Own your marketing data, buyers told

14 June 2018

Marketing procurement needs to make sure it owns its advertising data to maintain control.

Jo Smallbone, head of marketing procurement at Vodafone, said while partner advertising agencies need to be given the “full picture”, marketing data needed to stay in-house to allow procurement to measure return on investment (ROI) and give it visibility over spend.

Speaking at the ProcureCon Marketing conference in London yesterday, Smallbone said Vodafone had seen “a big move in terms of making sure that we own our data, making sure everything’s in-house and that we have all that visibility”.

She added: “But we have to still engage with agencies in terms of access to [data] and being able to understand it, and give them the full picture of where we’re trying to go. If we start cutting them off, they can’t do their jobs, they can’t deliver to us the best service, ideas or solutions.”

At Vodafone, the push to measure ROI for marketing spend was part of a wider move towards more outcome-based marketing at the telecoms firm. “Our role has to be helping and supporting the business to demonstrate value. It’s also about changing the metrics that people know us for,” said Smallbone.

“People know that we’re there to deliver savings, which makes the marketers run a mile. But it’s about changing that conversation to demonstrating how we’re delivering value through effectiveness and efficiency.”

Smallbone’s comments were echoed by Stephanie Bell, global head of marketing procurement at Diageo, who said marketing procurement’s “total bird’s-eye view” of spend gave it an advantage.

She said: “If you think of it from a marketer’s perspective, they look at their slice and – I’m sure everybody’s been in a presentation where they’ve cut and sliced the data to justify the story they wanted to tell.

“To be able to go down this road where we’re bringing more transparency to the business, and to be able to see what works and take learning from one place to another very quickly, there are very few functions within a business that have that total bird’s-eye view that are so linked to marketing.”

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