Marketing the Procurement Function – Register on SpendLead to Get Free Paper


Last week we launched a new Spend Matters Europe briefing paper: "Marketing the Procurement Function (and yourself!) - How to Gain Credibility, Reputation and Influence".

It is available free but only by registering for SpendLead, the new platform that enables relevant buyers and sellers to link up and communicate easily and privately. We've written about SpendLead here and here, but signing up is totally free for buyers and there is no obligation of any sort if you do. (We think it is a very useful tool potentially, which is why Jason Busch and I are small investors in the firm).

Anyway, sign up to SpendLead and you can download the briefing paper, which looks at that perennial issue - how can we make sure procurement functions and individuals can get across to our stakeholders all the great things we do and can do for them? Here is an excerpt to give you a flavour anyway, and we hope you will sign up to get hold of the whole thing!


Marketing the Procurement Function (and yourself!) - How to Gain Credibility, Reputation and Influence

Recommendation 1 - Understand your Offering

Whatever you are marketing must satisfy your customer or client’s need or want; ultimately, even the greatest marketer in the world can't sell a pile of rubbish. So the first question that must be asked is simply this - what does procurement bring to your organisation? But in most cases, there is a second and equally important question - what does it bring to the individual budget holder?

In the days when most procurement activity was around manufacturing, the role of purchasing (as it was probably called) was well defined. It was not likely that the factory manager was going to go out and source skimmed milk powder or gearboxes themselves. That was the job of purchasing.

But in these days of outsourcing, strategic partnerships and complex services, procurement (as it is now probably called) needs to work with budget holders. In many cases, procurement has to prove its worth to individual users and stakeholders as well as at an organisation level. So before you can develop a marketing strategy and plan for procurement, you need to have something that is marketable, that really does meet a need.

We don’t have the time here to go into a lengthy discussion about the role of procurement, strategic alignment and all sorts of exciting matters. But we will say this. If you look at procurement from a user's point of view, we would argue that there are only four fundamental reasons to engage with procurement - and it may often be a combination of these that wins procurement a seat at the table). Again, this applies to the procurement function or the individual.

  1. You (procurement) can do something or provide input that the user can't or doesn't know how to do themselves.
  2. You can provide resource that the user does not have available.
  3. The user has been told by the organisation that (s)he must engage with procurement.
  4. A variant on that - the user wants to spread their risk and have someone to blame if things go wrong!


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First Voice

  1. Nic Martin:

    Hi Peter,

    I thought the briefing paper was a very interesting read and has some great practical suggestions.

    Many of the people I speak to are facing the challenges you describe and I love the idea of applying some basic marketing techniques to address them.

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