Daily Archives: May 1, 2013

How Do You Support Marketing? Get a Grip on Agency Lifecycle Management, Part I

For many Supply Management organizations, Marketing is one of the sacred cow spends that they don’t get to touch. This is because Marketing insists that creative talent can’t be traditionally sourced due to the inability to quantify creativity systematically, and can’t be managed using traditional processes because creative talent is not like easily sourced janitorial services.

But this isn’t true. Creative talent can be sourced systematically, but not using a hands-off auction, outsourced GPO, or other inappropriate methodology. It can be effectively sourced using a proper RFX, Supplier Management, and negotiation process. And creative talent can be effectively managed using an Agency Lifecycle Management process that manages the services cradle-to-grave.

So what is Agency Lifecycle Management? It’s Services Lifecycle Management customized for Agency Management. In traditional services lifecycle management, you have the following basic steps:

  • supplier identification and selection
  • contract and scope of work
  • delivery
  • review and evaluation

In Agency Lifecycle Management, you have approximately the same steps, except the scope of work can take various forms and be much more involved, and the delivery step requires a lot more interaction than a traditional (services) delivery and usually takes the form of regular interactive briefings. In other words, in Agency Lifecycle Management, you have the steps of:

  • selection
    where agencies are identified, their core skills are captured, and the best match(es) are identified;
  • scoping
    where the scope of work is collaboratively defined between Procurement, Marketing, and the Agency to meet the needs of the initiatives Marketing has planned;
  • briefing
    where the specific requirements of each initiative are captured in a clean and complete manner for the agency to deliver against; and
  • evaluation
    where the work effort, cost, and other relative metrics are captured for verification and comparative purposes.

And, most importantly, each step is tailored to the specific needs of the Marketing department where Agency Management is concerned. So what are the specific needs? We’ll address those in Part II.