Collaborative learning

9 July 2013
The buying of marketing services is not a new area for procurement to be involved in. Economic pressures mean that more and more organisations have recruited procurement to look across their entire supply base. Companies want to grow their business, keep costs down and leverage technology as a means of doing this. Marketing procurement is well placed to support this. We work in a tough economic climate with often comments made about the involvement and skill sets of marketing procurement. For me, it is the most dynamic, exciting, forward-thinking, customer-centric and entrepreniual category of spend to work in. I read a recent article in Marketing magazine about the return of José Mourinho as the manager of Chelsea Football Club. Author Nicola Kemp looked at what marketers can learn from the world’s most famous football manager. 
I think the points she made are very similar to what we can do in terms of pushing the boundaries in marketing procurement and driving better value, transparency and long strategic relationships in place for our clients with their agencies. Engage with your inner Mourinho!
  • Don’t be afraid to polarise opinion. Brands and marketers may be wary of taking a risk during the economic downturn, so procurement should 
help create an environment where they 
can take risks. Try new suppliers, look 
at start ups, try different commercial principles, put everything at risk with 
a gain-share in place or invest in technology to drive efficiencies.
  • Embrace the siege mentality. This binding philosophy is based upon unifying a diverse group of people behind a common goal. What is the organisation’s common goal? Clients can be poor at sharing data and research findings with their key agencies. If you want agencies and suppliers to deliver, then share information so you all know what 
direction you are going in.
  • Protect your team. Are you and your client stakeholders aligned? Are you sharing and working closely with your strategic agency partners?
  • Who cares wins. You have to love 
the category that you are buying. Do 
your research on the categories that 
you are buying and visit suppliers – 
existing and potential new ones. It is 
time well invested.
  • Rules are for breaking. As the 
demands for consumers’ attention increase, brands need to do more to 
get noticed. While we have to operate within the laws of the land, maverick thinking can be an important skill.
☛ Tina Fegent ia a marketing procurement consultant
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