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Media’s growing fascination with procurement

Ron Jarman
Jul 18, 2011 11:17:00 AM

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During times of boom in the media sector, effective procurement was a ‘'nice to have'’. Now, it is playing an essential role in enabling operators to face challenges, survive and thrive.

Over the past 20 years, the media, marketing and advertising landscape has been transformed beyond recognition. In today’'s marketplace, media organisations have had to fundamentally reinvent their offering fundamentally to maintain profitability under difficult market conditions. With sluggish top line growth impacting organisations across the sector, businesses are looking at procurement more strategically, to deliver savings, facilitate growth and maximise value.

Moving from traditional to new media has been one of the main challenges facing media operators.  Media consumption is changing and procurement professionals have become adept at working with media agencies to respond to these market shifts. Successful media planning is rooted in a deep understanding of a brand’'s objectives and consumer insights, as well as an extensive knowledge and creative use of the broad media options available.

Media buying pricing is not the only consideration. Advertisers must be assured that they are investing in the right channels, to the right extent, at the right time and intervals, and that they are making their budgets work as hard as possible. Measurement remains a key enabler, and measuring the impact of advertising beyond the traditional metrics is essential. Econometrics can enable organisations to make informed commercial decisions regarding marketing expenditure. Measurement can also flag areas where change is required to dispel long-held beliefs and correct long-standing behaviours that the analysis shows are no longer optimal.

Additionally and looking within the sector, while the industry is experiencing a long-term shift to digital, a physical supply chain still exists, which brings its own challenges. Media operators must still ensure that contingency plans are in place to respond to potential hazards that may interrupt supply continuity.

The impact of the recent natural disasters in Japan, for example, meant that some specific paper types were in short supply, and had to be sourced from elsewhere at short notice. Media operators must have a collaborative and structured approach to pre-empting these challenges and look at the planning and control processes of the supply chain to manage risks.

When it is truly acting strategically, procurement is working as a partner both with its internal customers and media owners/agencies, helping them face the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities offered by the evolving landscape.

* Originally published on M&M

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