Global Marketing Procurement Community Reveals Top Three Issues for 2017

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On December 7, Flock’s Simon Francis and Maarten Albarda, together with McDonald’s Anna Barej (Sr. Director Global Supply Chain Sourcing & International Markets at McDonald’s), delivered a joint presentation about the McDonald’s Agency of the Future transition at the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) global procurement management meeting in New York.

The presentation focused on the Flock managed preparation, strategy and ultimate selection process for McDonald’s that led to the creation of Omnicom’s “We are Unlimited” agency. It was a highly engaging session with lots of questions and discussions.

The WFA meetings are closed sessions, creating a “safe” environment where all company representatives can speak freely about critical business issues, even if there are competitors in the room.

The session was opened by a round table for all participants (about 30 marketing procurement leaders from around the world, covering a wide range of businesses such as Automotive, Fast Moving, Retail, Insurance, Beverages, Pharma, and many more). In the round-table, all participants were asked what their number one issue was going into 2017. Here is a summary of the answers (we have grouped them together to protect confidentially of members):


Perhaps surprisingly, managing, evolving or changing the Agency Ecosystem is the number one issue going into 2017 for Global Marketing Procurement Leaders. Marketing Productivity is, not surprisingly in this group, the second most frequently mentioned issue, followed by Trust and Transparency.

We were half expecting the Trust/Transparency issue to be number one issue in 2017. But this is/was maybe the key 2016 issue, and perhaps a large majority of Marketing Procurement Leaders placing the Agency Ecosystem number one for 2017 reflects the fact that marketers and procurement leaders have accepted the break down in trust and are now ready to move on with a newly designed agency ecosystem.

And in all fairness, Trust and Transparency may have increased in importance again since the meeting, as the responses were taken before the US Department of Justice started its subpoenas of all the leading global agency holding companies in the alleged production bid rigging scandal.

Regardless, it is very clear that Agency Ecosystems will/must evolve from where they are today. Marketing driven companies have gotten a lot smarter:

  • …about their consumers needs and behaviors, often using smart Consumer Journey models and Big Data insights to identify, map and even connect with their consumers.
  • …about their changing marketing investment requirements and as a result: budget decision making is more and more business result driven.
  • …about what metrics matter to the organization: it is no longer a one size fits all model based on awareness, reach and cost per GRP. Digital proxies for this old model like shares, likes or numbers of followers/fans are also outdated and unacceptable. Modern marketing organizations are getting better and better at attribution models that shed light on which marketing investments actually deliver results.

As a result, Marketing Procurement leaders are often charged with leading the “how of marketing”, i.e. the various elements that will deliver consumer insights, consumer connections and consumer content. In other words, who are the internal and external partners to deliver and measure the company’s marketing output in the most effective and efficient way.

And that is where Flock Associates is uniquely positioned: we are focused exclusively on the how of marketing. Our senior consultants have all been part of marketing transformations as described here.

Feel free to reach out and we will gladly share successful case histories of client work with you.

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