The WFA Global Sourcing Board, 6 months on

The WFA Global Sourcing Board, 6 months on

Marketing Organisation & Strategy
3 minute read

It's been six months since the WFA launched the board whose goal is to revolutionalise the practice and perception of marketing procurement. Global Marketing Sourcing Manager Laura Forcetti shares the group's achievements so far

Article details

  • Author:Laura Forcetti
    Director, Marketing Services Asia Pacific, and Global Sourcing
16 December 2019

2019 saw our industry reach ‘peak marketing procurement pessimism’. The criticism of the function, whether imagined or real, came thick and fast.

Sourcing Board.jpgIt was in this context that WFA’s Global Sourcing Board was created six months ago, bringing together a group of senior, experienced executives to create concrete actions and share general world-class marketing procurement practices.

The group has already met four times in the past six months and discussed how they want to move the needle in our discipline. The objective that unites all members of the Board is to rid the profession of bad practice by showcasing good marketing procurement and how the function positively impacts on our industry. The group aims to provide recommended standards and concrete examples in early 2020.

The Board’s vision is to “be the trusted partner of global brand investment strategies, from sourcing to resourcing marketing and drive the business forward”.

The Board's mission is “to define world-class marketing procurement and set the recommended standards that members of our community should uphold”. These standards are not binding and WFA members are free to depart from them as they wish.

The group has already started to evolve global agency management and created their proposed ‘principled sourcing for global agency relationships’. The following recommended standards are the outcome of workshops between the individuals on our Global Sourcing Board, reflecting their own experience and personal approaches and are merely meant as suggestions or proposals. We are now delighted to share these with the marketing procurement community for comment and input.

The Board will aspire to:

  1. Behave as strategic brand business partners
  2. Focus on both top and bottom lines and recognise that value is greater than just cost
  3. Identify gaps and invest in learning and development
  4. Adapt our processes to use right and fair selection criteria
  5. Choose agency collaboration over creating artificial market-place tension
  6. Champion diverse, responsible and sustainable relationships
  7. Strive for commercial terms that enable a viable ecosystem for all parties involved, including agencies
  8. Be authentic and honest with our external partners
  9. Be transparent with confidentiality respect and treat our partners fairly
  10. Focus on issue resolution before pitching as a solution

The group is working on several pieces of content that they aim to publish in early 2020. Topics covered will include:

  • Talent & global marketing procurement
  • From procurement-only to stakeholder-aligned metrics
  • Performance evaluations that are fair and motivating for agencies
  • Towards better stakeholder engagement 

“Marketing sourcing should be seen as a world-class GPS for all our partners: our role is to help internal as well as external stakeholders better navigate within our organisation and strengthen partnerships between all parties involved. ‘Data, Quality, Agility, Innovation’ is a fundamental square for marketing sourcing success; cost reduction should be the cherry on the cake. And ‘shared objectives’ should be the new pact between the golden triangle made of stakeholders, external partners and sourcing,” said Myriam Bénichou, Global Marketing Sourcing Director, L’Oréal

“Commercial procurement is increasingly a vital connector between the fast evolving points of the marketing ecosystem. We have come a long way and are ready to offer expertise, knowledge and innovative solutions to our stakeholders. We also see our role as creating trusted partnerships and keeping the relationships between our partners internally and externally balanced and prosperous,” said Ekaterina Agafonova, Global Strategic Sourcing Director Commerce, Heineken

For more information, comments or input, please reach out to Laura Forcetti at

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