RFPs, OMG

How to keep the Request for Proposal process from overwhelming you (and your agency).

Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find an agency partner is kind of like online dating. It takes time to find that perfect match: a strong, long-term relationship rooted in shared values and collaboration. Someone to have in-depth discussions with you about your hopes and dreams. A partner who is going to bring your brand from Now, to your desired Next.

A true client-agency partnership doesn’t start when the business is awarded – it starts when an RFP is issued. This process can be daunting for everyone involved, so instead, try to make it less about the typically expected technical questions and more about finding the right fit for your business needs. Here are a few ways you can make the most out of your agency relationship before you even have one.

Be Yourself

Let the personality of your brand shine through by telling us about your business and what you want to accomplish. We are, by nature, a curious bunch… we will roll up our sleeves and dig through every corner of the webisphere to learn as much as we can about you (not in a creepy way, we promise). But as much as we love Insta-stalking, we also want to hear it from you.

You’re looking for a new agency partner for a reason, so be transparent and honest about the challenges you are trying to overcome. The more information you share, the better we can develop a strategic foundation that connects the dots between where you are, and where you want to be.

Focus + Don’t Hold Back

When writing your RFP, be clear and prioritize questions that specifically address your business needs. You’re probably curious about our strategic and creative process, but chances are, you won’t pick an agency based on process alone. Every agency has a process, but what really matters is how they use it to drive results.

Instead, be ambitious and ask us how we’ve approached similar challenges for our own clients and what we’ve done to move the needle. How did we use innovation and thought leadership to develop a big idea? When we were faced with a specific challenge, how did we navigate our way out? No one is impressed by a 0.1% change – so push us to tell the story of how we deliver compelling results for our client partners.

Embrace the Chemistry Session

A chemistry session is a great “first date” to gauge compatibility with your potential agency partner. Often, agencies are only given supporting information and are expected to develop creative ideas that hit your business right on the nose. At LC, we lean heavily on strategy and collaboration and believe chemistry goes both ways in a partnership. At a chemistry session, we bring our initial thoughts and ideas while you provide feedback and perspectives we may not have known. This allows us to refine and optimize our approach, giving you a better product in the end.

No matter what your marketing needs are, openness, collaboration and honesty throughout the RFP process will help you find the right partner to bring your vision to life. A partner who’s in it for the long haul and treats your business as if it were their own. One who will bring you – from Now to Next.

For more tips and insights on how to take your marketing from now to next, subscribe to our newsletter or contact Nicole Stone – Senior Vice President, Business Development at nstone@laughlin.com or 414.270.7235.

  1. Mary Ann Redd 4/24/2019 3:37:01 PM
    I studied RFPs years ago, and wish to maintain my knowledge. Please feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile.

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