This case study demonstrates the importance of having a clear sourcing strategy ahead of the start of any tender process. When deciding on the new strategy the client recognised that a significant transition was required to ultimately deliver the maximum return on investment for the media budget. The project became much more than a change of agency and more a change of working practices as it focussed on an integrated solution which would put an end to the ad-hoc and fragmented current approach to buying media.
The client was a global real estate consultancy business who have a relatively large spend on media (digital and non-digital). The client perceived that they were procuring this category very tactically and as such engaged ourselves to challenge:
- Whether they were deploying the optimum category strategy for this media spend.
- Whether they were buying media competitively and whether they should be having a greater ongoing appreciation of the value they were receiving from the expenditure.
- The possibility of supplier rationalisation opportunities where it would make strong commercial sense.
- To buy the senior Marketing team into the transformation of the strategy and management of this category of spend.
The client was utilising the services of numerous incumbent suppliers for their media spend who had been tactically appointed over the years with no focus on a consolidation strategy or appreciation of the benefits that would be driven from this approach.
A comprehensive category review was required to conclude with a market leading media agent being appointed that could take the client forward in terms of delivering an integrated media buying strategy which delivered significant return on investment.
- Media was being procured tactically
- Limited understanding of current ROI
- A strategic focus was needed
- Numerous incumbent providers
- Limited cost transparency with suppliers
From the outset, it was clear that to deliver on the high-level outputs and challenges identified we needed to source a single provider with a background in the property industry that was capable of delivering an integrated media strategy. The strategy was to be more focussed on a digital agenda which would deliver the following:
- Personalised customer communications to manage local, omnichannel and customer journeys.
- Flexible, outcome-based, investment decisions.
- Relevant brand building which had impact and scale.
Key to the development of the category strategy was bringing together the thoughts of the client, our thoughts, the view of the incumbent supplier and the wider experience of suppliers from the media buying market place who had specific knowledge of the property industry. With this in mind, we facilitated a number of meetings to develop a conceptual way of thinking with the emphasis on challenging the current strategy.
Once the general approach to the review had been agreed, we initially focussed on gaining a full and clear understanding of the current position in terms of the service deliverables and the associated costs of the service.
In relation to the tender, we ensured we engaged the right suppliers from the market that could deliver this consolidated solution and encouraged the suppliers within their proposals to develop how the account could be evolved should they be awarded the contract. It was clear that the client knew they needed to change which was an incredibly refreshing outlook to take. They wanted to embrace the change.
Upon receipt of the tender responses, a detailed category report was drafted by ourselves for the project team and sponsor which led to subsequent presentations being held which we fully facilitated to ensure the client has every opportunity to explore all key components of the supplier’s proposals.
Ahead of the presentations we developed and pre-agreed with the client an evaluation criteria which was used by all presentation attendees to ensure we all consistently reviewed the key elements (e.g. company profile, service quality, digital transformation, innovation and risk and associated costs of providing the service).
- Appoint a leading media management provider with property experience
- Deliver a personalised customer journey
- Ensure investment decisions were outcome based
- The investment had to have impact and scale
Following a robust and rigorous tender, a contract was awarded with a media agency capable of delivering the integrated media strategy identified at the start of the procurement process. The provider’s capability was assessed through a number of meetings and presentations and re-enforced by their suite of case studies which demonstrated their experience of delivery this solution for a range of clients both inside and outside the industry.
The client was extremely pleased with the outcome of this review as they concluded that whilst their input was required regularly, they were pleased with the ‘sleeves rolled-up’ approach which we took in terms of leading the review.
At the close of the review the client had appointed a provider capable of delivering:
- A unified strategic approach across multiple channels.
- Strategic planning efficiencies.
- Media buying efficiencies.
- Audience targeting efficiencies.
- An enhanced understanding of ROI on media spend and the interrelation with optimal cost per acquisitions.
From a cost savings perspective the savings to the clients were in the region of 12% in terms of the service costs but the main gain would be on the revenue returns for spending their money in more appropriate channels with more focused content. This is the journey the appointed supplier would take the client on.
- Award a long-term contract to a leading media agency
- Partnered with a provider who could take them on a transformation journey
- Appoint a supplier capable of significantly enhancing the ROI
- Significant costs savings initially achieved (12%)
One of the key success factors for this review was the drive and demand for change from the client from the outset. They were in a challenging mode. We took inspiration from the client’s motivations and ultimately delivered a supply chain solution capable of matching the client’s vision and ambitions.
This level of strategic thinking from the client was complimented by our like-minded thinking and pragmatic approach to delivering a procurement solution. The client was very complimentary at the conclusion of the review and has agreed to act as a reference point going forward to share their experience of working with us.
During the review, there was a focus on service enhancement and cost transparency in equal measures and by working together we delivered the optimum solution which will take the client forward significantly in terms of the value they attain from the media element of their marketing budget.
- Significant change in the client’s mindset
- Supply chain partner capable of delivering the vision
- Service significantly enhanced
- Costs significantly reduced