#business development, surviving procurement

Surviving Procurement

An interesting article with some pointers from Matt van Hoven on DigiDay.

To quote:

If there’s one thing everyone at ad agencies — big and small, traditional and digital — can agree on, it’s that procurement sucks. Clients have squeezed agencies like never before.

And their weapon of choice is procurement, the department charged with negotiating with “suppliers” like agencies and toilet paper vendors.

“Clients — especially purchasing department people — their m.o. is to ask for everything and hope you cave,” the CEO of a mid-sized agency told Digiday on the condition of anonymity.

“They’ll ask for whatever and make you feel like you can’t say ‘no.’”

Now the name of the game is how agencies can adapt to survive. That means adopting guerrilla tactics that would make Sun Tzu proud. As always, the first rule is learn to think like the enemy.

The article identifies six procurement tactics that put pressures on agencies:

  • The client plays the field
  • The show-me-yours demand
  • The bait-and-switch RFP
  • Moving the goalposts
  • The free loan
  • Project creep

Read the full article



Rod Geoghegan works with Marketing Services Agencies, Tech Start-ups and Professional Services Firms to plan and deliver growth.

He is Founding Partner at Metropolis Partners

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