Today, it’s almost impossible for brands to execute a successful marketing campaign without technology; marketing technology really started to exponentially “boom” starting in 2011 and is still in rapid growth-mode. Why? Two Words. CONSUMER DATA. Customer data is the Sun of the Marketing Solar System, if you will; marketing platforms/suites/clouds etc. are all based around CRM, marketing automation (MAP), and content management systems (CMS). The focus on real-time, actionable and accessible data is driving, if not forcing, content creators and agencies to merge with technology groups to provide best-in-breed platforms and campaigns to drive consumer sales. As this is all cyclical in the marketing landscape and has been operating like a well-oiled machine, marketing procurement needs to not only recognize this but develop subject matter expertise within to properly engage marketing stakeholders and more importantly execute sourcing events and perform robust contract negotiations.
Consumer data, its digestion, interpretation and “post-op check-up” is all reliant on the robust technology behind the scenes. As consumers, we click on our apps, links within, punch in phone numbers for loyalty points, share content, subscribe to email lists, so on and so forth… these actions are shared to retailer’s databases and technological platforms to help brands simply understand what’s working and what isn’t. As a marketing procurement consultant, what does this mean to me?
Naturally, within the consulting space, it is my job to not only listen to my clients/stakeholders, but to really hear them; hear their wants and needs for their category(ies) and what their true ideal state out of a supplier engagement looks like long-term. What I’m really saying is…. I see you Marketing Technology and I hear you Stakeholders. The way I engage my Marketing Stakeholders is much more unique than other categories like, for example, supply chain and facility management. Marketing divisions and agencies they work with, like technology, is very intertwined, connected and reliant on each other. For example, the technology behind a loyalty program is only the backbone of the operations; branding, creative and user experience teams and/or agencies also play a huge role to ensure the success of the program. Due to the cross-over and intertwining of marketing suppliers to get even one campaign launched, I have to look at a Marketing Division as a whole entity before any opportunity assessment is performed; I have to understand how the entire operation really works, each suppliers scope of work and role within the entire puzzle.
Marketing is not just a cost center, but an investment – an investment in ideas, strategies, talent, research and brand innovation. Through enhanced and customized client engagement utilizing a holistic approach, marketing teams will be able to better manage their investments to deliver a higher ROI that results in a competitive advantage for their brands. A few of my colleagues and I have developed a “framework” and engagement model that allows us to quickly:
- Discover an agency’s scope of work and provides visibility into our client’s full supplier engagement profile across brands and tactics
- Visually organize our client’s agency and marketing supplier network
- Identify any gaps and overlap within the agency network
- Identify and develop a robust opportunity assessment to meet our client’s ideal state to streamline operations and optimize budgets
With that being said, procurement is noticing the shift, we are adjusting to do what is right for our clients and counterparts, and here are Source One, have developed an engagement model and strategic plan to foster success! We are focusing more on the holistic marketing landscape of our clients and ensuring one initiative doesn’t disrupt another, but enhances it and adds not only cost savings but strategic value. Marketing procurement is certainly a different beast, but we are prepared, ready and excited to be a part of the shift in landscape and marketing technology boom!