Procurement vs marketing – does it always have to be that way?


Simon Francis


The relationship between marketing and procurement is a crucial one. But it can often be tense and sometimes organisationally divisive. So in those companies where the two departments work well – how do they do it?

At Flock many of our projects centre around marketing procurement and involve working closely with both marketing and procurement functions to make savings, gain efficiency and build great, integrated teams.

Below are 5 secrets to success that we’ve observed in some of the organisations we’ve worked with.

  1. Partnership – from the start. Often the marketing and procurement teams that work in business partnership to define what good looks like for all have the best working relationship with joint engagement from the start.
  2. Alignment around objectives – marketers want quality, procurement tend to want low prices. There needs to be upfront agreement on exactly what the ‘team’ is trying to achieve. Alignment on this will focus conversation on the right things and ensure that it is future focused around what the customer needs.
  3. Understanding the cost / value relationship – cheapest isn’t best. Unlike widgets and screws the old adage ‘quality costs’ can be very true in the world of marketing. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a deal to be had, though.
  4. Communication – if marketing procurement sit in close proximity with marketing they often have a better relationship than being placed in a different building or on a different floor. No surprise that better, more frequent communication delivers results Procurement vs marketing – does it always have to be that way?
  5. Clear roles and responsibilities – it’s not just a case of marketing being good cop and procurement playing bad cop. It’s having clarity around who makes the decisions, when decisions are made and how the process is run. This really helps ensure that people are used to their strengths and marketing, procurement and the agency all end up happy.

Flock has worked across global clients to help them streamline their agency ecosystems, appoint new agencies and make efficiencies that have saved our clients over $750 million. 

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