How to Write A Digital Marketing RFP?

If you want to outsource your digital marketing to any agency, then an RFP will help you. Finding the right agency that can work with your company can be challenging. The agency you choose to collaborate with is important to help you achieve success. Hiring an agency has its own benefits, one of them being you don’t have to hire or train individuals to get the job done. In addition, you don’t have to spend on technology or software with monthly fees or create a team with various skill sets for your digital marketing efforts.

 

When you invest in an agency, you need to ensure that they can help your business and offer customized solutions. There are different criteria you need to consider before you choose an agency. With a RFP document you will be able to go through all the various factors that will help you select the right agency. In this article, we will discuss how to write a digital marketing RFP as part of the process of selecting a specialized agency based on your business needs.

 

What is a RFP?

 

A request for proposal or RSP is a document used as part of the process to select the best digital marketing agency you can partner with. This document includes various criteria a company outlines for the agency to gauge if they are a good match.

 

RFP will look different for each company concerning their own project needs. A RFP can include company overview, project goals and objectives, relevant KPIs, timeline and any other specific questions for the agency like team size or cost. Some companies would also want to find out the agency approach.

 

A poorly written RFP does not provide enough information about the company and their project which can often lead to you hiring the wrong agency that does not fit with your company. The agency may not understand your company goals or needs which can waste everyone’s time and efforts.

 

On the other hand, a good RFP can help you examine the agencies before you ask them to pitch. This process can filter out agencies that are not a good match with your company. Some reasons why they may not work for your needs would be team size, costs, values, or their approach. Hence, it is important that a RFP includes in-depth details about your project and what you want to achieve so that agencies have the right solutions for you.

 

How To Write A Digital Marketing RFP?

 

Company overview

 

As you want to ensure if the agency is a match for your business, similarly the agency must know you are a good fit for them as well. The agency is going to work as part of your team and help you achieve the best results. Hence, they need to know everything about your company. When you provide a detailed company overview, agencies can assess if the type of work matches their business goals.

 

Company overview can help agencies better understand your company’s goals and objectives. By understanding this the agency will know if they offer solutions relevant to your business goals. In addition, they can come up with customized solutions for your business.

 

Include information about your company values, team size, key stakeholders, target audiences, positioning, goals, competitors, etc. As the agency will work with your company they need to know everything a marketing team needs to know to come up with a customized marketing plan.

 

Identify your business goals

 

A RFP should set clear business goals you have for your company. Goals help you and the agency determine in which direction your digital marketing efforts need to go. Goals are important for your business, because based on these you will measure the performance of your marketing campaigns.

 

You can set your goals with the SMART method. Which means setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. This method helps you clearly set your goals and objectives without being vague. The agency you plan on working with should know what you are working toward. It helps them understand your business better and they can come up with a digital marketing plan that helps you achieve these goals.

 

Overview of the project

 

Provide detailed and relevant information about your product. The more information you provide about your project, the better solutions, and ideas the agencies will come up with. You may have specific ideas for your project like you want to increase traffic on your website or build your social media presence. Sometimes you may not be aware of what digital strategy you need to achieve your goals. In your RFP you can add your ideas or strategies which you want the agency to implement. Or you can write about the problems for which you seek solutions. This way the agency will come up with a plan and recommendations that can help you achieve your goals.

 

Write in detail about your project and requirements so that the agencies will know what you aim to achieve.

 

Project goals and KPIs

 

Next, you need to outline your project goals and key performance indicators or KPIs to measure your performance. Again, use the SMART method to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Your digital marketing goals should be relevant to your business goals. Do not set unrealistic, irrelevant, or unattainable goals. This throws you off course and will be a waste of time and resources as you will not achieve significant results.

 

Take your time when you are defining your goals and KPIs so that what you aim to achieve through your digital marketing efforts is profitable for your business.

 

Budget

 

Digital marketing RFP should include your budget details which is useful for both you and the agency you want to hire. Allocating a budget for your project can set limitations on how much you spend on your digital marketing efforts. This ensures that you don’t go overboard with your expenses and only focus on spending in areas that are profitable to you.

 

A budget will give the prospective agencies an idea on how much you are willing to spend. It helps them create a digital marketing strategy that works within the constraints of your budget. The agencies will also let you know what all they can achieve within the budget range.  

 

Add technical requirements

 

Assess what all functional and technical requirements you may have related to your project. You will need technology to help implement your strategies. For example, you will need a CMS or content management system to help create and manage your website or a marketing automation platform to automate important tasks. Make a note of these requirements so that the prospective agencies will know what all you need to achieve your business goals.

 

Agency expectations

 

Maybe you have worked with an agency in the past and it did not work out. To have a clear vision about what expectations you have from the agency, you need to write them down. To ensure that an agency can match your expectations you can write down specific questions. You can ask agencies to provide information on the following and more:

 

  • Company background
  • Values
  • Company size
  • Services they offer
  • Company approach or methodology
  • Action plan
  • Timeline
  • Budget

 

You can ask the agencies to provide this basic information or more in-depth one to determine which agency fits your criteria better. Maybe there are certain technical requirements you have that you want the agency to provide or you want them to provide a report every month about the performance of ongoing campaigns. Let the agency know what your expectations are related to the project or business relationship. Including agency expectations in your digital marketing RFP can enable you to select the right agency you can work with.

 

Ask relevant questions

 

In your RFP document you will include all the questions you want prospective agencies to answer. Based on these questions the agencies will provide answers through which you can decide if you want to work with them. As discussed above you can ask them those basic questions and more. Ensure that the questions you ask are relevant for your business and project requirements.

 

Think about all the areas that you need information for. You can ask them about what solutions they will offer for your problems. Other areas you can ask questions about are technical requirements, methodology or approach, budget, agency references, etc. Ask only those questions that are going to be useful for your business goals, project and agency selection.

 

Future goals and vision

 

Include your vision and all long-term goals you have for your company. You need to know if the agency you pick will fit into your future vision. There are immediate digital marketing goals you have, but it is also important to include all the requirements you will have in the future. This can help build a long-term business relationship between you and the agency.

 

Include an outline about your business goals and vision for future projects as well. The agencies can then give you feedback and offer support that can help with your future goals.

 

The digital marketing RFP document should be customized as per your business needs. Use all these points as a guide to help you build your RFP document. Make the necessary changes by adding or leaving out certain points that fit your needs. Writing a RFP document can take some time. Before creating one, assess all the requirements you have that are relevant to your goals. In addition, be very clear about how you want the agency to help you. Once you have clarity you can create a good digital marketing RFP that can help you pick the right agency that delivers results.

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Akshata Shirsath

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