencies and advertisers win when marketing and procurement find common ground.