The Marketing Procurement Podcast

5. Sharpen your Skills

December 30, 2020
The Marketing Procurement Podcast
5. Sharpen your Skills
Show Notes Transcript

What are the skills required to be a successful Marketing Procurement leader? 

The key challenges are:
- Marketing Procurement is unchartered so how to define necessary skills & competencies? What standards are required to be met?
- Marketing is a fast moving discipline so the needs of internal stakeholders are constantly changing.
- Agencies and technologies are evolving fast so the need to keep up with trends and innovation adds complexity.

This episode explores the skills dilemma in Marketing Procurement. It provides pragmatic tips & advice to define the that everyone can start using immediately.

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Take care of yourself and take care of each other.


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Being a savvy marketing procurement leader requires to have a perfect mastery of procurement skills, plus certain marketing skills and on top of that, some additional skills


I'm Magid Souhami, homegrown marketing procurement leader who turned president of a global business. marketing procurement has gone mainstream but remains unchartered misunderstood and sometimes undervalued. This podcast aims at better codifying marketing procurement.


Hello marketing procurement family, as we come to close the year 2020 and start the year 2021. Many of you are going to think about their training and skill-set, what does it take to be a successful marketing procurement practitioner, my view on that topic is that it takes both hard skills and soft skills.


Being a savvy marketing procurement leader requires to have a perfect mastery of procurement skills. Plus, certain marketing skills, and on top of that, some additional skills in terms of procurements skills, of course, one needs to master negotiation commercial agreements relationship management and strategy, marketing contracts are usually complex, you need to be able to capture intangible deliverables. So, having a seasoned negotiator, that also knows how to reflect the spirit of an agreement and build incentives into a contract to drive the right behaviors on the marketing side and the agency side is critical. 


Then, a lot of the success of marketing procurement lies in managing relationships both internally and externally. Lastly, setting strategies that match the business needs from a brand standpoint, and also deliver the performance and productivity required from a procurement standpoint, and it takes more than just mastering the procurement skills to be a successful marketing procurement leader. 


You also need to understand core marketing skills, marketing being the output of the brand's plan, you need to understand marketing modeling mix you need to understand pricing strategies, distribution, so on and so forth. Some of the core marketing skills, also lie in storytelling presentation executive presence, all the things that a good idea can travel and convince internally and externally, having procurement skills and marketing skills is a good starting point, but it's not enough. On top of that marketing procurement leaders, often time needs to have integrated thinking empathy and to be active listeners, and questioners, this is what it takes to influence versus decide. 


There are many instances where the marketing procurement organization does not own the budget that needs to influence the marketing team, do the right thing from a brand standpoint, and also from a financial and productivity standpoint, need to be able to motivate and engage, whenever you work cross-functional team for these kinds of projects, or with agencies or pool of agency, you need to be able to energize a team to deliver on a common exercise, you need to motivate a team to deliver against common goals, and lastly, you also need to be able to master what I call Situational Leadership sometimes you lead from the front, and sometimes you need to lead from behind. 


Having said that one of the main challenges that the marketing procurement community faces, is that it's an unchartered discipline. So expectations may differ the level of maturity and the staffing capabilities and background may be very different from one place to the other. On the other hand, marketing is changing, and the expectation accordingly. So there is a need, when we talk about skills in marketing procurement to be continuously learning to have intellectual agility and curiosity to get to an ideal place, you first need to define what is best in class in marketing procurement. 


My view is the ideal marketing procurement leader is a person who is curious, pragmatic, and strategist and on top of that, it needs to have a deft hand when it comes to negotiation, always managing to balance between nurturing relationship motivating energizing, and at the same time, achieving commercial goals that may be challenging. 


Skills Competencies Metrics

So a few tips that I'd like to leave with you for everybody to think and act upon one is work with your HR procurement team, and HR marketing team to develop skill competencies metrics and glide path. This is important for the two functions to really operate as two legs of one body, and to be able to rely on each other. in 

Cross-Functional Training

That spirit, you need to incentivize and foster cross-functional training from marketing procurement to marketing, and the other way around, from marketing to marketing procurement. The best organization that I've built, or that I belonged to, were the ones where there is a good common understanding of the added value from each party around the table. 

Exchange Program

One way to do that is to create shadowing or exchange programs on the job, having people really following each other. Understanding day in, day out, what are the deliverables, what are they doing, and therefore, being able to have the best partnership possible and collaboration. 

Keep your program up to date 

Once it's up and running, you need to keep it up to date, revise it regularly, make sure that there are checkpoints, every time there is a new skill that seems to be critical for one or the other function, sit together have a discussion and define a plan of how to bring it to life and to train it to the organization. 

Partner with university

Lastly, I would suggest you create a University partnership program in rare instances, I found out there some business schools or procurement schools that have a department focused on marketing procurement. So, if you want, best in class marketing procurement leader, you need to roll up your sleeves and create them, go to the marketing schools or the procurement schools that are within your region or your target group, and create programs if need be for the students to understand what is our discipline and teach them the skills that are required to be successful in marketing procurement leaders.


To wrap up. Just keep in mind whenever we talk about skills in marketing procurement, everybody needs to think that marketing procurement is a fairly new discipline. It's unchartered, and it works closely with marketing, which is changing fast, there is a need for continuous learning agility and curiosity, above all from the marketing procurement leaders. It's not only a matter of individual capabilities when you think about it in those terms, but the skill program is also the backbone of the marketing procurement and discipline, having intentional efforts invested in developing skills program by and for marketing procurement is critical to the existence, and value that the organization adds across companies. So, think about it, not only as an important investment into your people but also as a business priority to sustain the performance of marketing procurement. 


Hey, marketing procurement family. Thank you for tuning in and listening to this episode. If you liked it, give it five stars on Apple podcasts, we have another great episode coming up next week so remember to subscribe. And feel free to invite others to join our marketing procurement community, look forward to seeing you again next week. In the meantime, take care of yourself and take care of each other.