How procurement can build more productive agency relationships


Too often the relationship between agencies and marketing procurement departments is presented as adversarial – unaccountable spendthrifts versus narrow-minded bean counters.


ProcurementAgreement.jpgProcurement professionals are increasingly eager to transcend this narrow definition and look for more meaningful and productive agency relationships.

In fact, old-style procurement needs to change to keep up with the new, always connected, social media-literate consumer. A brands' marketing activities need to be a lot more agile, so getting the most from agencies is crucial.

How can procurement departments help achieve this?

Marketing services are not a commodity sale, so communication with the decision-making team to fully appreciate the approach, talent and chemistry is utmost important. Rather than a spreadsheet exercise, the procurement team should give the agency the opportunity to explain what makes it different and how it can add value to a business. Allow for alternative pricing models and provide space in the request for proposal for this to be explained.

For an agency to properly understand a business, it needs to know about its past experience in terms of agency relationships and models. The briefing should outline why the review is happening and what the buying company is looking for. Be transparent about what has worked and what has not and provide any insight on why. Metrics on the success of the agency should be clearly defined.

When it comes to assessing creativity, avoid creative tests until the final stages of the process. Creative input need only come into the equation once both parties have carried out the crucial preliminary work that will be the basis of an ongoing relationship.

Soliciting "free" creative ideas from a range of agencies demeans the whole process and is no basis for productive co-operation. At this stage, set up a chemistry meeting with brand stakeholders and share scoring metrics and weighting.

Alternative creative tests can also be good to see how the agency performs under pressure. For example, agencies could be given a face-to-face briefing, with an hour to create campaign ideas and present back.

Furthermore choosing an agency that can work to the demands of business today requires procurement departments to think differently. By working collaboratively at this earliest stage of the relationship, both parties can develop a better understanding of each other’s point of view which will ultimately prove mutually beneficial.

This article first appeared on Supply Management

Leave a comment

SmartProcurement Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
* Country:
* Public / Private:


Career opportunites

Demand Planning Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R750k - R900K) excluding ...More

Global Category Manager: CONTRACTS

  • <500 000 Buyer Commodities Contract Gauteng
Total Cost to Company R1mil - R1.2mil excluding

Project Manager :12-18 MONTH CONTRACT

  • <500 000 Contract Procurement Officer / Specialist Projects / Category Management
Description:A well-known retail organization is looking for an ...More

Procurement Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Description:A leading infrastructure development group with strong presence ...More

Commodity Manager: Fuels and Lubes

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Strategic Sourcing
Description:Ensuring continuity of supply in line with business ...More

Senior Facilities Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R800K - R900K) Description: ...More

Supply Chain Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Permanent Supply Chain Western Cape
(Total Cost to Company R350K - R550K) SOUTHERN ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain
(Total Cost to Company R450k - R550k, dependent ...More

Procurement Specialis

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R700k - R800k including ...More

Solutions Architect

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
(Total Cost to Company R1.3Mil - R1.1Mil including ...More

Engineering Manager

  • Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Procurement Management
Total Cost to Company R850k - R950K including ...More

Country Head of Procurement

  • Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist CBS Procurement,Hub Head of Procurement To lead, ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management!Gauteng/Planning/Demand%20Planner/TP2005490/MSe Category: PlanningPosition Title: Demand PlannerSalary: R600 000 ...More

Head of Procurement

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist!Gauteng/Procurement/Head%20of%20Procurement/TP2005488/ZBuCategory: ProcurementPosition Title: Head of ProcurementSalary: R1.3 million ...More

Warehouse and Distribution Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Supply Chain!Gauteng/Logistics/Warehouse%20Distribution%20Manager/TP2005455/TMa Category: Supply ChainPosition Title: Warehouse and Distribution ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Mpumalanga Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Supply Chain!Mpumalanga/Supply%20Chain/Supply%20Chain%20Manager/TP2005448/LMa Category: Supply ChainPosition Title: Supply Chain Manager ...More

Industrial Engineer

  • <500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent!Gauteng/Consulting/Continuous%20Improvement%20Manager/TP2005489/SNh Category: ConsultingPosition Title: Industrial EngineerSalary: R900 000 ...More

Operations Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain
Our client within the FMCG industry with a ...More

Warehouse and Distribution Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
An exciting opportunity awaits for a Warehouse and ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Permanent
Get an opportunity to be part of one ...More