Marketing and procurement can sometimes seem a bit like oil and water. Marketing is often stereotyped as being creative, intangible and focused on style over substance, while procurement is generally categorised as purely about cost and process.

Yet despite these differences both sides do need to work together, both for their own benefit and that company as a whole. We’ve been taking part in a number of events run by ProcureCon, and at both ProcureCon Indirect in Amsterdam and more recently at ProcureCon Marketing in London it is apparent that procurement truly wants to move away from its image of being all about cost. Practitioners are already taking action and changing behaviours where they realise traditional “cost out” will not be sustainable without stronger partnerships with functional counterparts.

The result will be a better integrated decision-making process delivering real impact on business results. It’s a view shared by procurement expert Les Ball: “Procurement professionals can drive incremental value for their businesses and organisational partners, but they need to look beyond traditional, negotiated cost savings, and put long-term objectives in the same vocabulary as their internal stakeholders, so considering as much “the how” as “the what”. This means having a more balanced view between cost out, delivered content and service quality, which logically builds more trusted partnerships, unlocking far greater value than historical relationships might have achieved.”

With that in mind, APS Group’s George Smart, our head of business development for Europe and North America, has put together a short article for Spend Matters, the procurement professional website. In it, he looks at five ways procurement can evolve its relationship with marketing, moving from potential conflict to sure-fire collaboration. To read the full piece, visit Spend Matters.

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