Buying Marketing Services – our Hot Topic for May

Hot Topic


It’s May, the sun is shining, the kids are settling down to GCSEs and A Levels, and the little baby animals are gambolling in the fields (poker, blackjack, a few slots). And Spend Matters’ thoughts turn to our Hot Topic for the month, Buying Marketing Services.

If you wanted to take one major spend category to use as an example of how procurement’s influence has developed over the last 20 years, it might well be this one. Until fairly recently, it was a real rarity to find a procurement function deeply engaged with their marketing colleagues in looking at spend on creative services, media buying, market research and so on. And of course some of the important sub-categories these days, such as search engine optimisation, viral social media campaigns and the like just did not exist until very recently.

Good news then - we have seen a big step forward for procurement. And yet, in many organisations the procurement function is still not fully involved or influential in the marketing space, or is engaged in ongoing guerrilla warfare with the marketing function who don’t want procurement involved. There are still too many articles around of this type too, suggesting procurement is not on the same wavelength as our internal stakeholders.  So we will take a look at why that conflict happens as well.

This is a fascinating area all in all; think about how you might buy the highly intangible and even ephemeral services around social media for instance; or the issues around music licensing that our regular guest writer, Richard Kirstein, covers so well. We’re also in the run-up to the ProcureCon Marketing Conference on June 2nd-4th, which is one of the reasons we chose the topic for this month.

And as usual, we are inviting guest posts on the topic, from practitioners, consultants, providers... the main test as always is whether the article is interesting, informative, challenging, for a professional procurement audience, and not simply a sales piece! Just drop us a line with your idea or send us a draft article and we’ll either publish it (or give you useful feedback on why we won’t).

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