When creating a Request for Proposal (RFP) for marketing services, several vital criteria and components need to be incorporated:
- Project Background and Goals: Clearly define your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goals.
- Scope of Work: Provide a detailed scope of work.
- Budget: Disclose your budget.
- RFP Timeline and Vendor Deadlines: Specify the RFP process timeline and vendors' deadlines.
- RFP Requirements: Include minimum qualifications as well as submission and evaluation criteria.
- References, Project Portfolios, and Case Studies: Request for references, project portfolios, and case studies.
- Technical Capabilities: Evaluate the technical capabilities of the vendor.
- Vendor Experience: Consider the vendor's experience in the field.
- Vendor Approach: Understand the vendor's approach to the project.
- Total Price & Breakout: Consider the total price quoted by the vendor with an unbundled breakout of costs by service.
- Customer Success Practices: Evaluate the vendor's customer success practices.
- Reputation and Customer References: Check the vendor's reputation and customer references.
Suppliers in every industry operate differently, so there's always the chance you won't be able to find a marketing service or product supplier that perfectly checks every box. Know which traits are dealbreakers and which are expendable to help you quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.
The key to a productive marketing services RFP is clarity. Be clear about the goals and define the specific KPIs and SLAs. The more accurate and complete the RFP, the more likely vendors will respond in kind.
Whether employing an RFP or pursuing a less formal method, "best practices" in selecting a vendor begin with developing a list of criteria the vendor will need to meet.
The right suppliers can transform an organization's performance. Companies that rely on the best strategic partners have been shown to generate significant competitive advantages. A cutting-edge vendor can help companies differentiate their products and boost their market share.
In a changing economy where product and service lifespans are getting shorter, fleet industry suppliers need the ability to rapidly identify and onboard new, more flexible supplier partners who understand the specific market conditions.
With all bids in hand, the business must compare each supplier's RFP to determine which meets the defined budget needs and quality standards. A vendor that overcharges cuts into the profit margin. However, a vendor that misses deadlines, or whose quality does not meet expectations, also negatively impacts ROI.
In most cases, a chosen vendor decision is only the beginning of negotiating the contract terms. Agreed-upon projects, the vendor account team, tactical timeframes, KPIs and SLAs, and more must be put into writing. If this process drags on, a short-term contract or a specific tactical pilot program might become an intermediate step.