Marketers want buyers to play a more strategic role

23 April 2013

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23 April 2013 | Adam Leach

Procurement should increase their strategic value to marketing colleagues by sitting with them and getting more involved in the overall process, according to a survey.

The study, carried out by Xchanging Procurement Services, gauged the views on purchasing of 50 marketing directors from UK companies. The main areas where buying was seen to have made strong contributions were reducing costs, reviewing terms and conditions and improving the general procurement process.

However, the majority of respondents called for procurement to play a more integrated and strategic role in the process. They recommended procurement staff co-locate with their relevant marketing team for a period or work on a project from conception through to conclusion, in order to gain a wider understanding of what’s involved.

Catherine Lawrence, senior category manager in professional services and marketing at Xchanging, said: “There was a view that we can become better subject matter experts within the marketing space. We could aid our marketing colleagues better by building on the strategic relationships, they’ve built with their suppliers, and also help the marketing team to understand their costs and budgets better and avoid unnecessary costs.”

In addition, the marketing directors revealed a desire for procurement to ensure all costs are agreed upfront with suppliers and that any additional costs that do arise through the process are agreed in writing.

Last year, a survey, published by marketing services production firm Charterhouse, found that 67 per cent of buyers believed that overspending in marketing was “rife”. The study cited legacy procurement processes as a major factor behind the overspend and calculated that as much as £582 million was being wasted among Europe's 200 largest firms.

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