IPA and CIPS produce top tips for better working relationships

How agencies, marketing and procurement can work better together.

The IPA and CIPS have joined forces to create a series of ten top tips on how agencies, marketing and procurement can work better together.

The guidelines have been drawn up on the shared awareness that the relationship between procurement, marketing and agencies isn’t always as good as it could be, and that the best relationships work when there is open and clear communication between all parties.

The series has also been developed on the shared understanding that marketing clients, and the procurement professionals that work with them, need to ensure they achieve maximum value from their agency relationships, and agencies need to ensure they are profitable, sustainable businesses.

The launch of the guidance coincided with a free, IPA/CIPS webinar, How agencies and procurement can work together. Better. In addition to Joyce Kelso and Tina Fegent, panellists included Zoe Trimble, Head of Marketing, Lucozade Ribena Suntory; Louise Deane, Marketing Procurement Category Manager, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe; and Charlotte Wolfenden, Managing Partner, adam&eveDDB. They discussed what we can we learn from all sides, and what practical tools and tips can we adopt into our working practices.

Download the top tips on how agencies, marketing and procurement can work better together.


In total there are six different cards outlining the ten tips to the different audiences:

Agency tips to marketing

For example: Understand the engagement process – Involve procurement early and align your objectives and expectations with them.

Marketing tips to agencies

For example: Understand the onboarding process – Respect and work with the process we have developed with our procurement colleagues so we can move quickly to get the right commercial structure in place and comply with our internal sign-off protocols.

Agency tips to procurement

For example: Scope, budget and category clarity – Whilst budgets are scenario dependent, be clear about the investment. Or if it’s not possible, try to be indicative - for projects as well as pitching. Be conscious of discussing quality, scope and timeframes.

Procurement tips to agencies

For example: Post contract – Have regular reviews. We like to know how well you are doing, so agree KPIs / SLAs, effectiveness, relationship targets etc. We will help with action plans to ensure we are all on track.

Marketing tips to procurement

For example: Explain the contract process – Simplify the language without the jargon. Explain the meanings, risks and impacts of our contractual commitments in layman’s terms.

Procurement tips to marketing

For example: Post contract, lean on us – We will measure performance, hold the agency and marketing team to account, and will be able to pre-empt any potential problems. We can also help by acting as an effective and neutral mediator.

These guidelines focus on the relationship between all three parties: procurement, marketing and agencies, with the aim of becoming a checklist in developing effective, ongoing, work practices. Let’s not work against each other, but with each other for a mutually rewarding outcome.

Joyce Kelso, Associate Director, Marketing, IPA

Says Tina Fegent, CEO, Tina Fegent Ltd: "Building on from our Magic and Logic initiative 14 years ago now, where CIPS and the IPA worked closely together for the first time, it is great to produce these Top Tips for all the three parties involved in all areas of marketing. We have worked hard to produce content that will support the ongoing relationship between marketing, procurement and our agency partners."

Last updated 01 May 2024