The Marketing Procurement Podcast

7. Invest in yourself

January 13, 2021
The Marketing Procurement Podcast
7. Invest in yourself
Show Notes Transcript

How should you train to become an effective Marketing Procurement leader? 

Let’s turn year-end performance reviews into a great starting point to develop a robust training & development plan.

We usually discuss weaknesses and areas of opportunities at the end of a business cycle. There’s an opportunity to better use these findings while shaping the type, frequency and intensity of training required. 

A good approach is to define the way to prioritize trainings; 
- some people like to close gaps focusing on their ‘weaknesses’ or ‘opportunity areas’
- others prefer to disproportionately focus on further developing their strengths

Having a clear definition of the ‘best version of yourself’ is key to define a training plan that leads you towards becoming who you want to be.

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

Rate (5 stars) on Apple Podcasts, Review & Subscribe. Feel free to invite others to join our Marketing Procurement Community. 

Take care of yourself and take care of each other.

References & links:

An insightful training roadmap to look for which core Marketing competencies to acquire

A framework to apply JBP - joint business plan between Marketing and Marketing Procurement


7. Invest in yourself


Connect your skills and training plan to your business goals. Often time, unfortunately, the first thing that we tend to deprioritize when business urgency arises is training.


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


Hello, marketing procurement family. Let's start 2021 with a topic that I think is of major importance: training. We usually close the year by offering gifts for others or receiving gifts, and I consider training, as the best gift that someone can get for himself. It's an investment in your self-development. We also usually end the year by reviewing performance. So, if you close 2020 with your manager discussing your performance or reviewing the performance of people reporting to you. Usually, you get out of it, a clear list of gaps or opportunities. 


Conceptually, there are two approaches to develop a training plan. The first one is to focus your energy on fixing your weaknesses, or opportunities. The other one is to focus on developing further your existing strengths. I personally prefer the second option, but the first one is also viable. I just think that working on your strengths to develop them even further gets you to the desired result faster. 


Let's start with the end in mind when you develop a training plan for 2021, what you want to be thinking about is, what do you want the better version of yourself to be like, to be capable of, to be cognizant of. For those who train for any sport, they will get the analogy. It's very similar to setting the goal. If you're a runner, you want to go for a full marathon, Half Marathon, a 10 K, or just a 5k. Then this is the end goal that defines your training plan. The frequency of your training, and the intensity of your training to hit a certain goal. 


The same thing goes for professional skill set & training plan. The way that I think about it for marketing procurement leaders, is in three categories, there are technical training, there are training to help manage the relationship and then there are marketing training. 


Within each of those categories, I would recommend the marketing procurement community to consider in technical procurements skills the fact to advance commercial agreements, marketing negotiation is usually complex one negotiate intangible services, and therefore having a great mastery of commercial agreement, being able to translate what the agreement is and what the deliverable look like into a contract is very important. The second one is advanced negotiation marketing negotiations are usually pretty complex, they cover a lot of different items services, and categories. So, they need to be well crafted, and conducted by deaf handed negotiators, the last one in terms of technical procurement skill is relationship management, marketing procurement is oftentimes the intermediary between multiple agencies and multiple marketing or brand teams, so being able to manage relationship efficiently inside the company and outside the company is a very important skill set. 


In the second category related to relationship skills, I would think about three sub-skills to work on. The first one is accelerated trust, some tools and techniques help build trust with marketing people, and with agencies that can be deployed. If the skill is mastered appropriately. The second one is joint business planning, making sure that you have a robust skill set around defining common goals, together with the marketing organization, aligning KPIs and making sure you work towards the same objective and then sharing that externally with your agency partner is very important. The last one is true score-carding. This has different names and I will put some links in the notes of the podcast, but basically, this is the skill that helps you manage in a mutually shared scorecard a set of goals and KPIs that can lead to common objectives shared across functions. 


in the third category, I would encourage every marketing procurement leader to consider having core marketing training, like, marketing strategy or brand management to really understand inside out, what is the output required by the stakeholders. Segmentation and targeting are also key to master: the same language understanding how the services that are sourced and procured by the marketing procurement organization are gonna help achieve the brand objective. The last one is integrated marketing communication, because this skill is very important for the marketing community, and it also connects to the importance of seeing things across industry horizontally, how the research and consumer understanding industry impacts, for example, the marketing modeling mix or marketing strategy, and then leads to a certain distribution strategy and pricing strategy. 


So to wrap up and give you a high-level summary, the tips that I want to leave you with is 

  • First used the performance review that you may have done at the end of 2020 to set the base and choose intentionally on focusing on improving your strengths or focusing on intentionally fixing your weaknesses. 
  • Second, you should define what is your ideal self. Again, what do you want the better version of you, to be like to be capable of, or to be cognizant of. 
  • Third, allocate time and get management's support to commit and sign up on at least three skills for each of the categories that I mentioned before, technical procurement skills, relationship skills, and then marketing skills. 
  • Forth, follow through and adjust as needed, skills are the result of repeated behaviors. So think about your plan as not a one-off, but something that you review ongoing with your manager with your stakeholders, with your external agency partners, and make sure that you stay the course. 
  • Lastly, but really important, connect your skills and training plan to your business goals. Oftentimes, unfortunately, the first thing that we tend to deprioritize when business your agency arises is training. And this is the worst thing to do because when you stop investing in yourself. Usually, you downgrade the output that you can deliver as a professional or that your team can deliver as an organization, so always remember, the better your training and skills plan are hardwired connected to your business calls, the more likely it will be that you keep the time and the commitment to deliver and follow through and keep training yourself. 


 I leave you with this, let's start 2021 strong, make sure that you take care of yourself of your work-life balance, but also invest in yourself, take the time to learn new things, and have a solid training and development plan 


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