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By Maddy Smith
In partnership with Flock Associates, the WFA has launched a new Tech & Tools in Marketing Procurement report. The report offers general, high-level information to assist WFA members when reviewing their digital transformation strategies.
Opening with a comment from Simon Francis, Executive Chairman of Flock Associates. “Marketing procurement is on a journey from securing savings to creating value and continual growth. WFA’s Project Spring seeks to create a new role for marketing procurement, centred on becoming a true partner to marketing and agencies in the quest for greater value and growth”, he states.
Francis continues, “To start, what technology is available to marketing procurement teams? If any, what technology is being used to support the transition from cost control, to supporting value and growth? What are the barriers to the adoption of great technology?”
He explains that the report is a great baseline and provides an insightful guide into procurement and marketing teams who wish to improve their game and “unleash the power of technology in their work”.
The surprising highlight of this report, he concludes, is that many of the tools available are still very spend, cost or procurement-focused but are not yet driving marketing effectiveness.
All information in the report was collected from a collaboration between many WFA members and Flock, to harness marketing procurement technology effectively.
The first section of the report explains that over 1 in 2 respondents are not satisfied with their current tech stack, while just above a third find it useful to drive marketing effectiveness.
The report explains that it is therefore clear there is a big opportunity to harness marketing procurement technology more effectively, especially to drive marketing value. Many clients and WFA members are beginning the journey to organise their technology around ‘counting value’ as opposed to ‘counting cost’, but it can only happen from firm foundations and having ‘brilliant basics’ in place.
In a context where procurement is constantly being challenged to optimise cost; if the tools that the teams use don’t drive marketing effectiveness and value, they will likely be seen as a necessary evil rather than a growth driver. This could create a barrier to getting funding for marketing procurement tools.
Budget, access and adoption are the main barriers for WFA members to make the most out of procurement tech & tools, the report explains. By understanding what marketers value and what drives that value for them, as well as building business cases for investment against their requirements is a necessary step for procurement.
Too many teams, the report states, are not aligned with what constitutes value with their marketing stakeholders.
Once tools are deployed, there is still work required in order to strongly implement them. For effective implementation, teams must assess sustainable deployment, onboarding, training and refreshment plans.
Also included in the report is a table of 23 companies displaying a list of the marketing procurement tech tools and the functions of each, including; agency capability tool; agency marketplace; asset utilisation; RFP and third-party insights.
Continuing to define value as per the WFA Sourcing Board, the report explains that “The goal of marketing is to drive business growth so value should be considered as any and all activities that improve brand performance. This covers all procurement activities that drive marketing efficiency and effectiveness whilst managing risk and building reputation”.
According to the report, one in two have a budget for tools to help with repetitive manual processing work.
Consider calculating the Return On Time of “killing” manual repetitive work, the report states, as well as the ROI of the new high-value tasks and initiatives that marketing procurement can support, if time spent on manual work is minimised.
Key criteria used by WFA members for selecting tools includes; price/cost; geographic coverage; integration with current tools; user-friendliness; anticipated ROI: efficiency gains & value.
It continues to outline six steps which can help to select the right procurement tech for your team.
The report also includes members’ advice to ensure adoption, which can be viewed in full by downloading the report.
Simon Francis is Executive Chairman of Flock Associates