The very first step in selecting an agency is the Request for Proposal (RFP). This is where you reach out on behalf of your organization to agencies and provide them with details of your project (this is the actual RFP). In return, the agencies each formulate a proposal customized to your needs.
It’s in your best interest to arm agencies with enough information so that they can craft a proposal tailored to your business needs. Otherwise, it inhibits an agency’s ability to prioritize and think through potential solutions strategically. At Imarc, we use our proposal as a way to show our potential clients what we can do to accomplish their specific goals, how we plan to exceed their expectations, and drive results.
To get the most from each agency, here are some helpful tips and questions to consider when you’re crafting your RFP. (Note: In this case we are using website design as an example, but these tips can be applied to various types of projects.)
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Focus on the goals and objectives of your organization - the big picture stuff. Ask yourself the high level questions and communicate your answers in your RFP.
- What am I looking to accomplish? More leads? Better qualified leads? Increase brand awareness?
- How long is my sales process, how much emphasis do I need to put on the customer journey?
- Is my brand still fresh, accurate, and strategic? If you’re even remotely thinking about redoing your brand do it before your website (or any project) otherwise you may be doing the site twice.
- What role does thought leadership play? Is that a key goal?
- What is the timeline I have to reach these goals?
Know the Players
Knowing who is going to be involved in your project goes far beyond determining who the decision makers are (although, that is very important, too!).
- Who are the key internal stakeholders? Do I need to include IT, Product Managers, or Engineers?
- What are the stakeholders’ expectations for this project? What are their respective timelines?
- What are my biggest competitors doing really well and what are my angles for taking the lead?
Show Me the Money
You are going to need to (and want to) prove that this project was a strategic investment and an impactful business enhancement. The best way to showcase this is with quantitative results.
- How will I measure success today? In 2 years? In 5 years?
- Do I currently have analytics or tools set up for my site to measure success? If that is not the case, be sure to get that set up so you can get a baseline of data.
- How is my SEO performing?
Details, Details, Details
Although it’s not time to get into the weeds, it is important to review the details of your business that will impact or rely on the success of the new website.
- When was the last time I did a content audit? If your answer isn’t “recently,” do a thorough content and resource audit to identify high value content and any gaps. Is the copy going to resonate with my target audience? Are the designs and imagery captivating and on-brand?
- Have I identified our customer journey? If you need some help with this then check out our customer journey playbook. No time? Your selected agency should be able to assist.
- What are the system requirements? What Content Management System (CMS) do I need to use, or should we explore new options? Do I have a CRM tool in place? Are there any other business platforms that the site would need to integrate with?
- What are the supportive digital marketing campaigns I currently run and intend to run in the future? How do I want to leverage the new website?
These are just sample questions you can ask yourself as you’re formulating your RFP. Once you have an agency selected and the project is in motion, you can begin to dive deeper into the details of your marketing strategy. Ready to get started? Download our FREE RFP Template.