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A marketer submits a brief to Blur Group, which then presents a shortlist of the top pitches from its suppliers based on the brief.
Once a supplier selected, the client gets a ‘project space’ online where marketers can view, edit and set internal deadlines for the work. The delivery and payment of that work also run on the exchange where marketers can rate and review the provider.
The global services exchange launched in January 2010. Only around three project briefs were submitted each month but now that figure is 200 projects per month, from companies including Danone, Coral, The Financial Times and GE Healthcare. The average project value has also increased from around $1,500 in 2010 to $28,800 in Q3 2013.
Blur Group believes ‘s-commerce’ (services commerce) will change the landscape for business services and projects in the way that ecommerce did for buying and selling goods.
Chief executive officer Philip Letts claims: “The old-fashioned agency relationship is stifling innovation. Suppliers become complacent when they rely on their place on a suppliers list, as they’re not going to be challenged to come up with the best ideas. Meanwhile, matters become tougher for smaller and more innovative businesses that will not get the chance to thrive.”
He adds: “By embracing technology and new approaches to the tendering process, organisations can secure more favourable terms of business and gain access to a wider pool of talent, ensuring they get the very best service provider for the task at hand.”
Food Attraction, which produces snack food product Naanster, is using Blur Group’s services to create brand and product awareness after securing product listings in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco.
Jake Karia, managing director at Food Attraction, says: “I interviewed a few brand agencies and not only was it a struggle to find the time to do this, but all the different sales pitches made the process confusing. Blur Group made the process faster and more straightforward and we are in a position to agree an agency, with plans to start in January.”