Procurian buys Media IQ, gets some serious media audit capability

Procurian, the US-based procurement outsourcing provider, has acquired small but highly regarded  media audit and benchmarking specialist, Media IQ. Media IQ appear to be principally a US firm, with around 12 staff (according to my colleague Jason Busch), but a strong position in identifying value in media buying. They work with clients to “recommend course-correcting action. Ongoing benchmarks ensure that positive value trends can be reinforced while negative value trends can be quickly identified and resolved”.

That increases Procurian’s capability as experts in the Marketing spend category, and should help them demonstrate the value proposition to marketing professionals in their client organisations. In the same way that internal procurement functions often have to persuade marketing colleagues to let them be involved in the category, I’m sure Procurian have the same persuasion task even when marketing is part of their contractual scope. So buying this deep expertise in a specialist area could be a smart move. In the marketing category, it gives Procurian “more than 70 specialists actively working with approximately $7 billion of spend each year, across 40 blue-chip clients”.

I doubt whether there is another procurement outsourcing firm in the world with quite that depth of resource in the marketing spend area (email me if I’m wrong), so competitors such as IBM, Xchanging and Proxima will no doubt consider whether and how they need to respond.

In Europe, Procurian are building their European presence from a low base, with a recent important contract win from Zurich Insurance, and this is another assertive strategic step. As Jason says, “it makes Procurian the only procurement BPO provider with a significant claim on end-to-end category management of marketing spend, including benchmarking, auditing and measurement”.

And I liked his final summary. “If they succeed with Media IQ, Procurian will be able to claim that they don't just save marketing dollars for clients but rather improve measureable overall effectiveness of agency of record and campaign spend”.

There’s more on the deal on the Spend Matters US website here, with further coverage to come.


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