Promoting the Procurement Function may be a new concept for some in the Public Procurement profession; however, all public procurement personnel have been and will continue to be involved in “promoting” the procurement function. Some may be aware of their promotional and marketing activities and some may not. Some may have already implemented strategic initiatives to promote procurement and the value procurement brings to their organization. Others are satisfied to remain in a “reactive” management mode. Like any business, how well you execute your promotion/marketing strategies will determine how successful the procurement function will be within your organization.
From my experience as a public procurement practitioner; many of those involved with the profession are not satisfied with the stature of procurement within their organization. Although many public procurement organizations have made significant gains in terms of recognition, this dissatisfaction of how the procurement function is viewed by upper management and elected officials has been present for quite some time, and as a result, the public procurement function remains at a low stature in many government organizations.
Why is this?
Promoting the Public Procurement function is a complex task, much more complex than most practitioners anticipate. With several target markets to reach, more than one customer base to satisfy, the promotion of the public procurement function will be challenging. For those who have a vision and are ready to lead, as well as take some risks; the rewards are abundant and the stature of public procurement can be raised to new levels.
What should Procurement Market and Promote? Sounds like a simple question; however, very few Procurement organizations successfully promote the procurement function on a regular basis in the following four categories.
- Products and Services
- Unique Perceived Benefits
Any discussion regarding promoting the public procurement function must include identifying procurement’s problems, building relationships, creating stakeholder value, gaining the support of upper management and elected officials and how to recover from negative publicity. Only after a discussion of these issues; can procurement professionals begin to develop a plan to market the public procurement function.
Developing Procurement’s Value Proposition is a key step in the promoting the public procurement profession.
Practicioners must gain a general understanding of Marketing Theory and how it relates to Procurement, including Market Segmentation, Target Market Selection, Positioning and Branding, Creating Stakeholder Value, and the integration of Quality Customer Service.
Public Procurement professionals must begin to use Social Media in promoting the Procurement Function and gain a basic understanding of the several types of social media, identify the pros and cons of using social media, integrating social medial into their overall promotion effort, and begin building their social media dream team.
Applying marketing and promotion strategies to public procurement are important steps in raising the profile of public procurement. Are you ready to take the next step? Consider taking our one-day seminar – “Promoting the Procurement Function” through the Institute for Public Procurement-NIGP. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Identify what procurement should be promoting and to whom
- Develop Procurement’s “Value” message
- Understand the advantages and disadvantages of using social media
- Create a Marketing/Promotional Communications Plan
- Monitor and evaluate the success of your Marketing/Promotion efforts
Creating and implementing a Marketing/Promotional Communications Plan will put you on the path to raising the procurement functions stature in your organization.
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