Marketing procurement must deliver value beyond savings, says ISBA

15 June 2017

Advertising membership body ISBA has launched a new initiative, Value Beyond Savings (VBS), to encourage marketing procurement professionals to deliver value beyond savings to their organisations.

Launching the initiative at the Procurecon Marketing conference in London, ISBA consultancy and best practice manager Traci Dunne said marketing procurement needed to move beyond talking about delivering value, to actually doing it.

She described a maturity curve for marketing procurement, adding that there was “no substance” to the top of the curve and that those who reach it often choose to move jobs or leave the industry. “We need to start to create those areas for marketing procurement to operate in and effect long-term behavioural change,” she said.


The VBS initiative, which has companies including Marks and Spencer, Diageo and Johnson and Johnson on board, is centered on three streams of activity.


These cover: supplier relationship management; the future of agency incentives (such as a move to client/agency value exchanges); and building centres of excellence for marketing procurement in emerging areas such as e-commerce, data protection and martech (marketing technology).

“Procurement can add value in new areas,” Dunne said. “These areas are floating around with no owners right now. Procurement could become the go-to place to find the information you need to know.”

Speaking at the conference, Marie Collins, global category manager of Diageo, said marketing procurement professionals needed to think of value as not just financial.

“It’s how we optimise all areas of value and maximise our investment,” she said, adding that exploring value exchange incentive models could help agencies feel like they have “more skin in the game”, and encourage them to innovate.

On supplier relationship management, Dunne told SM marketing procurement needed to focus on coming up with new ways to work with start-ups to boost innovation.

“Procurement has been blamed as the culprit for holding that back as processes are too onerous,” she said. “We need more agile processes to enable brands to on-board start-ups. You need to partner with innovative start-up brands to get competitive advantage. And need to be able to do that quickly, smartly and safely.”

Dunne added that a focus on value should not replace caring about cost. “This is not suggesting VBS will replace cost saving; it’s about running the two in parallel and moving the dial,” she said.

Marketing procurement professionals who are interested in sharing their experiences of adding value and getting involved in the VBS initiative are encouraged to contact Traci Dunne at ISBA.

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