Can Marketing and Procurement Unite To Transform Organizations?

New research from WBR Insights reveals how Procurement and Marketing are growing increasingly aligned, but retain key competing priorities that are challenging to reconcile without a high-level strategy.

Marketers today are under pressure to keep pace with the expectations of their customers, all while going above and beyond to deliver innovative and memorable campaigns. To do so, they require flexibility as well as access to the cutting-edge tools required to deliver relevant, personal feeling campaigns across all of the segments of their markets that they serve. Naturally, any barriers to their agility are met with resistance unless a convincing justification is presented to them.

It's in this context that Procurement teams have been charged with partnering with Marketing and helping them to obtain the maximum value possible from their partnerships. Without demonstrating the proper care and expertise, friction in the relationship between these two departments can hinder both from achieving the goals set before them by their key-stakeholders.

"Marketers are skilled and talented professionals. The key to building successful relationships is delivering real and discreet value. The relationship needing to be forged is that of Trusted Advisor; one charged with helping them be the Strongest Customers they can be. This consulting can take many forms...Helping them think strategically about their agency selection and spend. Helping them set up Vendor Management strategies and methodologies. Helping them leverage the weight of the full enterprise. It's more about perspective than technology. It's about getting them to think differently about their suppliers and be wise about how they spend their money. Helping them do so is Procurement's fiduciary responsibility and unique value proposition."

Today, over half of procurement teams have been able to put specific supplier management solutions in place to help their marketing counterparts manage their suppliers and deliver value. That said, 44% have yet to introduce these tools to their peers, painting a picture of a relationship that can vary wildly depending on the culture of an organization and the willingness of executive leadership to come together.

On a general level, applying procurement policy to marketing spend must strike a balance between delivering value and eliminating rogue spending while at the same time presenting options for innovation, as well as speed--a critical factor for marketers. The challenge this creates is evident based on the fact that 65% of procurement professionals with a role in sourcing for marketing feel that marketing execution is only averagely aligned, or below average alignment in relation to their procurement strategies.

It's likely that marketing will be using a blend of internal and external resources to develop assets. With this in mind, a tool that can provide the means to track approved suppliers and provide a short list of options indexed by factors including speed, quality, and price, represents a seriously powerful advantage for both Procurement and Marketing. How can these two groups develop a shared vision and work together to source and integrate the right technologies? These questions and more will be answered when our full research report is released later this year! Until then, you can check out ProcureCon's content center for other engaging research.

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