Is Procurement Cool Enough to Touch Marketing Spend?

Spend Matters analyst Thomas Kase recently wrote on Coupa’s blog a post titled Is Procurement Cool Enough to Touch Marketing Spend?, discussing the strategies that procurement teams can use to “better manage [the] marketing budget”:

The marketing spend is a large – and often siloed off – spend bucket that needs attention.  I’ve explored this topic extensively on Spend Matters, and talked with many marketing buyers and managers in person.  The execution side of marketing is nowhere near as well-managed as the average procurement category, but judging from the fantastic input I’ve received from the marketing community, it doesn’t need to stay that way.

However, as a non-marketing or executive buyer, you need to plan the way you approach this spend, how to collaborate with these users (remember that they often have a much shorter path to the CEO than you do), how to create the right team spirit, how to develop an effective category strategy – and ultimately become a trusted and even requested resource that automatically gets invited early on in process.

Before all else, Thomas suggests, procurement teams ought to be aware of how they are viewed by those in marketing:

At a recent marketing conference I got an earful around seemingly trivial complaints about procurement, like buyer dress code (mainly the lack thereof) and the perceived abrasive behavior when the corporate procurement team lumbers over to marketing and tries to interact with high emotional quotient (aka emotional intelligence) but often thin-skinned creative folks over there.  Not a pretty picture.

In all fairness, this is obviously a two-way street – many marketing people tend toward rather fluffy qualitative statements, and shy away from tangible and measurable KPIs. Brand building and awareness creation is the nature of marketing’s business, which rarely involves picking the lowest price provider. Obviously this attitude doesn’t go over too well with procurement and finance.

Click here to read Thomas’s post in its entirety.

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