17 July 2008
All sides need more clarity if relationships between buyers, marketers and marketing agencies are to be successful.
Speaking at a debate in London this month, Marco Rimini, head of communications planning at agency Mindshare, said: "It seems to me one of the things stopping us is the lack of clarity of brief and of context for the procurement guys. Marketing needs to clarify the confusing world before procurement can really do their job properly."
Kester Fielding, global media procurement director at Diageo, added: "You have to make sure you have clarity about what you want. If you are unclear about what you want from the external marketplace you will fail, and the relationship will fail."
Buyers and marketers were also urged to abandon the idea that they were two separate functions when working for the same company and trying to achieve the same goals.
According to Eurostar marketing director Greg Nugent, procurement was "pivotal" in the pitches for campaigns the firm has run, but he said roles must be better defined.
"The single most important thing is about role clarity. Marketing's role is to say, 'That is what I want and that is the best thing for our business'. If you are buying a creative service you are putting your head on the block.
"Procurement's role has to be to understand why we think that and to go through a proper and transparent process and to add value to the process, to help marketing understand some of the weaknesses in the submission and proposal."
He added agencies must abandon the notion that work cannot be valued just because they might have a great idea. "Agencies have to recognise the procurement part is as important as the creative part. A successful relationship is built on the two together."
Richard Morris, regional director at agency DDB Europe, said there should be more long-term planning on both sides of the relationship.