17 December 2010

A positive story to end the year on

Research published this week by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has found that experienced marketing buyers concentrate on building third-party relationships and educating the buying team about the category. The study found that it is contrary to advertising agencies’ criticism that procurement teams are solely focusing on lower fees and reduced media costs.

Here is a bit more detail on it from the SM website - supply management.

A good and spot on bit of research to end the year on as this is exactly what the more experienced procurement marketing professionals have been practicing for many years.

Have a good Christmas to those of you that read this and here's to a positive and productive 2011 in this wonderful world of marketing procurement that we work in.

10 December 2010

Christmas Tree Purchasing

Years ago when I worked for SmithKline Beecham at SB House on the Bath Road in Brentford, I was always asked that as I worked in Purchasing, did I buy the fantastic display of trees that adorned the building every year (now a block of apartments I believe).  And no for the record I didn't. 

But this story on the Supply Management blog today made me laugh.  It is about the purchase of the Treasury's Christmas tree and £875 vs £40 discussion.  Had many of those discussions lately re buying or comparing like for like ?! - here is the link to the article - treasury-christmas-tree

01 December 2010

A talk and a new initiative

I attended the Kingston Smith W1 seminar last night where I was presenting my view on 'Is the price right?'. The other presenters were Esther and Mandy from Kingston Smith W1 - superb as ever, plus Mark Lund with his perspective of the COI and Payment by Results, and Paul Graham from Anomaly on the way that they work with clients in terms of their fees.  Despite feeling under the weather, I really enjoyed the event and found the other presentations really interesting.  Worth attending next year if you are interested in the financial study that Kingston Smith W1 produce every year.

Just seen this about the new initiative that the IPA ans ISBA are working on - in looking at the process of ‘reforming’ pitching to save time and money.  It is good to see them working together but wonder if they will make contact with CIPS (the Purchasing body) to see if they want a procurement perspective.  Click here for more details on the IPA website - The-need-for-a-new-pitch-process

29 November 2010

The future of public sector

I thought that it was interesting last week that John Collington has unveiled a plan that will see a quarter cut from £13 billion-a-year spending in nine areas. John is the head of procurement for the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), and at a conference he revealed nine spend categories that will be transformed over nine months.

The one that is of interest to us is advertising and media which will be tackled by next September 2011.  But as it is not clear the future of the COI, I wonder how they are thinking that they are going to tackle it.  Will they look at bringing in consultants that know this area as to date I have seen little procurement experience in public sector organisations of knowledge of the marketing category. Be interesting to watch this space on this one.

28 November 2010

There is no such thing as a free lunch

I have read this week about the Bribery Act that comes into force next year and the impact that it could have on the media industry in particular.  The Act is there to stop corruption and market distortion, and if you are found to be breaching it, there are unlimited fines for the companies found guilty, as well as a possible ten years for individuals who are found to be offering inducements.

The article in Campaign feels that there is a lot of corporate hospitality and entertaining that goes on the media world, and that is an essential part of the job as it enables the media buyer or advertiser to understand the different commercial mediums that are in place.

Ummm not so sure of that.  Obviously as Procurement we are always aware of these types of situations, and in my view everything should be reciprocal so I make sure that I pay my fair share (not that I have that many lunches I have to say).  But I don't really agree that you need to experience corporate hospitality and entertaining to understand what you are buying.  We Buyers have to understand the market that we are operating in and there are many valuable sources of information and I agree that you cannot beat a face to face, but this can be at the agencies or clients office or over a coffee. 

20 November 2010

It must be that time of the year again

Is it me or does it seem that once a year the old debate of Payment by results come out ?  It has been around as a form of incentivised payment for many years. The reason that it is in the news this time is that the COI is looking at it.  Short answer....about time too.

I like PBR and agree with the comment from David Wethey, that a few clients agree a PBR and then don't have the money to pay it.  A PBR should reward against the pre set agree targets and should be paid in full.

To be the question is not PBR good or bad but rather should and could PBR be applied to other sectors more than just advertising ? I have recently tried to look at it for a DM and a Digital contract and neither agencies could get their head round it.  So let's see if the value of a good PBR can extend to other disciplines.

15 November 2010

Kingston Smith Annual Survey

This is always a good read as it reports back on the top agencies by sector in terms of their financial performance. This year they are celebrating their 20 years and have a great panel of speakers - Mark Lund, Paul Graham from Anomaly, Esther Carder from Kingston Smith and.....me. 

If you are interested in buying the survey (and you get 2 free tickets for the presentation), further details can be find via the following link-  kingstonsmith survey_2010.

I may see you there (and no heckling from the front row please!).