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The first session of our Masterclass event in Singapore is complete. This morning, delegates explored the marketing category.
The morning presentations was kicked off by Qasim Hussain, associate director at P&G, who looked at the three-way partnership between procurement, marketing and the agency. Buyers have historically struggled in the marketing space. For many, it was considered the ‘final frontier’ where the purchasing function completes its ambition to obtain spend under management.
For Hussain, much of the answer for marketing reluctance to engage with buyers was to empower the marketing professionals. He argued that “a lot of the skills lie in the people that you are trying to deliver the results for” and by empowering these individuals procurement can both expand its scope and forge more productive deals.
Moreover, this required buyers to accept their own role within the process. “We have to accept that we can’t make the creative call,” Hussain maintained. “But we can enable it.” This simultaneously reassures sceptical marketers on the limits of procurement’s role and the value that the function can add.
The next session saw Charmaine Tan, regional category manager at AIG, looking to deepen procurement’s value proposition.
Again, this required building a three-way consortium between the key parties, as means to build the relationships with those involved. In one little tip, Tan described the assignment of petty cash for marketing professionals to take advantage of short-term opportunities. “If they see a media slot, they can buy it and they feel empowered,” she said.
Some interesting tips this morning on how to manage an intractable category. For many, the heart of procurement’s proposition is ultimately empowering its partners.