We’ve been there: We’ve spent a large proportion of our working life in and around procurement teams. We know that many procurement teams find marketing a challenging area.

Our background is in Procurement and Finance with some pretty big consumer brands. So we understand that as a procurement specialist these are some of the challenges you face with your marketing team:

  • Getting the marketing team to talk to you about negotiating a better deal with their agencies on behalf of the company
  • We know that you know your stuff, but getting marketing to see that you can add more value than just cost reduction is a continual battle
  • Marketing presenting you with a ‘done deal’, and wanting you to sign off on a contract without the proper due diligence that you are required to do
  • With resources thin on the ground, wouldn’t it be incredibly helpful if you had absolute confidence that your marketing team had secured the best deal possible. With or without your help!

Of course, we can’t physically make your marketing department talk to you. But we can help you approach them in the right way, so that they will come to you at the beginning of a project. For example:

Do you really need us?

If some of the comments below resonate with you, we probably should be talking:

  • ‘I have a savings target to hit by year end and really could do with some extra help. But we can’t take on any additional headcount and don’t have any room in our budget for consultancy fees. How am I going to meet my objectives?’
  • ‘Whenever I speak to the agency it feels like they’re holding something important back. I just don’t know the advertising world as well as I’d like.’
  • ‘Marketing is not like any other part of the business — relationships with key suppliers really matter. But it feels like I’m being kept on the outside and am always brought in right at the end to rubber-stamp the deal. It’s frustrating as I can’t add any value.’
  • ‘This role is just so big. I could have two people full-time just looking at contracts, let alone at agency quotes. I told my family that this would be a good career move and now it looks like I’m not going to see them for the next 3 years!’
  • ‘The agency has been charging us the same fee for years. How can they be making money out of us? I know that agency consolidation has brought big economies of scale, but prices and wages keep going up, so why don’t the fees?’

What do I need to do to ensure our work together is successful?

The clients who’ve had the best results working with us share many traits:

  • Prepared to implement our recommendations, so that when we audit the agency a second time all our findings are new ones
  • Ready to put themselves in the driving seat when managing colleagues and agencies — personally taking responsibility for change
  • Ready to do the work — as they realise there’s no ‘quick fix’ or ‘silver bullet’, particularly where strong business relationships and large amounts of money are concerned
  • Ambitious — to show that procurement can really add value to the marketing operation
  • Set high standards for themselves — continually seeking to deliver best practice contracts, remuneration agreements, briefs etc.
  • Committed and willing to learn — even if this means having tough or courageous conversations with internal stakeholders or agency partners
  • Forward-looking — understanding that only the future can be changed
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business — recognising that agencies are trying to make money just like everyone else.