Two smiling ladies succeeding in Marketing Procurement

Succeeding in Marketing Procurement

Marketing Procurement is a dynamic and ever-changing role that’s undergoing both a revolution and an evolution. It is a slightly different beast to general procurement, as whilst both roles have many shared skills, Marketing Procurement is very much focused on aligning cost-saving with campaign strategy to optimise marketing spend. And purchasing Marketing is very different to anything else a business will procure.

Marketing Procurement should have a symbiotic relationship with the marketing team, providing rich support, advisory capabilities and insights. The role can be challenging because of the need to be more connected with marketing, and more focused on building relationships with agencies and vendors. 

Moving forward with a modern approach, based on data and analytics, is the only way to overcome legacy perceptions and battles that have traditionally been fought between Marketing and Procurement. It is also why success in Marketing Procurement demands a variety of different skill sets and expertise. 

Marketing Procurement – Communication is critical

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing Marketing Procurement roles is the push-back from marketing. In a survey undertaken by the ANA entitled ‘Procurement: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 2022’, it was clear that the relationship between marketing and procurement may have  seen some improvements, but there remains room for improvement.

Both sides, need to come together to bridge that gap, but for the Marketing Procurement professional it needs to come in the shape of the following three key skills:

  1. Negotiation – a good Marketing Procurement professional needs excellent negotiation skills to allow for smoother management of suppliers, resourcing, RFQ, RFP and RFI management, and quotation analysis.
  2. Clarity – The ability to communicate clearly and simply so that everyone is on the same page and understanding is seamless across all silos and suppliers.
  3. Understanding – Marketing Procurement needs to understand what’s being delivered, how this aligns with marketing strategy, how different suppliers work and then ensuring each of these cogs works smoothly together.

Marketing Procurement – Informed decision-making

Marketing Procurement needs to understand how to make informed decisions based on data and analytics. This means moving away from the traditional tools that many teams have relied on and instead embracing more agile and data-rich solutions that provide the right insights to inform decisions.

In addition to being open to tools that can positively influence  your decision-making, Marketing Procurement also needs to know how to apply this learning to their role and use it to engage  the marketing team and agency suppliers. Marketing Procurement certainly requires a high level of qualitative decision-making, which is often an overlooked skill.

Marketing Procurement – Attention to detail

When dealing with multiple stakeholders (both internal and external), you need to be confident  that every report, proposal and contract has been carefully managed and checked. Marketing Procurement’s role is to ensure proposals and contracts are compliant, include every detail required to ensure they are legally binding, have no loopholes and gaps, and outline every aspect of the campaign and its deliverables.

This extends to ensuring that every aspect of financial management is equally given the care and attention required. That every last dollar of spend is being accounted for, benchmarked and tracked throughout the project. Marketing Procurement professionals are intensely detail focused; they command respect from both marketing colleagues and the agency suppliers.

Marketing Procurement – Organisational skills

Marketing Procurement’s role will demand organisation and participation in the selection of suppliers, communication with vendors, collation of all the documents and data related to the suppliers, and to consistently manage agency information and paperwork. As a result, exceptional organisational skills are needed.

In fact, you will want to be the kind of person who thrives when given the task of capturing information, staying on top of budgets and keeping relationships smooth and sharp.

Marketing Procurement – Analyst and innovator

Finally, you want two other core skills in your toolbox – analyst and innovator. 

Your analytical side is essential for managing the data that will help you to better assess suppliers and manage their costs against budgets. One such tool is RightSpend – we provide data and insights you can use to compare agency fees and  assess costs against local and global benchmarks – and even without a strong grasp of data, you will be able to demonstrate immense value from the system.

An innovator is someone who looks ahead and tries new ideas and approaches. Someone who is willing to look beyond what’s always been done towards what can be done. As Marketing Procurement pushes its way out of negative perceptions about how it’s just a back office function or stuck in old ways of working, innovators are key to ensuring the long-term transformation of this role. If you are open to championing new and improved processes and tools then you can redefine your role within Marketing Procurement and play an even greater role in reshaping the profession as a whole. 


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