Helping APS engage senior procurement professionals

APS Group is a marketing solutions provider, which operates across Europe and the US, employing nearly 700 people. The company was listed 2nd out of 200 in the Sunday Times International Fast Track for International Growth.

A PS offers marketing solutions for global organisations so its primary target is marketers. When dealing with large companies, however, APS also needed to reach procurement professionals, who are frequently key decision makers when it comes to selecting a third-party marketing supplier.

Our objective was to build a relationship with the procurement industry by starting a conversation that would help raise awareness of APS as brand. It was important that APS should be viewed as an authoritative commentator, especially by professionals operating in the UK, USA and the Netherlands – key areas for generating sale leads.

The campaign

To determine a subject matter that would resonate with its target audience, APS used research, carrying out a survey at ProcureCon Europe, and conducting telephone interviews with procurement professionals. Meanwhile, Fourth Day consulted key industry influencers, including the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

This research revealed that procurement professionals were facing a conundrum. They wanted to provide value-added support to marketing teams but pressure to achieve savings was preventing them from being able to encourage innovation in this space. There was a shortage of industry guidance around this issue so it quickly became the inspiration for the campaign. It was decided we would conduct a study and deliver the findings in the form of an industry whitepaper.

To add weight to our research, we also enlisted the help of key industry influencers to produce the whitepaper. These included Richard Beaumont, former chief procurement officer (CPO) at Prudential Global Digital Services, Co-Op Bank and Rolls Royce as well as Dana Rosu, marketing procurement specialist at Philips – a Dutch multi-national with a reputation for working closely with suppliers to deliver innovation.

Once the paper was complete, we put together a campaign to promote it in trade publications, on social media, at trade conferences, as well as with existing clients and internal employees.

The Results

The supporting media campaign managed to drive a significant amount of traffic (74% in total) to the whitepaper from all three target regions.

The nature of the organisations downloading the publication also demonstrated that the campaign was successful in starting a conversation and establishing credibility within the industry, as well as generating sales leads from enterprise-scale organisations.

Hundreds of the papers were also distributed at ProcureCon conferences, helping APS Group’s sales team to introduce themselves and start conversations with professionals in person.

“The whitepaper has been an extremely important and positive part of my lead nurture activity. The content is relevant for my stakeholders and continues to establish APS Group as a thought leader in their eyes."
George Smart Business development director for Europe and North America

At a glance:

  • Sales leads with 22 billion-dollar organisations
  • Credibility 10 academic institutions downloaded paper
  • Media coverage drives 74% of web traffic


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Sales leads

The whitepaper generated a large number of sales leads from within enterprise-scale organisations. This included 22 different multi-billion-dollar organisations – 13 of which are listed either in the Fortune Global 500 or the FTSE 250.


The campaign managed to establish APS as a credible industry commentator. The paper also attracted the interest of academic institutions with 10 leading universities and educational organisations, in the UK and USA, downloading the publication.

Media coverage

The media relations campaign managed to generate a significant amount of industry discussion, within all three target regions, and ended up driving 74% of traffic to the whitepaper’s landing page.

Media coverage

  • ‘Conservative’ buyers prioritise track record over innovation

    Just one in 20 buyers prioritise innovation when choosing a supplier, a survey of procurement professionals has found. Supply Management

  • 3 Steps To Unlocking Innovation – Why Closer Supplier Relationships Should Top the List

    As companies seek to embrace new ways of working made possible by digital transformation, procurement professionals have become a crucial enabler within many organisations. Spend Matters

  • Procurement Continues to Struggle With “Innovation,” says New Study

    Putting a value on innovation is loaded with difficulty, according to George Smart, business development director at APS Group. Supply Chain Management Review