ProcureCon Marketing Day 2 – An Overview for Our Readers Who Couldn’t Attend

We’re back this year at ProcureCon Marketing at London's Tower Hotel, and this year’s theme is Transforming Marketing Procurement. Together. It’s Day 2, we couldn't make Day 1 this year but we learnt it was full of little gems on how procurement can engage better with marketing: like this one: Procurement should have the same shared KPIs as Marketing - from Kristof Fahy, Ladbrokes. And this one:

I have yet to find a Procurement person who has started a conversation with 'how can we make this the best partnership ever and help the vendor be as successful as us' ... when I do find that person I'm not telling anyone their name ...

But back to Day 2 and a bright sunny morning gives amazing views of the iconic Tower Bridge and St. Katharine Docks. About 200-plus delegates of mostly marketing procurement decision makers (and a fair proportion from outside the UK) are here, and it's quite a buzzing atmosphere, nothing to do with pic 'n' mix consumed of course.

So we were expecting a packed day, but first a little bit of background. ProcureCon started in 1999, dedicated to supporting the growth of Procurement. Providing passionate debate about what’s happening in the market today with regard to process innovation, new tools and technologies, strategy and latest thinking. The intended outcome of these three days, is to give delegates a clear view of practical steps that they can take back to the office to improve their marketing procurement operation, the most up-to-date information, and learnings from peers that use the most progressive and highest-spending advertisers in Europe. So … let’s see how it measures up.

First, to set the theme of the day - Navigating The Data Driven Digital World – we had an interactive panel discussion on The New World Of Media: How To Survive And Thrive In The Midst of Fundamental Industry Transformation. This transformation we are told is based on the value of data, avoiding wasted spend and getting the most leverage from the media arms race.

We came away with these takeaways - It's not all about just leveraging spend anymore, it's about data, and it's about yours. Guard it well, make sure it's clean and secure and from a reliable source. But data in itself is useless, collect it and keep it, but it's about what you do with it that matters. You need the technology and above all the people who can make sense of it.

Next we heard from Martin Albrecht, Managing Partner, Co-Founder, Crossmedia on Procuring Trust – Overcoming The Mutual Arms Race Of Non-Transparency. He talked to us about the damage of non-transparency, and why it's important to draw your own line under how far you go with it. Then we heard an industry insight: In Conversation With An Agency CEO: Projecting 10 Years Into The Future – How Will We React To Market Forces To Continue To Create Value And Foster Innovation? He talked about the criticality of value for money, and how we will look back in ten years time and wonder how much of what we said then, isn't right! But more on both of those in our post next week.

The last session of the morning was another interactive panel discussion: What Does Digital Marketing Mean Today? Navigating The Complex Shifting Landscape of Digital Spend. They discussed: what's in the box that we're buying? how procurement and marketing can operate better in the digital space, and how our metrics need to change. Again - more depth on that coming soon.

This was followed by a shorter session on Demystifying Media – Separating Hype From Hope! A Fact Based Account Of What Really Works. An illuminating presentation that challenged some of the thoughts from earlier - like how digital is the worst investment you can make! Look out for more detail on that next week too.

So quite a packed morning with short, sharp presentations to cover as much ground as possible.

After lunch we had the breakout sessions which followed the same streams throughout the afternoon – we chose one which we thought our readers would get most value from: Capitalising On New Technologies – a case study on how you can navigate the universe of new technologies and decide which are best placed to drive greater end-to-end marketing value? A great presenter who could really engage the crowd, organised everyone into workgroups and got everyone involved - even if they didn't want to be! We felt this could have been a really influential session, but it just ran out of time - shame. But we'll have a few thoughts from that too next week.

And then we heard from Nissan about how the digital aspects of other commodities impact marketing procurement activity.

All in all - a very good day - extremely well organised and, as always, plenty of people on hand to direct you and make sure you had everything you needed. The ice creams in the 26 degree afternoon were particularly welcome - just hit the spot nicely.

Peter is there today for Day 3 - so we will have more coverage of the event next week.

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