Marketing procurement processes 'too slow'

14 July 2017

Historically inefficient processes and corporate barriers are the key frustrations faced by buyers when dealing with marketing colleagues, according to a survey.

Slow processes around selecting vendor shortlists, preapproved vendor lists and a fast rate of change in certain categories were among the biggest headaches uncovered in Globality’s research.

Globality interviewed 300 procurement leaders around the world in a variety of industries with direct responsibility for marketing services procurement at companies with minimum annual revenues of $1.28bn.

Around 60% of respondents said they oversaw less than half of all marketing purchases. The report said that today’s marketing procurement process was far too slow, considering the pace of digital business.

Typically, arriving at a shortlist of vendors took between one and four months, 60% of companies said. A fifth said it took six months or longer.

Digital was cited as the most challenging category to manage due to its rapid rate of change and newness, followed by advertising, events and research.

More than half (55%) worked from preapproved vendor lists, which the report said impeded innovation by leaving challenger agencies locked out of the procurement process.

“These poorly-structured operations create a supply-based procurement model where companies are required to choose from a limited list of providers – regardless of whether any of those options are the best possible match for a specific project,” said the report.

And long shortlists mean many agencies have little chance of winning bids and are effectively “just cannon fodder” in the RFP process. More than 25% reported their project shortlists featured six to 10 providers.

Almost three quarters (72%) said their marketing procurement team was involved in buying legal services, while 56% were involved in buying management consulting services.

“Procurement professionals are uniquely positioned to drive business value, particularly given their eagle eye view into a number of business activities that many people within an organisation don’t typically touch,” said Gabrielle Tenaglia, general manager of Globality’s marketing sector.

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