This short paper addresses an important issue for buyers of marketing services and of course budget holders in the marketing area. We look at the idea of ‘de-coupling’ spend – the separation of different elements within the marketing process in terms of commercial management, so (for instance), looking to split the procurement of creative and production activities.
Whilst this can be an appropriate strategy, it carries some real risks, such as a loss of brand consistency or focus. So rather than automatically assuming this, or any other particular approach is always correct, marketing and procurement executives need to consider what we believe are the core aspects and drivers that deliver value from third party spend. They include principles such as transparency and competition, as well as enablers such as effective processes, quality, speed to market, brand consistency, technology and data, which can all support both effective procurement and successful brand management.