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Trends for 2015

Author: James Murray
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Marketing Procurement trends for 2015

Seven effective approaches for marketing procurement professionals to consider

We took a look at some forthcoming trends for marketing procurement professionals to consider going into 2015. Here are the top seven to consider that will benefit your business.

Build effective working relations

Going forward, marketing needs to view procurement not solely as tactical, but as a strategic partner. In 2014, reports suggested that the much maligned relationship between marketing and procurement is now seeing improvements. While there are still certainly some notable differences in priorities, the findings suggest much improved levels of trust and relations, with both procurement and marketing professionals agreeing that risk mitigation and cost savings are the main benefits that the former brings to the relationship.

Reduce list of preferred suppliers

Continued consolidation of suppliers will be a priority for marketing procurement professionals in 2015. Preferred supplier lists are a useful tool for companies looking to reduce service costs. Leveraging strategic suppliers who are able to deliver not just one service but also added-value services, will become increasingly attractive propositions for procurement, as rationalization of suppliers is a key element of cost optimization. Cost, speed to market, geography, and capabilities will be the high priority prerequisites for suppliers making the preferred supplier list, which will continue to shrink in size as supply chains globalize and suppliers become increasingly dynamic.

Supply chain and sustainability

Supply chain, procurement, and sustainability will come together in 2015. With emphasis on managing social, ethical, and environmental issues, embedding sustainability into procurement processes, implement responsible procurement processes, and working with channel partners to manage the final stages will become firmly embodied into procurement practice.

Increasingly important are these factors that an event the Responsible Procurement and  Supplier Engagement Conference is spearheading thought leadership in the area. As a result, marketing procurement professionals will be expecting more from their preferred suppliers. Low prices are no longer enough, suppliers will be expected to display excellent in-house sustainability initiatives that reinforce procurement’s decisions and justify responsible procurement practice. Sustainability does not need to be seen as only a requirement. Done right, it can become a key facet of an organization’s proposition.

Involvement

There is an increasing importance for procurement professionals to increase involvement from an early stage. Marketing procurement professionals need to be involved right from the idea development stage through to the final stage of delivery to ensure suitability. This ties in with the aforementioned relationship-building with marketing, but on top of this, procurement will be looking to build relationships with senior stakeholder and product development departments.

Learn how to talk marketing

How can procurement and marketing work better until both share the same language? Marketing procurement professionals should understand the ROI-driven world of marketers, while equally marketers need to be aware and conscious of the value delivered by procurement. In 2015 we expect marketing procurement professionals to increasingly align more closely to the marketers.

Savings

By no means exclusive to 2015, the importance of savings will continue to be a trend and challenge for marketing procurement professionals. The significant trend here is that a sole, prioritized approach to cost savings will no longer be common practice, and now just one of many elements in the “procurement mix”. For companies where savings are clearly needed, the first step will be an open conversation with marketing – strengthened by procurement’s newfound marketing savviness. Savings as a talking point between marketing and procurement will become less of a sticking point, and more of a catalyst to the building of trust and improved relationships.

Innovation

2015 will demonstrate progression in this era of procurement innovation. We’re not only talking about procurement operations either. As the preferred supplier list becomes more refined, impressive, greener, and where necessary globalized, with these necessities will come the desire for strong supplier innovation. Research and Development departments and new product development will make marketing suppliers more attractive to procurement professionals.

It’s all about added-value – diversity in offering and cutting-edge developments. After all, not only do suppliers need to reflect the values of the sourcing brand, but in many cases suppliers are now becoming an extension of a corporate image. Suppliers shouldn’t just tick boxes, they should extend them, and the best suppliers will be able to improve the innovative credentials of companies by bringing ideas forward pro-actively and regularly.