These organizations should apply all this high-level talent and advanced demand management strategies to under-sourced areas, as well as to sourcing key services like creative agencies and media buying agencies, on a global basis. Executives should engage and team with strategic partners to continue automating processing, eliminating waste and continuously improving interactions between the two firms.
They also should use their sophistication and knowledge to take "game-changing" actions where possible, for example, through disintermediation, consortiums, strategic substitution and technology innovation. And, of course, even advanced organizations must review their technology platform regularly to ensure that they are utilizing all the functionality and automation offered by their system investments.
Before launching a slash-and-burn marketing cost cutting initiative, remember that the companies with the strongest brands have market capitalizations three times greater than their peers. Marketing, when done right, produces tremendous shareholder value. Sourcing it properly requires an "investment, value optimization" mindset versus a "cost center, cost reduction, widget" one. If you don't get this subtlety right, the (Marketing) body is guaranteed to reject the (Procurement) organ. And if you don't have unwavering C-level executive support to begin with, point your sourcing resources elsewhere.
The recent recession has led companies to turn over previously unturned stones in an effort to discover latent efficiencies. Marketing is one of those stones, and the time to turn it over and take an analytical look at it is now. In the author's experience, regardless of where you sit along the marketing procurement maturity spectrum, opportunities await you.