“Two sides of the same coin” – Why Procurement Needs To See Marketing as Another String to Its Bow

George Smart, group business development director at APS Group, recently featured in 'Spend Matters' with his article on how Procurement can strengthen its relationship with Marketing – and why that’s important.


Procurement and Marketing have traditionally been viewed as worlds apart, without the need for overlap. However, both sides have taken great strides over recent years to develop a more fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship, as both realise the importance their activities and results have on wider business goals. We’ve seen some great industry initiatives popping up in the past 12 months, including the launch of the Global Sourcing Board by the World Federation of Advertising, whose aim is to transform perceptions of Procurement as purely a cost seeker across the wider Marketing, finance and agency community.

The way in which Procurement and Marketing collaborate is extremely important and can determine the overall success of a project. Although both teams may have different objectives, they both share the same goal to advance the business – whether that’s increasing revenues or winning more sector-specific business. There are three key things you can do to strengthen your relationship with Marketing, and consequently deliver the best results for the business and its clients.

Agree upon shared objectives

While Procurement has a fixed set of numbers to work with and financial budgets to adhere to, Marketing must prioritise creativity. But both must collaborate to achieve their respective objectives, which is a lot easier if they make time to sit in the same room at the beginning of a project. Sticking to financial budgets is essential, but so is the need to offer value beyond monetary savings. If Procurement and Marketing can find a way to successfully integrate both sets of objectives into one strategy, the overall results will be much more rewarding.

Utilise the difference in skillsets

“Procurement and Marketing are like two sides of the same coin. Marketing people tend to be more creative and less concerned about process, although I appreciate this is some, not all. The more ‘detail-conscious’ professionals, let’s face it, make us look good. If there is discipline required around the process, they can make it clear what is needed, by when, from suppliers, and what the outcomes are going to be.”  – Cath Hill, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

Procurement and Marketing teams can bring different skills and experiences to the table, so instead of viewing this as a negative, we need to treat it as adding more strings to our bow…

To read the full article via Spend Matter, click here:

This piece is part of a wider conversation APS Group are conducting around the relationship between Marketing and Procurement, based on our latest whitepaper ‘Partners in time – can marketing and procurement march to the same drum beat’ which is available to download here.