Marketing Services procurement – benchmarking your performance with the WFA

In another very good session at ProcureCon Marketing last week,  Steve Lightfoot of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) took us through what sounds like a very worthwhile initiative, launched by the organisation last year.

The WFA is a global organisation that “represents the common interests of marketers” and the “Marketing Sourcing Maturity Tool” is a self-assessed benchmarking process for organisations that want to look at the effectiveness of  their marketing services procurement.  The WFA are re re-launching the tool soon, and it will be available to everyone, not just WFA members. There is no charge for participating, and we’ll feature it in more detail when it’s avaiable and you will be able to take part in what looks like a useful benchmarking exercise.

Lightfoot also presented some of the findings and recommendations that WFA have extracted from the previous survey launched in 2012 amongst 63 global corporates, which was run in partnership with the marketing effectiveness consultancy SPIRE Worldwide. I thought the points were generally very perceptive and relevant, including these;

Drive coverage of marketing spend: decentralised procurement operations spread across local markets are increasingly common. One example is the rise of the China Indirect Procurement Organisation to service one of the major APAC markets.

Apply strategic sourcing rigour: advocate global category leadership centrally with strong local implementation and control. Visibility of the spend across brands and geographies is the first step.

Hire the right talent. Procurement people need marketing experience or enough time to learn it before they can speak marketing language. You can't buy what you don't know.

Educate senior purchasing/supply chain/finance stakeholders that "nickel and diming" agencies doesn't always pay off in the long run. Marketing sourcing should advocate that marketing is an investment not a cost.

You can see the full list on the WFA website here – and as I say, we’ll be back with more about the benchmarking survey shortly.

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