Marketing and procurement should define roles but share objectives

29 February 2012

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29 February 2012 | Adam Leach

Clearly assigning separate responsibilities to marketing and procurement teams and agreeing shared objectives are vital to creating a productive working relationship.

Speaking yesterday, during a joint webinar hosted by SM and The Marketer in association with ProProcure, Peter Kirk, head of TV licensing sales and marketing at the BBC, said the starting point for a good relationship between procurement and marketing is “having clearly defined roles”.

“However you decide to cut up the roles and responsibilities, you have to make sure it’s absolutely crystal clear who is doing what,” he said.

He said, in his experience, relationships could sour when the two functions are working at cross-purposes. To avoid this, he gets the teams together in a room to agree shared objectives early on in the process and “confine the debate”. “A single set of success criteria is agreed at a very early stage of each retender. These become the shared objective of each team,” he said.

Gill East, senior director for global marketing agency and procurement at drinks company BEAM, highlighted the value of a spend management platform to enable departments to deliver on their objectives: “Getting that visibility means our local markets can deliver on their objectives,” she said.

She explained that procurement has become a more strategic resource in order to deliver cost and overall value benefits to the business: “Procurement is not a function, certainly not anymore, we’re a business partner.”

Barry Mellor, head of marketing procurement at Telefonica UK, believes it is the role of procurement to choreograph the process and ensure all objectives are met. He told listeners: “It’s our analytical skills and quite frankly our negotiation skills, I like to think of it as choreography.”

‘Buying marketing services: how to ensure both marketing and procurement win’ is available to view and listen again here.

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