Going to marketing

30 November 2009

1 December 2009 | Carly Chynoweth

Smooth relationships between UK marketing and procurement functions rest on mutual understanding of what each discipline does, experts have said.

Ray Jones, head of communications at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, told SM that the onus is on marketers to appreciate the value buyers can add to their projects. “It is up to [us] to keep up to date with business and to be numerate enough to work closely with procurement to prove there is a good return on investment,” he said.

Purchasers should equally understand the skills involved in marketing, said Rosie Doggett, founder of marketing procurement agency RD Squared. “Marketing is coming to terms with the fact that it should be scrutinised – but it should be scrutinised by people who understand it,” she said.

“If a marketing procurement person has not been trained to understand how marketing and agencies work it can cause friction and they will be frustrated because they won’t be able to help,” said Doggett.

However, US marketers last month accused procurement of being “obsessed” with cost and return on investment.

“With global procurement leading creative and media discussions, disaster is surely on the way,” said Frank Cooper, PepsiCo’s chief marketing officer for sparkling beverages, in a report in Advertising Age.

This opinion contradicts the findings of two studies published in Europe this year. In November SCM consultancy BrainNet found effective purchasing can ease pressure on marketing budgets, while a separate survey in July showed many marketers welcome procurement’s involvement in creative spend.

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