‘Marketing and procurement after Covid’ – new FirmDecisions research

The past 18 months has seen the enormous disruption of the pandemic matched by the resilient resourcefulness of business, adapting in a period of almost constant flux. Significant attention has been paid to procurement’s role in managing supply chain disruptions across the world, and the pandemic has changed how brands work with external marketing and advertising agencies forever.

At FirmDecisions, the world’s largest independent contract compliance auditing business, we were keen to take the temperature of the short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on the commercial relationships, structures, and resources that advertisers deploy together with their marketing agency partners. We were particularly interested to understand the growing importance of marketing procurement in these pivotal relationships.

FirmDecisions and Procurecon partnered with WBR Insights Research to understand the shifting dynamics of agency-advertiser relationships post-pandemic. WBR spoke to 100 procurement and sourcing leaders from organizations across North America and in all major advertiser categories.



Among the key findings in the region were:

  • Brands are reprioritizing marketing investment, moving money strategically into SEO (28% of respondents) and programmatic advertising (27%)
  • To follow consumer behavior and the accelerated adoption on ecommerce, most brands are now adopting a digital-first investment strategy
  • More than four in ten (43%) of advertisers believe that the pandemic drove its marketing procurement team to make changes to its ongoing relationships with agencies


The pivotal role of procurement in the present and future of agency-advertiser relationships is covered in detail in the attached report “Marketing and procurement after covid—it’s your business to know”. We trust you find it both illuminating and helpful, and do feel free to share the report with colleagues and partners. And if we can help by talking you through the findings in detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.