Posted at Jun 20, 2018 11:21:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share
Finding that perfect agency to handle all your marketing needs - it's even more important in today's fast-paced business world than ever before. A request for proposal, or RFP, is the traditional model. It gives you a chance to build an ongoing relationship with a company that can respond to your particular needs - and what's more, it means less work in the future. In fact, you may be able to avoid the request process entirely every time you need marketing services.
Naturally, though, an RFP doesn't just happen. Instead, it requires quite a bit of skill to create a proposal that nets response you want. When you're writing an RFP, put these top 10 tips to work for you.
Tip #1 - Define Who You Are
A potential marketing company needs a deeper understanding of both your company as a whole and your role within it. In about a paragraph, deliver as much specific information as possible about what your company does and how long you've been in business. If you design the spring that most widgets need to softly land, for example, that needs to be clearly explained in the RFP so you don't end up with an agency that is only successful at marketing the widgets themselves.
Also articulate your value proposition - your elevator pitch essentially. Think about who you are and why potential customers should care about your presence in the market.
Tip #2 - Describe Where You've Been
A marketing agency can't help if they don't know what territory you've considered in the past. For example, if you're not currently using any social media, but you did three years ago, it's important to describe that experience, what worked, and what didn't. Before anyone can respond, they have to understand what you currently know works and doesn't from an analytical perspective. If you don't, you may find a level redundancy you hadn't anticipated.
Tip #3 - Build a Picture of Where You're Going
You may have touched on company goals when you defined who you are as an organization; take this opportunity to explore that in a bit more depth. Many marketing RFP sample templates include this section. When you help any potential agency understand where you want to be, think about the larger landscape.
Sure, you'd probably love more Twitter followers. Who wouldn't? But this isn't the space to look at those short term goals. Instead, describe the fact that you want to conquer the spring market for widgets in South Florida within the next two years. Maybe your goal is to increase your presence in a certain industry or even among a certain type of customer. Think big, as it will help create perspective for potential marketing companies.
Tip #4 - Point to What's Standing In Your Way
Every company has challenges when it comes to marketing, and being able pinpoint obstacles is a significant help for agencies attempting to respond to your RFP. If you know, for instance, you have trouble getting customers/clients in initially, but those who come in usually buy, discuss that.
Tip #5 - Set Clear Marketing Goals
Does this sound like tip #3 all over again? Not quite. The goals you're putting on the page within this section of your RFP relate specifically to this marketing plan. At what point will you have accomplished the goals of this project? Perhaps you have a complete video campaign spread across your social media channels. Maybe it's a re-branded web presence that potential customers can find easily. Be as clear as possible because not all marketing agencies handle every aspect of the business.
Tip #6 - Define Your Audience
Read any book about business, and target audience is going to be one of the first terms you discover. It's just that important. Your target audience matters because they are going to drive your profits; failing to mention what you know about them is a problem and a probable time-waster. Give the agency every chance to hit the ground running with your account.
You don't have to be detailed with this section as you might in other documentation, but it's certainly worth mentioning. Moreover, if you have more than one segment of your audience, you'll likely want to include what your goals are within each.
Tip #7 - Mention What's Involved
This is the one spot where you cannot overlook the importance of specificity. It's absolutely key to landing the right marketing agency. Every respondent needs to understand exactly what services you need. For example, some agencies are simply better with web marketing than others. Some are really great with increasing responses into the sales funnel. The only way you're going to find a good match is to discuss what you expect.
Tip #8 - Name Your Heroes
Remember when you saw that ad, and you suddenly thought, "That is marketing genius"? It's worth mentioning right now. If you've seen other companies doing amazing things, and you want a campaign that is similar, you should add it to your RFP. It's like pointing out homes you love to a realtor so they know what you want. Mentioning campaigns that inspire you will help a marketing agency build exactly what you want.
Tip #9 - Outline Your Budget
You're on a budget. Every company is today, but put your numbers on the page from the outset. Marketing companies that can build a campaign for that amount will respond. Those who charge more simply won't waste their - or your - time.
Tip #10 - Identify Your Timeline
This isn't as much about identifying the timeline of your campaign as it is about identifying the timeline of your selection process. Marketing companies need to know how soon they might be notified of your movement to the next stage of the game.
You want a fantastic proposal and these tips can help you get there. So can we. With one quick phone call, we'll be able to answer most of your questions and save you time and headaches when it comes to writing an RFP.
Looking for a marketing RFP sample template that gets the results you need to make an informed decision? Check out our free marketing RFP template: