Flock was delighted to be an event sponsor at the ProcureCon Marketing Conference this year. In addition to having continuous one-on-one meetings each day Flock hosted a roundtable discussion on advanced remuneration techniques.
After attending many seminar sessions and interactions with fellow attendees, we have pulled together a list of key observations:
- Inflation and Recession
These topics were at the forefront of everyone’s mind but understandably, mentioned in hushed tones. It was interesting to hear how few marketing procurement teams have agreed on metrics and a strategic approach to deal with deflation and inflation. The smartest have strong strategies and are already engaged in mid or long-term plans with agencies and suppliers to protect the quality of the work, and teams to avoid sudden news and shock.
- Automation & Integration
There is a general feeling for the need to automate areas like content creation and optimization, fee management reporting, and analysis and so there was huge interest in the latest version of our own Scoping Tool and Agency Performance Management Tools. We were struck that there was a lot of talk about technology but not nearly enough about effective implementation and change management. We asked several successful tech vendors and clients about how much they spend on tech versus implementation and the range lay between 7-10 to 1 on implementation versus licenses.
- Transforming the full agency ecosystem
Many advertisers are aware their agency ecosystem has been built in an adhoc manner, over time, a design that’s not fit for the future but unsure of the best process to form the best ecosystem, and how to implement it. Flock has found that working as intercross-category teams with marketing and technology teams has brought many great results.
- The full value chain of content origination and production
The most sophisticated clients are working hard to understand from A-Z the true cost and value of their content. This requires creating new processes and integrating technologies like workflow, marketing resource management, digital assessment management, and media systems.
- Sustainability and Diversity
Whilst there were plenty of discussions and good intent around these topics, there were fewer clear KPIs, tools, and successful case studies. Flock’s Sustainability think-piece is a great resource that helps any brand develop a sustainability strategy, especially with movements such as “Net Zero” gaining more attention. Our Representation of a Nation guides in partnership with ISBA, provide the case studies and tools needed to measure diversity and inclusion.
- Influencer, Social and PR.
There is now a sudden realisation of how much they are spending on these collectively, and how unclear measurement, contracts, and remuneration are, including lack of technologies usage. From our experience and having fixed a few systems in this condition, it was great to be able to offer some advice and food for thought.
- New Procurement Ways of Working
Many advertisers have quite rigidly defined marketing procurement category teams as Media, Creative & Production, Digital, Promotions, Research, etc. The problem is that all marketing activity is integrated, marketing teams may be more or less integrated, or many agencies span categories, where technology sits in each and possibly not as a marketing category.
So, smart procurement departments are building their teams differently, perhaps running “squads” and integrated capability teams. Flock applauds those breaking the mould and anticipates more will follow.
- Value, Growth, and ROI
Lastly after many years of ProcureCon conversations being dominated by the words “costs”, “savings” and “transparency”, it was comforting to hear that many now include “value”, “growth” and “ROI”. Once again, the best most advanced advertisers have followed the advice offered by the World Federation of Advertisers Project Spring and procurement teams are driving a new agenda
In further reflections, it was fascinating to see how a “direct category” buyer struggles so much with an “indirect” purchase and a Flock opinion is there should be an industry-wide training course and cheekily, panel formats are not actually as interesting as one person giving a brilliant, non-salesy pitch.
In general, it was great to get back on the ground and have those invaluable meetings face to face again if you would like to know more of what was discussed or more details on any of the topics above don’t hesitate to let us know using the form below.