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We need marketing and procurement to pull in the same direction, says GroupM

Brian Wieser, GroupM
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Marketers, including media agencies, need to be friends with procurement and at least speak their language. And corporate CEOs and COOs need to ensure that their own procurement teams and marketing departments are pulling in the same direction. That was one of the top-level messages from Brian Wieser, Global President, Business Intelligence at GroupM, when he reviewed the marketing landscape recently.

“What the industry has not appreciated is that they [procurement teams] define the framework that we have to work within. We have not done such a good job of communicating with them.”

Wieser joined GroupM in February to create actionable marketplace intelligence that clients can use, working within the agency group’s ‘thought leadership practice’. He was previously Senior Analyst at Pivotal Research Group. Wieser is worried that without the right guidance, procurement will take a narrow world view. “You end up focusing on optimising trees rather than optimising forests,” he fears.

If marketing and procurement are not aligned, the result is wasteful outcomes, he argues, using the example where media is bought on price rather than value. “If marketing is important to your category then it is critical that you tie the marketing and procurement KPIs together and they are not operating completely independently of each other.”

He thinks agencies and procurement managers have more in common than some people think. “Most people in the media industry are in the procurement business. There is nothing wrong with that. We should recognise that media is, generally speaking, the largest outsourced expenditure that any marketer has. There are lots of good things that procurement does.”

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