Vendor management: What marketing knows that procurement doesn’t

What on earth can Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) and Procurement Teams learn from me (a mere Marketer)? Though they’d never say it, the question sometimes flickers across the eyes of the different buyers I work with. They’re wondering: What on earth could I possibly tell them about more efficient supply chain and better vendor management? Fair question. Answer: I can teach them the secrets of making their vendors love them. 

Why should a CPO take advice from a Marketer?

I’m an Inbound Marketer. This means my job is to make customers come to me, to intrigue them about my company’s product/service (thereby warming them up for my sales team). Actually, it’s a lot like flirting. Prospects aren’t necessarily interested, so I have to win them over. I have to “woo” them. My job is to interest them, and get them to come back for more. What does this have to do with better vendor management?

  • The crux of Inbound Marketing is investment: genuinely understanding and caring about the needs of your target, and working to solve their problems and empower them.
  • Inbound marketing works because investment nurtures long-term relationships.
  • And it’s crucial procurement learn from this mentality, because too often vendors are treated as disposable rather than as partners worth investing in.

Inbound marketing can teach us 4 secrets of building those effective long-term partnerships:

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