The nature of the relationships between all the teams across client and agency has a direct impact on the work that comes out.
Small areas often overlooked — like how much care is taken in writing briefs or how how much a gauntlet there is to run to get paid — can make a difference in marketing campaigns with the same ad spend. Agencies assign their “A” teams to brands that inspire them the most.
Whether creative collaborations are treated as partnerships to develop or commodities to procure eventually comes through in the work.
Marketing procurement as a discipline has the potential to elevate the whole process, and I’ve been privileged to work with organizations where procurement has a strategic seat at the table. But too often, the procurement role is transactional or even adversarial.
In July, the Association of National Advertisers updated their 2010 study on the state of marketing procurement called “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” They found that the progress in the last 12 years has “candidly, been disappointing.”
One of the alarming stats they reported is that only 15% of agencies characterize the relationship they have with with procurement as “healthy.” This is a huge opportunity.
The ANA report found:
“At their best, marketing procurement is an enabler and facilitator. At their worst, marketing procurement can be a road block and bottleneck.”
I’ve followed the writings of Lee Odden at TopRank Marketing for a long time. Lee suggested I draw a cartoon on “the black hole of procurement,” which made me think of some of the forms these road blocks and bottlenecks can take.
Vendor onboarding, payment terms, and how invoices are submitted are just a few of the small day-to-day road blocks and bottlenecks that can sap a creative relationship.
Excelling at how we work with all of our creative partners can help marketing campaigns punch harder than their weight.
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: