The Case For Media Procurement

May 20, 2014

By Bill Duggan

The annual ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference just wrapped up. There were 600+ attendees and many of those were client-side marketing procurement professionals. Procurement has traditionally handled areas including contracts, RFIs/RFPs, agency evaluations, scope of work development, and supplier diversity. Agency compensation has long been a priority of marketing procurement; production has more recently become a focus.

Now, procurement needs to spend more time on media. When looking at the combination of media, production, and agency compensation, media comprises 80% of those dollars … but agency compensation and production account for 90%+ of the focus for most marketing procurement organizations.

A new trend is on the rise – media procurement – and those individuals have a laser-like focus on media. Kudos to those companies that already have media procurement. More companies now need to realize the benefit. It’s where the dollars are!

Responsibilities of media procurement include: media auditing – checking that the media a client has bought is in the right places, at competitive prices; media agency evaluations; and investigating media transparency issues. Media procurement can provide an overall company perspective and the benefit of visibility of media supplier pools across businesses to help leverage a company’s total investment.

Media procurement should ask, “Do we know what we’re getting?,” and see how and where digital advertising gets placed (e.g., frequency caps, inappropriate content, share of voice, above-the-fold) and push for greater visibility into data used to define audience targeting, especially in digital media. Media procurement should ask, “Are we getting what we paid for?,” and investigate issues such as click fraud and reliance on served versus viewable impressions.

Given the strong negotiating skills of procurement, the day will even come for some advertisers when media procurement will be at the negotiation table helping to cut deals with media suppliers.

For now, more companies need to recognize the very big value of media procurement.

Thanks to Radio & Television Business Report for first publishing this blog.

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