Proposing a pan-industrial collective procurement platform
The world economy is going through a rough patch. The stock markets are in turmoil, Japan is slowly recovering from the tsunami and the European Union is in serious trouble, not just because of the weaker economies of its southern members: even Powerhouse Germany almost came to a halt and the global business optimism indices have fallen by 13% in the BRIC countries and 3% globally(1) in the second quarter of 2011. The following suggestion is unlikely to turn things around but, given sufficient consideration, may give a tangible boost to the marketing industry, provide unprecedented support to small and medium enterprises and promote deep cross-segment cooperation, resulting in the economic growth of all stakeholders.
I suggest establishing a framework that would allow a number of businesses to collectively acquire the services of a marketing company in bulk, bringing economies of scale to projects that would otherwise be unappealing to vendors. The concept works as follows: if a small or medium enterprise requires a product or service but cannot accommodate the retail price within its budget, the framework would allow it to find a number of fellow companies facing the same challenge. The group would then use the platform to approach a vendor and purchase the package of products and/or services at a discount proportionate to their number. Large companies would be eligible for the same savings by filling large orders by themselves.
Applied to the creative industry, a group of buyers could acquire an amount of man-hours, sufficient to produce a number of micro campaigns or design several pieces of collateral. Individually, their orders would have been too small to make the project financially attractive to the advertising specialist of their choice; together they have the combined buying power to procure enough resources to satisfy the requirements of the day. This would in time contribute to their growth that would ultimately allow them to develop individual relationships with the vendor. Thus, the framework would promote collaboration within the industry and allow all of us to develop (even) faster, supported by better ads, deeper intelligence reports and more advanced technology.
(1) The Grant Thornton International, 2011. Global business optimism falters available at http://www.internationalbusinessreport.com/Press-room/IBR2011/Q2_economic.asp [Accessed 30 June 2012]