Marketing buyers: Develop a 'brand' beyond cost savings

13 June 2013

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13 June 2013 | Adam Leach

Marketing procurement teams should develop a personal brand that goes beyond just delivering savings and encompasses the objectives and goals of their stakeholders, according to a procurement director.

Speaking this week at the Procurecon Marketing conference, Thomas Holzapfel, global category leader marketing at Deutsche Telekom, told delegates that while meeting savings targets is how purchasers will be evaluated, marketing may have different priorities. To add value beyond just savings, he argued buyers should develop a “brand” that is built more around the objectives of marketing and building close and collaborative relationships both internally, and with suppliers.

Holzapfel said: “Never base yourself on savings alone. They are basically the currency that your bosses are going to evaluate you on. If you want to reach a basic performance level, you have to deliver a savings target, but it’s not necessarily what your marketing colleagues are interested in.”

To develop the brand, he advised marketing procurement teams first identify how they would like to be perceived by their business partner – adding the common view of procurement as cost cutters can have negative connotations, such as being mean. In addition, the brand should also take account of what makes the team unique and what only it can offer to the partner.

Identifying what success would look like is also an important factor and Holzapfel recommended creating a success roadmap with different goals along the way. Most importantly though, the brand should be built through developing strong personal relationships with the marketing team, with special attention being paid to what their main goals are.

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