Chris Reed
Jul 20, 2012

CEO’s Procurement Dark Forces v’s Creative Marketing : Part 2

I have resisted writing on this topic for the blog for a while, hoping I would see some good examples of marketing procurement teams but nope it just gets worse…..I have to ask this question, as I ...

CEO’s Procurement Dark Forces v’s Creative Marketing : Part 2

I have resisted writing on this topic for the blog for a while, hoping I would see some good examples of marketing procurement teams but nope it just gets worse…..

I have to ask this question, as I have yet to come across this, but are there any marketing procurement teams who have actually ever worked in marketing?

Are they all accountants who just like to wield the power they have been given indiscriminately by CEO’s and screw up marketing plans?

Are they merely there to justify their existence without a care in the world for marketing plans or the business itself?

In two recent examples my agency was brought in by regional marketing directors of Asia of two massive MNC's  to recommend a partnership and/or loyalty marketing strategy. In both examples the marketing director wanted to go ahead as we matched the brief with a partnership marketing strategy......

Procurement on a night out.....

In both examples a final meeting happened with a majority of procurement and hardly any marketing people. That's when the dark forces took over....

In both examples none of the procurement people had any experience in marketing and didn’t understand their own marketing directors brief, what we did, our recommendations, measurements, how marketing and partnership marketing actual work, anything really……they could easily have got a job being a Singaporean taxi driver though..... (i digress...)

Oh yes they did understand paperwork, obstacles, and an inability to understand basic marketing. Win-win, no money changes hands partnership marketing threw them completely. It was like a whole new language for them…..

How did they get their jobs? In both examples it won’t surprise you to learn our proposal was declined for spurious reasons unconnected to marketing and contradicted the marketing director’s stated wishes.

That CEO Marketing Director relationship illustrated.....

I am clearly not the only who believes this. Ogilvy & Mather vice chairman Rory Sutherland said at the Brand Republic Media 360 Conference “Marketers should wrestle back some of the power from finance departments because the outcomes you can measure are not the only ones that matter, according to”.

He added “in the past many chief executives were former marketers but today 70% of chief executives are former finance directors”.

Rather than allowing themselves to be run by the rational finance department, Sutherland urged businesses to value the outcomes they cannot measure, or that are not always rational, because a lot of the best decisions are made on an emotional and unconscious level.

In an attempt to illustrate the differences in approach and perception between the two

Dark Forces.....or is that Alex Ferguson?

professions, Sutherland said: "A peacock is a chicken that has been taken over by the marketing department, while a penguin is an albatross that has been taken over by finance."

Sutherland said: "There is too much power in what you call left-brain business decision-making. The penguin is actually squeezing out the peacock, and what you're creating if you create a business that only operates on short-term quarterly financial considerations is you've effectively got one-part form of evolution without the moderating force of the other part."

Have the accountants taken over the asylum and made it sane? No more Mad Men?

Dark Forces.....(are you sure? - Ed That looks like Steps to me....)

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