No matter how good and useful you think your business is, if no one knows about it, there won’t be any success. That's when a marketing campaign should enter the game. But here's the deal. Hiring an in-house team of digital marketers can be quite costly and time-consuming. What should one do in such a situation then? Consider writing a marketing RFP and sending it out to various qualified agencies (like Yojji😉) that offer marketing services. If you have no idea how to write an RFP for marketing services, this blog post is the best place to start your journey. You will find out what a marketing RFP is and what elements it should include. And the best thing is, you will find a sample RFP for marketing services here too. Let's cut to the chase!
What is an RFP for Marketing Services?
If you are wondering, “What is an RFP in marketing?”, don’t skip this paragraph. We’ll explain in a few words.
A marketing request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that a company uses to outline the details of the marketing campaign it needs. This document is then sent out to agencies that have everything it takes to complete the task. After this is done, the company will be provided by written proposals from digital marketing agencies that are interested in completing the scope of work described in the RFP.
Basically, a marketing RFP is a kind of business tool for finding a vendor that will be the best fit for a particular marketing campaign.
After the proposals have been submitted, the company reviews them, requests bids, and interviews the vendors. The most fitting candidate gets the project and starts working.
What Advantages Do Marketing RFPs Provide?
There are a bunch of reasons why it is a good idea to write an RFP for marketing services. We’re going to list the most beneficial ones:
- Thanks to an RFP, a client-company can find the most talented vendors that offer a wide array of efficient marketing services.
- Thanks to an RFP, a client-company is provided with different solutions and price bids, which allows it to pick the best and most cost-effective option.
- Thanks to an RFP, a client-company has the opportunity to compare numerous vendors side-by-side as all of them are asked the same questions.
What is Included in an RFP for Marketing Services?
Writing a marketing RFP may look like a daunting task. However, if you know what elements the document consists of, things are getting easier. Keep in mind the information you want vendors to get acquainted with: explain your goals and expectations, outline the scope of work, and be clear about your budget and timeline. These are the most important parts of any RFP. For more details, follow our guide:
As one may tell from the title of this section, it should be a short summary of a particular marketing request for proposal. Just like in journalism, you need to give the essential information by answering the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions in a lead paragraph. Depending on how well you cope with the opening paragraph, your potential vendors will decide whether the rest of the marketing RFP is worth reading or not. Explain briefly who you are, what services you are looking for, where bidders should send their responses, when you expect them to provide proposals, why you need this sort of service, and how the whole cooperation will be held.
While it may seem like a too obvious thing, there are cases when companies forget to include information about what they do and what their history is. As surprising as it sounds, there's a huge chance that your potential vendors have never heard of you before. No matter how well-known you think your company is, it is better to write a sentence or two revealing the core activities of your company and its achievements. Nevertheless, it is recommended not to go too deep into history and write unnecessary facts that can be easily googled. After all, you can leave a link to your website to save the time of vendors and yours.
Start by describing your current digital presence. What pain points do you see? What part of the marketing funnel is the most challenging? The answer to this question will help vendors to set priorities and come up with the most fitting solution.
Most companies struggle with the top of the funnel that stands for lead acquisition and traffic. If you can't generate awareness and drive more traffic to your website, make that clear in your marketing RFP so that vendors could provide you with the right recommendations on how to increase traffic and generate leads.
Let's say it is the middle of the funnel that is the area of concern. If you experience trouble with calls to action and conversion, let your potential vendors know about that. They will focus on this issue first and offer the appropriate solutions.
If it is the bottom of the funnel that causes the most of your headaches, be vocal about that. Because you will need the right tactics in order to generate customers and encourage them to return.
The more informative you describe this section, the more suitable recommendation you will get.
If you have done what’s suggested in the RFP section revealing your company background, you have probably outlined some of your business goals. Now it is time to go into greater detail. And it is not about the desired number of Instagram followers or your website metrics. It is about the size of the market share within your niche you want to gain in a year. It is about plans on launching new lines of products or services. It is about expanding your business to new geographical locations. This information may play a vital role in the kind of solution vendors will provide.
The Scope of Work and Project Objectives
Be as specific within this section as it is possible because it is the heart and soul of your marketing RFP. Depending on how well the scope of work is described and the project objectives are set, the vendors will (or will not) be able to provide you with a suitable solution. You can break this section down into several parts to make it clearer. Define what services you need in terms of strategy building, digital marketing, and PR. Mention whether or not you look for market research and branding services, etc.
While this question may be discussed later during the interview part, it won’t harm to mention what expectations you have in regard to collaboration and reporting. Do you expect a marketing team to provide you with reports on a weekly or monthly basis? What communication channels does your company prefer? Such details will help you find a perfect match for your marketing campaign more quickly.
It is not a must, but a list of the competitors you want to overrun included in your RFP will be a great guideline for vendors. The thing is, quality agencies will research your competitors anyway. However, it is beneficial for the whole project if you share your point of view about what a good marketing campaign is in your eyes. Oftentimes, it is better to be done by providing examples of successful competitors.
It goes without saying that your RFP for marketing services should include the section about the budget range you have on a project. While some may argue the necessity of sharing your budget details providing you with many marketing RFP examples that don’t have this section, we highly recommend including this information. Why? The answer lies on the surface actually. If you are honest about your budget range, you save the time and effort of both you and your potential vendors. The agencies that are over your budget just won’t respond. You will get responses from vendors who fit into your budget and can offer the most value to that money.
Take any marketing RFP template and you will see that it contains the section describing the project timelines. Not only should you include the proposal due date, but you also need to be open about your selection schedule so the vendors know when to expect your response.
Contact and Proposal Submission Details
Last but not least make sure you have written down the contact details of your company employees who are responsible for the project. The contact details should include email addresses and phone numbers so that the vendors know who to reach out to in case they have questions or are ready to send their proposals. Another important moment is that you need to be upfront about the way the proposals need to be submitted. Once the marketing request for proposal is received, an advertising agency starts working and has to know in advance the submission format you expect. Should they send it by mail or upload it on a specific platform?
Wrapping Things Up
In sum, we'd like to point out that this is just an approximate structure of a marketing RFP. Apart from the ten main sections that have been described in this post, you can also add the section with questions you want to ask vendors. On top of that, many companies list the factors that will be influential in terms of the decision-making process. As well as that you may enumerate factors that can decrease an agency's chances and so on. At Yojji, we know the importance of picking the right digital marketing agency and hope that the guidelines we have provided will be useful.
If you don't know where to find marketing RFPs, feel free to use the sample we attached here.
And just so you know, Yojji is a qualified web development company that offers a full range of digital marketing services. If you have a marketing RFP ready to be submitted, feel free to send it out to us.