Marketing Procurement Success Story at Intel

November 14, 2012

By Bill Duggan

I had the opportunity to facilitate a discussion at the recent “ProcureCon for Digital and Marketing Services” conference between the marketing and procurement leads at Intel – Mariann Coleman, director, global agency management and Sean Dowd, senior manager, global strategic sourcing.  Intel is unique as their marketing procurement team is very mature (20+ years) and has long since moved its contribution from “tactical” to “strategic.” Some of the key learning from this discussion:

  • What works is NOT a focus on “cost savings.”
  • Rather, Intel has a collective focus on increased efficiencies and effectiveness. Sometimes that is cost, but often it is other measurements, such as time to market, global brand consistency, etc.
  • To succeed in marketing, procurement must understand the marketing organization’s challenges and goals and build a solid marketing acumen. 
  • Procurement should talk in terms of helping their marketing partners achieve their goals, for example helping them stretch their budget to increase scope vs. saving dollars from their budget.
  • Don’t lead the relationship building with “procurement speak” or procurement goals.” 
  • Procurement should start with small wins that build trust to demonstrate value add and then build from there.

And we’ll say it again: leave “cost savings” for the purpose of reducing costs out of the conversation, and focus on gaining efficiencies and effectiveness.

The marketing procurement departments continue to grow up in corporate America.  Many are still young, still tactical, and still focus relentlessly on savings …and could learn a lot from the Intel experience.




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