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A marketing RFP (request for proposal) is a document specifically for soliciting marketing proposals. This solicitation process is usually done through a bidding process by the business that is interested in procuring the marketing services. However, most firms cringe when RFP documents land on their desks, mostly because the documents contain so many requests and stipulations that most agencies don't have the expertise for. Some marketing RFPs are uncertain and are poorly organized, leaving the marketing company at a loss of how to decipher what the solicitor needs.

The purpose of the RFP is to convey to the marketing firm what is needed for a particular business relationship, the budget allocated and capabilities required to carry out the campaign successfully. Creating an FRP is time-consuming and wholly involving. However, there are a few elements that are considered when preparing the request for proposal.

‍Image credit: theheights.us

So, what elements should not miss from your marketing RFP?

1. Your Company Profile

Your company profile outlines your company's background details. This profile isn't similar to a typical "About Us" page that is on every website. Your company profile offers the prospective bidder key insights on your company, allowing the bidders to understand precisely what drives your business. It also indicates your company's differentiators in the market, the value propositions, team structure and other details that explain how your business structure and its projections in the future.

2. Your Digital Environment

It's paramount that your marketing RFP outlines the communication channels you are currently using, and those you have used in the past. This information seems redundant, but it will save you from getting vague or pointless answers. The performance of your current digital platform allows the agency to know where you come from, and they can also project where to take you depending on your needs. You will also outline which digital environment has worked for you, which hasn't, and the general analytics. This step helps the agency to tailor your solutions based on the needs you will have outlined in your RPF.

3. The Challenges You Are Dealing With

You will have to specify your pain points; otherwise, the chances are that you will end up with generalized solutions that may fail (once again). Without knowing the specific challenges your business is facing concerning marketing, it's almost impossible for the marketing agency to understand what you need. If there are newer solutions or technologies in the market, your business may miss out. Some businesses have had challenges like yours, and they have received solutions from marketing agencies. However, if you keep these pain points hidden, you may miss out on a particular set of strategies and recommendations that may work well with your current business need.

‍Image credit: dtkshow.com

4. Your Business Goals

Always know what you want. It's well known that getting more traffic isn't the ticket to directly more sales, nor do they guarantee brand affinity or loyalty. It is crucial that you understand the issues deeply, and make sure your marketing RFP reflects this. Your potential marketer wants to work and grow with you for the long haul, but you can only achieve this through clearly defined business goals in a well-structured RFP.  

For example, do you wish to gain more market share in the industry, or do you want to target a particular customer type? These requirements will help the bidding agencies understand if they have the capacity to partner with you, and will help the bidding agencies understand the true scope of your needs and how to help you get to where you want to go. Defining what you need also includes letting the winning candidates know how they will work with you. It also allows you to specify a particular geographical region if you feel like it is paramount to your success, as well as detailing how much experience they need before you can sign the contract.

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