The ANA recently announced an initiative to combat the negative perceptions that many advertising agencies have regarding client-side procurement professionals and their understanding of the marketing services sector. Hats off to the ANA and the “Procurement Task Force” members who have agreed to donate their time and insights as part of this initiative and the proposed mentoring program.
This is a very positive step on the part of advertisers to assist in expanding the knowledge base among the organization’s members with less experience in the area of marketing services procurement . In addition, the move further dispels the often held belief that strategic sourcing departments “don’t understand” and “don’t care” about the differences between professional services procurement relative to other facets of their corporate charters. Real or imagined, discussing those differences within their association and providing consultative support to ANA members seeking to augment their knowledge base is a sound approach to what has become a divisive topic.
Perhaps the 4A’s can reciprocate and work to educate its enrollment on best practices to be considered when engaging with corporate procurement professionals. The complimentary approach would further enhance the industry’s mutual understanding of procurement’s role in the process and by adding clarity, perhaps reduce the anxiety on the part of client-side marketers and agencies alike.