Get to know your vendors

3 September 2009

04 September 2009

Buyers must know suppliers "inside out" to secure more influence over marketing spend, according to a senior purchaser at Sony Ericsson.

Christina Kohl, global category manager for marketing at the phone company, said procurement must demonstrate it can build good relationships with advertising service vendors.

Speaking at a marketing procurement event in London last month, Kohl said marketers sometimes have an "oh, we know what they do" attitude about suppliers, which could result in missing innovation or savings opportunities.

Kohl called on buyers to find out what other services vendors offer, as well as their future aims and financial plans. "It is key to spend the time getting to know your supplier as marketing services never stand still," she said. "It's also important to take the time to develop key performance indicators."

Kohl added that buyers should document successful collaborations with marketing teams to secure greater influence in the future. "You need to have real examples of how you have worked together to overcome perceptions that procurement is process driven."

But purchasers should always allow marketers to take the credit for well-run advertising campaigns, she added. This will garner greater respect and as a result, procurement may gain a bigger role in marketing purchasing decisions. Kohl's advice comes at a time when buyers are securing more recognition for their work on marketing spend. Last month a survey of 250 marketing decision makers by consultancy Rainmaker found that 47 per cent thought procurement processes ensured the best strategic and creative responses were secured from marketing suppliers (News, 6 August 2009).

SMsep2009

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