Engaging with Heads of Procurement at Large Multi-Nationals in EMEA & APAC


Our client – a leading Professional Services firm was looking to profile their services to Heads of Procurement at large businesses (FTSE 250 and above) across Asia and EMEA. The objective was to demonstrate thought leadership as well as convene key procurement decision makers in major cities across central Europe, the Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The client had 3 major objectives:

  • To work with a media partner or association to create an innovative piece of thought leadership research
  • To create a peer to peer networking group of Heads of Procurement and Procurement Directors
  • To ascertain which leading industry gatherings for procurement professionals they should partner or sponsor


EI formed a core project team of Research Analysts, with a deep understanding of the media and events space surrounding the procurement function. This team was led by Rachel Reasbeck, Senior Analyst at EI Advisory.

After a series of detailed discussions led by EI, a robust operating brief was developed which captured the client’s objectives and reflected EI’s understanding of the marketplace.


Using our proprietary media supplier database, Mercury™ we identified 82 relevant broad business and trade media publications across the procurement media space, as well as 119 industry events across EMEA and APAC.


The project team then undertook rigorous primary research to filter the leading titles and events based around quality of the readership and audience. Having identified and shortlisted the leading titles, EI filtered potential suppliers in each category based on their ability to:

  • Conduct primary research which top level Procurement personnel would find informative and useful
  • Generate an innovative thought leadership engagement plan which could build over time
  • Provide platform opportunities at leading industry gatherings as well as the chance to ring-fence procurement leaders at key accounts


Three media partners stood out in their ability to engage successfully with key procurement leaders, as well as creating exciting engagement ideas through face-to-face activities, research and content generation. EI profiled all three opportunities in our report as well as including the leading 10 industry event opportunities for our client to sponsor.


After presenting our findings back to our client, there were two suppliers that our client was most attracted to:

Supplier 1

A global broad business title that demonstrated an excellent ability to reach senior procurement professionals. In conjunction with EI, the title proposed producing a unique thought leadership piece based around key current themes surrounding the procurement function, interviewing & surveying up to 50 Chief Procurement Officers from major corporations (including key accounts and targets of our client) across EMEA and ASIA. Recognising the fast pace of the category and the content demands of the audience, a fully branded, exclusive hub was proposed, providing monthly and quarterly content (interviews, articles and video). Broader promotion and traffic drivers across the title’s other platforms meant a minimum audience to the hub was guaranteed.

Supplier 2

Based on a tight briefing from EI, a leading trade media title proposed an exciting expansion of a current Chief Procurement Office Roundtable Series to create a portfolio of bi-monthly roundtable gatherings (of 8 to 10 CPOs) in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong & Shanghai. Our client would be the exclusive partner, ensuring a ‘seat at the table’ at all the meetings, alignment with editorial write-ups from each discussion which were to be published bi-monthly in the title, and the option to create videos and conduct interviews with key CPOs pre and post each session.


Our recommendation was to proceed with both partnerships, covering both the broad and vertical markets. The client agreed and we complemented the two big partnerships with a few select industry gatherings, which fitted with the timings and tone of the halo initiatives. Feedback after 12 months was excellent.

Specific highlights:

  • The thought leadership research had proved invaluable, aligning our client with many of the key issues for procurement professionals in the current market place, establishing their credentials as a leader in this space. Over the 12 months the hub had received 3 million impressions, quarterly survey analysis, over 50 interviews, 12 video pieces and 102 native and custom content pieces throughout the year.
  • Outside of marketing, the business and sales teams had strengthened their existing client relationships by engaging them with both the research and roundtable series throughout the year.
  • The bi-monthly roundtables had engaged the business with a total of 62 new key contacts across EMEA & APAC of which 16 contacts had resulted in actual new business developing within the current year