Ditch the Pepsi Blues, Already: Become a Marketing Procurement Asset Part I


Today’s guest post is by Brian Seipel, a marking project expert at Source One focussed on helping corporations achieve both marketing and procurement objectives in their strategic sourcing projects.

When discussing marketing procurement, conversations still sometimes slide back to Pepsi’s big move at the end of last year, when they did away with their marketing procurement department. This was a big deal, but was it really a shock?

Pepsi’s news was huge, but hardly isolated; marketing teams have never had a great relationship with procurement. Procurement is still trying to get their foot in the door when it comes to marketing spend, so it isn’t too much of a surprise if that door occasionally gets shut in procurement’s face.

Let’s focus on the positive, instead. As long as dollars are still being spent on marketing initiatives, then there’s a spot at the table for you … if you are able to earn it.

BAD MARKETING PROCUREMENT

Let’s just be clear: Organizations don’t get rid of marketing procurement — they get rid of bad marketing procurement.

Pepsi is still devoting a good-sized budget to marketing and advertising, they just did away with a bad marketing procurement middle man. To be more specific:

  • If an agency search doesn’t move at a speed that keeps pace with marketing initiatives, that’s bad marketing procurement.
  • If you’re seen as a road block, that’s bad marketing procurement.
  • If short-term cost savings trump any other longer term considerations (“but it works when I buy office supplies!”), that’s bad marketing procurement.
  • If you don’t understand marketing, that’s very obviously bad marketing procurement.

If none of these concerns apply to you, then don’t worry. If they do apply, still don’t worry. Focus your energies, instead, on adding more value.

How do you do this?

START BY BECOMING AN ASSET, NOT A ROAD BLOCK

Procurement pros need to do a better job selling one of our greatest values: We allow marketing teams to focus on what they do best — marketing — by clearing the other stuff out of their way. We can make the process faster, not slow it down.

If you haven’t built this business case for yourself as an asset, then marketing teams have no idea what you can offer. They can, and will, view you as a stereotypical bean counter because you haven’t given them anything else to work with.

When I hear marketing complain that procurement slows the process down, I bang my head against a wall. Procurement has honed processes that help speed the process for identifying, vetting, and selecting agencies. Show marketers all of the procurement-based work you can take off their hands (they don’t go away even if procurement leaves the room) so they can focus on finding agencies that are the best fit.

But this is just the beginning. In tomorrow’s post, we will discuss the next steps.


Thanks, Brian.

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