Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Influence More Spend and Drive More Savings” from Denali.

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At the core of this whitepaper is the belief that the key to being able to get more spend under the procurement department’s control is being able to successfully implement basic marketing principles. But can learning “the four P’s of marketing” really make sense in the context of modern procurement? Read on!

The first section of this whitepaper was entitled “Define Your Marketing Strategy & Objectives.” It gave a very academic – and not so procurement-centric – explanation of putting together a marketing plan for the procurement function.

I was worried.

The next section about conducting focus groups calmed my concerns, however. It gave some very practical advice about how to engage with internal customers in order to get them to buy-in to procurement initiatives, such as “understanding your target audience and their pain points will help you clearly define your organization’s strategy and objectives while providing the opportunity to prioritize and align your services with stakeholder interests.” This section goes on to give some real-world examples of common complaints that internal customers have and how procurement departments can use this type of feedback for improvement.

I felt a little better about the whitepaper. But would the forthcoming “four P’s” discussion turn this whitepaper into an incarnation of those boring textbooks that you’d fall asleep on in your dorm room while making a feeble attempt at staying interested and awake during your college days?

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “no!”

The four P’s were adapted quite appropriately for a procurement application. In particular, the second P – Promotion – injected a little creatively found too infrequently in procurement departments with suggestions like “Procurement organizations can use targeted emails; company newsletters; corporate-wide events; or unique, personal give-aways as a springboard into new categories and departments” and “coordinate with your finance department to…implement a ‘How to stretch your budget’ campaign during the annual budgeting process.”

I admit it – I am a bit surprised at how well Denali applied “Marketing 101” concepts to a procurement situation. If you would like to check out the rest of the whitepaper’s good content that I didn’t have time to cover here, you can download your own copy from Denali’s website.

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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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