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By Christine Moore
The lessons learnt from the ANA Agency Financial Management Conference and ultimately how procurement has a more influential seat at the C-suite table.
In the chaos following COVID, procurement can be the ones that align magic and science… Marketing procurement joins this with the science of technology and, post-COVID, takes its place at the table with a greater role than ever.
At the recent ANA Conference in Phoenix, several leaders in marketing and marketing procurement discussed the after-effects of COVID-19. What happened, what’s going on now and where do we go from here?
The pandemic has given rise to growing influence and more opportunities for marketing procurement. In fact, it’s pushed marketers to be better, made advertisers more productive, more creative, more empathetic. As the world continues to change, procurement can help companies save money and invest well through Excellent Corporate Governance.
Now, procurement has a greater voice and a more influential seat at the C-suite table.
Transparency is key
Every corner of marketing was impacted by COVID – from media, creative and experiential to sponsorships, shopper and field force. Agility through transparency is a factor that will drive success. Procurement can help keep agencies accountable through compliance checks and audits – to see if they are following through with everything they agreed to do. Expect to see increased competitiveness, deeper need to understand digital and technology, along with agency-initiated dialogue on fees and services as the role of procurement continues to gain importance.
Trust is paramount. Ditto accountability
Trust is highly sought after in marketing, said Ivan Pollard, former global CMO at General Mills. “Agencies and brands are desperately seeking solutions,” Pollard continued. “They’re looking for a new model — a model that gets us back to the old days of trust.” A good agent sees what clients can’t see, does what clients don’t do and makes what clients can’t make. Agencies employ people who are able to unite vision and action to make magic.
Fraud happens. Governance can help
Fraud has always been a problem, and it’s getting worse. Boards and audit committees will have to double their efforts to fight fraud, according to Keri Bruce of Reed Smith.
With the demise of cookies, the change in platform IDs and the increased prominence of first-party data, the digital ecosystem is becoming more complex. Brands can fight fraud by setting up robust contracts and following through with good governance practices.
Team work works.
Bill Afonso, CFO of Johannes Leonardo says that if we learned anything from this past year, it’s that partnership is a proven business metric. Modern day models cannot purely sit on efficiencies and savings, or the value of the industry will be lost. Great ideas can come in all forms, and brands need to be open to different ways of thinking and different mediums. He referred to it as “Creative Bravery” and says such work challenges perspectives, gives brands the opportunity for self-determination and unlocks the power of organizations to do good.
AI is here and here to stay
Artificial intelligence is forging the future of agencies and can help reduce costs, Forrester Research Principal Analyst Jay Pattisall says. The burgeoning technology augments talent with its computational capabilities — it frees employees to do higher value tasks and with more agility. “The future of work is also the future of marketing,” Pattisall said. It’s the future of agencies. It’s the future of procurement.”
For WarnerMedia, shifting to a more responsive model has given them an opportunity to grow business, capture and recognize partnership efforts, and move from transactional to strategic conversations – all ways in which the importance of procurement increases.
The importance of ESG and DEI
Clearly, environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are top-of-mind for many companies today. With good reason. It’s trending upward – a solid 90% of S&P 500 Index now report on their CSR Activities. The talent cares – 53% of adults and 60% of millennials say it’s critical to work somewhere that aligns with their values. The clients care – it’s key to align with clients on ESG issues. And, it’s simply good business – companies with better ESG standards have better financial performance.
Marketers limit themselves by ignoring minorities. “It’s more than just the nice thing to do — it’s demanded,” says Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA. “There’s a ton of growth, there’s a ton of money when we dive in and take advantage of the work taking place today.”
Let creative thinkers play jazz
In the chaos following COVID, procurement can be the ones that align magic and science. Now is the time to let “creative thinkers play jazz”, breaking the traditional with their creative bravery. Marketing procurement joins this with the science of technology and, post-COVID, takes its place at the table with a greater role than ever.
Welcome Procurement. Take your seat.
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