Let’s face it. If Marketing hasn’t let you put your fingers in the Marketing Procurement Pie, then you don’t have any experience executing and managing Marketing and Agency projects in your organization. Furthermore, given the more traditional role of Procurement and Supply Management, all of the training and expertise that has been imparted to you has probably focussed on direct and indirect materials management, and not ephemeral creative services.
If you want to be taken seriously, you have to not only be an expert in your function, but very knowledgeable in the Marketing function as well. You have to know their process, KPIs, and lingo and speak it like a pro. Otherwise, you look like a n00b in a l33tsp34k forum, and you won’t be taken seriously.
If you don’t make the cut, then you better bring in help, get up to snuff, and make sure you are putting your best foot forward before taking on your first Marketing Procurement project. As per our previous post in this series, you will be put on probation and likely only get one chance to succeed. Fail on even one task, and you’ll be blamed for everything and not allowed back in until there is a change in leadership. (It’s harsh, but you need to remember where the biggest concentration of egos typically are outside of the C-Suite.)
A third-party experienced in marketing procurement can not only help you understand the lingo, the relevant KPIs from a Marketing viewpoint, and the process customizations that are likely to get Marketing’s attention, but can also help you with:
- Analysis & Benchmarking
Chances are you are struggling getting enough clean and current data just to analyze and breakdown Marketing’s current spending — how are you going to benchmark the industry when Marketing never bothered to save bids and quotes from agencies that didn’t win the bid?
- Subject Matter Expertise
In addition to helping you with lingo, KPI definition, and process customization, they can also help you prepare the SoWs (Statements of Work), MSAs (Master Services Agreements), and Rate Card templates that make sense for your organization.
- Time Bank
Chances are that your team is already “time bankrupt” and barely has the time to do it’s job, yet alone learn another function. Bringing in the appropriate expertise not only minimizes the amount of time you need to identify the relevant subject matter, but to run the first project successfully as you will have an expert guiding you each step along the way. In addition, an outside third party can help you with the time-intensive data collection, cleansing, and benchmarking, freeing your team up to focus on what is important.
For more information on what a third party can bring to the table, check out Source One Management Services’ new white-paper on Fueling Effective Collaboration: How Strategic Sourcing Delivers Results for Marketing Groups. There aren’t many resources out there on Strategic Sourcing for Procurement (and SI knows this as it’s been talking about the importance thereof since it started back in 2006), so take advantage of what there is when something comes your way.