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ID CommsNov 24, 20213 min read

What Does Media Procurement Do?

Media procurement has changed dramatically in recent years and the beneficiaries include agencies, media directors and marketers.

There was a time when media procurement was like a second client for many agencies. While the marketer might walk through the doors of the agency thinking how great it was to have so many bright minds working on his or her business, the procurement team would simply be thinking how expensive the foyer looked.

Agency CEOs, in effect, had two different clients wanting two different things, the marketer wanted growth and the procurement team wanted cuts. 

Things have changed a lot and very rapidly, thanks in no small part to the WFA’s Project Spring, which has really moved the dial to a smarter, more collaborative and aligned approach. 

Those days are not entirely gone but the broad sweep of experience and practice is different. The change is primarily due to procurement themselves, they have transformed the media procurement function thanks to drive to become good business partners for both the CMO and the media director.

The best ones now partner with the media and marketing directors. They don’t get distracted but keep the focus on the business and keep the focus on the growth. They hold up a mirror to the marketing operation and stop them being distracted by the shiny stuff.

Media procurement is even, in the companies we deal with, taking the lead on key issues such as quality inventory and ad fraud, taking pressure off the media director and letting them focus on more strategic questions.

Today’s modern media procurement team is driven by four key themes: 

The first is market knowledge. The really good ones are as lucid and up to date in terms of market dynamics as any media director. They make a powerful combination with a good media director and are deeply curious about media. 

The second is seamless alignment with marketing and media peers. That alignment can come from being part of the team that developed the media vision or it can be a simple as talking to media and marketing counterparts and asking what their goals are and making sure their goals are the same.

The third is they constantly challenge the status quo. They have a culture of progressive improvement and not getting lazy. They are always looking for something better.

The fourth is the ability to foster partnerships. The really good media procurement teams don’t treat suppliers like suppliers they treat them with partners and work with them on a journey towards the same goals. They set the tone and agenda by which their agency partners work. If their behaviours are progressive, inclusive and fair, then the agency knows they are working with a really good client.

This may sound like a love letter to media procurement and it is in part. But the function deserves huge respect for transforming itself and becoming an essential part of the team at the very best clients.

Comes out through this is a curiosity just driven by curiosity. There’s not one lever but now there’s this driven curiosity to be a really well educated media professional but also be a good resource.

If you are a marketer having someone constantly looking at how working, new innovation, what’s possible. Allows CMOs to focus more on strategic really good. 

Seeing success from it. Businesses finding success because of that role.

Mentioning Project Spring brilliant piece of work. Comments people shared it just resonated with everything that the WFA had brought together.

That’s the manifesto – if you haven’t read to project spring.