Monday, November 12, 2012

Turning Off The Money Conveyor In Supply Chain

Social Media Marketing Spend to Hit $3.1 Billi...
(Photo credit: Alyssa & Colin)
The seasoned sourcing and category experts at a conveyor systems and logistics management firm would add an additional strategy to the list — apply proven strategic sourcing and disciplined compliance approaches to new spend categories.

One spend category ripe for reigning in this year: marketing. My new teammates put it this way: “Marketing organizations are under constant pressure to find innovative ways to promote their brand. And they must carefully balance their investments across print, online and broadcast channels. With budgets typically very tight, CMOs must identify the right mix of programs and work closely with their peers in procurement to maximize their investments and the returns they generate.”

Indeed. As a new-age marketeer, I am all too familiar with the bullseye enterprises place upon marketing spend. (If I had a penny for every time my former CFO reminded me tat “Marketing is the single largest controllable expense at our company,” I’d be a very rich man.) Having been on both the purchasing and marketing side of this equation, I also understand that supply managers looking to target marketing spend will need to educate themselves on various marketing channels and buying patterns. They must also become fluent in the language of their CMO and marketing managers.

Most marketing types will shut you off if you lead by telling us how much money you can save us. However, if you can demonstrate how you can reinforce brand integrity, speed the turnaround of marketing and print programs, and help me drive more programs from my existing budget dollars, you have my attention.

Here’s a sneak peek at recommendations on how to cozy up to the CMO to control marketing spend:

1. Get a grip:
The key to successfully sourcing marketing spend lies in understanding the unique requirements and concerns of key stakeholders and developing an integrated approach to address them. Be sure to allow stakeholders to communicate their needs and be willing to make the trade offs necessary to drive savings without sacrificing quality.

2. Remove the fear factor:
Demonstrate how cost-efficiency and quality can co-exist and increase the value that marketing delivers through re-pricing and aggregating vendors, re-defining specifications, formalizing processes and tying them to contract compliance, and increasing collaboration with key suppliers.

3. Educate:
By outlining the value and opportunities created by effective spend management - for instance, money saved can be used to fund additional projects - you can gain the buy-in needed to drive your program on an enterprise-wide basis.

4. Customize your approach:
Marketing projects have unique requirements that must be taken into account when developing strategic sourcing events. By adapting your approach to account for their nuances and allowing suppliers to outline their creative capabilities, you can adequately compare price and non-price factors to make optimal decisions that align with and advance both marketing and overall business goals.

5. Look beyond technology:
When it comes to effectively managing marketing spend, software alone is not enough. By leveraging solutions that combine technology, commodity expertise and services, you can more effectively compare suppliers based on unique characteristics and make optimal sourcing decisions that lower costs while increasing quality.

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