Procurement urged to add 'rigour and vigour' to marketing

Adam Leach is a freelance business journalist
12 June 2013

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There is a “huge demand” for procurement to become a value-adding partner to marketing, which can add “rigour and vigour” to the contracting process, according to a marketing director.

Speaking on a panel of senior marketing professionals at the ProcureCon Marketing event, Jon White, marketing director at Kimberly-Clark‎, expressed a need for a strong partnership with procurement to help him justify “every penny spent”. He told the audience that against a backdrop of ever-increasing cost pressure and limited resources, he needed a partner that could look out for opportunities to make sure funds are spent efficiently and effectively.

“Once we’ve appointed [an agency], there’s this massive role that we can’t do. We just don’t have the resources or the time to embed, align, put good practice in place and make sure we’ve got a sustainable relationship set up, rather than just a relationship,” he said.

“We need you to provide the rigour and vigour that says: ‘Do we really need this for the right reasons?’.”

On the topic of improving relations between marketing and procurement, Philippa Snare, chief marketing officer at Microsoft, highlighted the importance of shared goals and motivation. Referring to her purchasing colleagues, she said: “They’re in it because they love marketing as well and they want to make it amazing, and they’ve got skills to add.”

Dominic Grounsell, personal marketing director at insurance group RSA, stressed the importance of having a good level of trust between the teams, particularly when it comes to negotiations.

“I certainly see the value it brings me and my team,” he told delegates. “I need somebody to have my back in negotiations with our suppliers. If I don’t then I don’t get the work I want or I spend more than I should do.”

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