ProcureCon Marketing Day 2: Optimising the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Marketing Procurement

We were at ProcureCon Marketing last week – well most of it. You can read our impressions of Day 1 here and here. Day 2 “Optimising the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Marketing Procurement,” was just as packed, both in terms of attendees and content -- in fact the delegates sitting around the table informed us it was “even livelier and more engaging than yesterday.” We couldn’t attend every session, so here are our highlights from the ones we did – and you can judge for yourselves. (We are told that downloads of speeches will be available from June 12).

The short, sharp presentations did work well as a format for engaging the audience. Some took the form of on-stage interviews or informal chats with CEOs/CPOs, and the delegates weren’t shy when it came to firing questions at them.

From a social perspective, there was plenty of opportunity to network. The central forum used for gathering, eating, drinking, and for sponsors to display, made for a very easy atmosphere with everything you needed in one place. One delegate told us they had attended not just for the quality of the speeches, but to be in the same place as their customers, or potential customers -- an ideal opportunity to get to learn about their needs and their business drivers.

The first presentation we attended was by Gilles Berouard, Founder & CEO, Havas Worldwide, leading marketing/advertising agency in the Czech Republic, who put himself in the spotlight answering questions about how the role of the agency will change in the next 10 years, and what has changed dramatically in the past 10. Gilles believes that the need for an agency to be proactive is greater than ever. 15 years ago there wouldn’t have been a Marketing Programme or a Marketing Strategy – you would have just launched into a campaign!

Weeks used to be spent developing one idea, but now we are moving from concept to content. We no longer spend a third of our time thinking about it, a third developing it and a third progressing it – everything now has to be done in three to six weeks. So How we do it is key.

Alongside that is the focus on Talent – one of the biggest shifts in recent years. Organisations are going further abroad to develop their brands, and it will increasingly be the agencies’ job to ensure that the network is in place, have a local presence and knowledge and deliver further savings for customers. There will be no room for the ‘average,’ it will all be down to how talented and specialised your people can be, so it makes more sense to have an integrated team with synergies across all touch points.

This sparked a few thoughts: one of which was how agencies will differentiate themselves and their model in the future?

Gilles advised that basically you have to decide to be standard or specialised. The future will be very different for agencies, as will our work. It’s already a tough environment and there will be fewer of us. Gone are the days of working vertically with managers looking after their own interests, the future is about working horizontally, with people talented in multiple disciplines. And that requires mindset change, training and investment. The future agency will invest in the consumer – anticipating their needs. Because the price of winning a client has never been so high – we will have to work harder and harder to retain them.

It was a great session that conjured so many questions from the floor: Is there still a need for the Big Idea? How can you help procurement through the next 10 years of angst with agencies over transparency? How does the agency keep up the discipline long after the client has been won? What are the benefits and challenges of decoupling? And who will be paying the bill in the future? All very interesting questions, with no room here for Gilles’ answers – but maybe food for thought for a future guest post?

We then attended “The rise of content marketing: An opportunity to do more with less,” from Morgan Cox, CEO, and Amin Rafinejad, VP brand logistics, TM Solutions and Content Marketing, Prodigious (design and production specialist in digital, print and broadcast). It included a client example of how they are coping with the radical changes of today and answered questions about why content production has grown beyond expectation – even with stagnant or reduced budgets. It addressed how Content Marketing can allow you to do more with less.

They began by explaining that we are seeing of an explosion in the amount of content being consumed. The expansion of the media landscape has brought about a world of on-demand access. And it’s not just branded content – it’s all content all of the time. It's the first big trend to accelerate this fast, and it's irrelevant whether content is shared, owned or earned. We are no longer travelling in a linear journey, the industry is transforming from a campaign model to an ecosystem model – you have to be everywhere!

For agencies it means changing focus – finding ways of doing more for less. Satisfying more consumers in a bigger media landscape with the same amount of budget. So what’s the answer?  How can it be done? Reallocating of budget? Careful content planning? New production models?  Prodigious used its work with Canon Europe to outline how they managed it. And it all boiled down to more collaboration, and getting more assets out of one piece of work (in this case the amount of stills and film out of one shoot).

Planning they said was crucial, and with many different requirements from many different departments, integration of skills is a must. The old linear model is too slow for today. Multiple project managers at each stage of a programme means too many barriers to get things changed. The new campaign model has a single project manager keeping everyone connected. With less people involved there is quicker access to content. You have to create a global ecosystem of stakeholders, exchanging ideas and collaborating. And that can be created within the client’s business.


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