It was during the financial crisis of 2008-2009 that marketing procurement teams blossomed, with a sharp focus on the cost of media -- and reducing that cost.
But according to participants in a recent streaming event hosted by media and marketing consultant ID Comms, such procurement teams are as singularly focused on the mission of cutting fees anymore.
Sure, competitive pricing is still part of the mission -- but now the aim is more balanced, with an equal focus on helping media teams protect and maximize the efficiency of media investments. That, in turn, has helped procurement pros gain more acceptance and credibility with the media specialists at their companies.
“It’s been a joy to watch,” said Tom Denford, ID Comms’ CEO for the North America region.
That said, there is pressure at some companies to put a renewed emphasis on costs above all else, given the pandemic-induced recession. Which means that procurement and media teams must jointly counter that pressure by reframing the debate around value and growth, so the C-suite understands media’s worth and not just its price, added Denford.
Joining the discussion was Kevin McCollum, manager, indirect sourcing at Hershey’s, who offered some tips for developing closer working relationships with agencies and in-house media teams.
Procurement people need to be knowledgeable about media if they hope to establish any credibility with agencies and in-house colleagues, he said. And they can’t have hidden agenda’s or they will “torpedo” any relationships they hope to develop. They also need to know the goals of the media team and have a focus that’s far broader than costs.
Laura Forcetti, global lead for marketing sourcing at the World Federation of Advertisers, said she agreed with McCollum’s suggestions. The WFA, she added, will be issuing a report soon based on work from its “Project Spring” initiative that’s designed to improve perceptions of marketing procurement efforts and highlight contribution the practice brings businesses.
Check out the full discussion here.