Proactive Management of Agencies throughout the Product Life Cycle

ProcureCon Marketing Conference 2019

Slide Deck Link 👉 ProcureCon Mktg 2019

managing agencies

Managing Agencies (and Brands) throughout the Product Lifecycle

Well they saved some of the best presentations for last! Here is a brief summary.

Product Life Cycle

  • Different stages involve a different level of tactics and support
  • Product moves from one phase to another as it’s characteristics change; therefore the strategy must change to support it, and the agency work must change to support the strategy
  • Agencies should be structured to best support the product at each stage
  • Work becomes less strategic (less senior-level support) and more tactical and efficient after each step
  • Yearly negotiations, QBRs, and SOW reconciliations (or audits) are key

Brand-Agency Relationship

  • Managing agencies in some cases mean, leading the internal brands
  • Their willingness to work (or not) with you can be dependant upon lifecycle timing
  • Always reconcile SOW’s hours, have consistent QBR’s and internal alignment before you point the finger at the agency (and take the brand’s word for it)
  • Align goals internally with business partners, if you don’t have a mandate
  • Trust and Partnership are key with both the agencies/brands. If you have an agency you don’t trust, get rid of them (especially if you can’t have a transparent conversation about pricing).

Changes to Manage Agencies / Brands throughout the Lifecycle

  • Pricing for agencies – move from blended rates or rate cards / tiered rates by work type later in the product life cycle (maturity, decline, etc.)
  • Senior level support is needed early on, but not in the later stages
  • Later stages should show signs of agency efficiencies and tactical level support
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managing agencies
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ProcureCon Marketing 2019 Conference

I am actually pretty hesitant, to write any type of review. Unfortunately, I feel the need since the conference has changed so much. It may no longer (in my humble opinion) be true to the statement ‘only procurement lead conference.”

When I went last year, it had more of a procurement focus for networking and best practices.  It really was amazing. So it’s not to say I didn’t have a good time this year, it just had a different focus.

This year, it just felt like suppliers were making up the majority of the crowd (or at least >40-50)% of the attendees, which was significantly different from previous years.

Not to mention, I can’t say I like being told to ‘Go visit the suppliers because without them there would be no conference.’ Umm….. what? I’m pretty sure that aside from the speakers/panelists, procurement people PAID to be there too. I feel like if it was just phrased a bit differently, I wouldn’t have had as negative reaction. I get it, they pay the bills, but maybe saying ‘show them some love’ might have worked better.

One last thing, if you are going to have suppliers presenters or be panelists, be sure to have them not have a topic that belittles our jobs and processes. (I would love to see business cases too!) I get ‘RFP’s can be ridiculous (as the title suggested)’; but bashing our process us at an event FOR us… just odd.

#Iactuallygotanapology… but I had to make one too!

ProcureCon Marketing 2018 Blog

Ms Category Management – LinkedIn Page

ProcureCon Marketing 2020 Page

The Pros

  • Austin – I really thought I was going to hate this town, but I absolutely loved it! Maybe it was the college atmosphere or good time I had with friends in going out.  Either way it far exceeded my expectations.
  • Hotel – Hotel had a bit of a weird set-up to get to the conference, so the flow was a bit off (IMO), but overall the rooms, restaurants, service were excellent.
  • Presentations – Despite seeing lots of familiar faces, there were a lot of new ones too — even some good takeaways from those presentations (also though they were mostly ANA metrics they quoted).
  • People – From having a ProcureCon Buddy to other Pharma. Colleagues and practitioners (even my favorite suppliers), I met some amazing people (and had great nights out)!

The Cons

  • Food – on top of having to go through the supplier booths to get some of the food, it just didn’t seem like it was the same as the previous year’s selections.  Even the seating/standing tables forced interactions early on. (But will be addressed for future conferences).
  • Supplier Presence – Personally, it was just too much for me this year, especially in Pharma client-specific meetings. But this has been addressed for future meetings by the Event Planner/Senior Staff so it shouldn’t happen again!
  • Presenters – I would like to see different faces than the ones who presented at ANAFM. I also saw multiple people on multiple panels, and it didn’t make much sense to me. Having one person on four seems overkill. I  would love to hear other opinions.

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3 thoughts on “Proactive Management of Agencies throughout the Product Life Cycle

  1. Interesting review of ProcureCon. They have reached out to me on several occasions regarding co-branding opportunities however, I have had other commitments that precluded my involvement. Your post has given me something to think about the next time they contact me. Thank you – Jon

    1. Of course! I know the sentiment was felt across the board with others on the client or buy side of the business. Cheers!

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