Over recent years the Procurement department has become more and more involved in pitching and agencies have had no choice but to engage. However, procurement need not be an inconvenience, or worse still an enemy to your pitch success! Often, procurement’s battle is internally with their client, not necessarily with you as an agency.
On a well-run pitch, your procurement client won’t be making the final decision, but will be fundamental in the commercials. So don’t lose focus on your marketing clients during the pitch process but do engage with procurement as soon as possible. Also consider involving your Commercial Director or Finance Director as soon as possible to start building that relationship. The same rules of pitching apply; the client(s) might just be a little different.
Also consider tactics with your Commercial Director or FD. Undoubtedly, the role of procurement is to get the best value from their agencies. The best value usually means driving down your prices as much as possible. But you should remember that not all brands have marketing procurement specialists and so they may not fully understand what they are buying. Part of your pitch is to involve them and give them as much helpful added value as possible so that they can be confident buying your agency’s talent and ultimately, creative, effective advertising – not always the easiest thing to put a price on.
If you already have procurement clients, use what you learn from working with them to help better your pitching to procurement. As an agency, you can go the extra mile for procurement clients too. For example, why not have a seminar for all your procurement clients (and, of course, any prospective procurement clients you’d like to meet). These are often well attended as so few agencies take the time to properly engage.
Also, don’t be afraid to share best in class examples with your procurement clients. These examples can come from work you’re doing with other clients, or from industry best practice. Since the relationship between procurement and agencies is still in relatively early stages, there is plenty of opportunity for your agency to take the lead in procurement relationship best practice.
To learn more about Procurement, come to the New Business Skills Day on 23rd October when Tina Fegent, the industry expert on Procurement, will be our guest speaker.