How To Write An RFP & Hire An Agency

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An Indispensable Digital RFP How To Guide

The Top Insight Available For CMO’s & Marketers When It Comes Down To How To Write A ‘Request For Proposal’ & Manage The Agency Selection Process

Download This Free Digital RFP TemplateThe comprehensive guide on how to create a well written ‘Request For Proposal’ (RFP) and successfully manage the vendor selection process.  I originally wrote this guide a few years back and it was extremely popular and well received in the industry.  Since then, I’ve still yet to see a better guide become available, so I decided to edit it a bit to bring it up to date for 2011 and share it again with everyone.  Yup!  No catch. Nothing to sign up for or hoops to jump through. Just remember who helped ya out when you were in a bind.

What is an RFP?

An RFP is a document commonly written by a company looking for a vendor (such as an agency, media management firm, technology developer, etc.) to bid on a project or fulfill a services need. As it stands today, that is pretty much where the commonality ends. While I’ve seen a few great RFPs, the unfortunate reality is that many companies don’t quite know what information to provide or what questions to ask, much less understand the best way to go about such a process. Many bad RFPs don’t supply much relevant information and often miss the target with an incorrect approach. It’s important to know what information you need to supply and what information you’ll need delivered back in order to perform the right analysis and make good decisions.

Below is quick snapshot list of what goes into a typical RFP and selection process.  The guide will provide you with all the details of how to manage the process and what to prepare and consider for your request for proposal.  

Process Snapshot: The Steps To Vendor Selection

  1. Create Selection Committee & Decision Criteria
  2. Finalize Schedule of Events
  3. Completion of an RFP
  4. Create Initial Target List of Vendors
  5. Creating The RFP Schedule
    • Initial RFP Announcement/Send
    • Submission Deadline
    • 1st Round Proposal Review
    • Narrow Down to Finalists
    • Vendor Finalists Review

RFP Snapshot: The Basic List of What To Include

Information To PROVIDE Vendors In An RFP:
  • Quick facts about your RFP
  • Background on your organization
  • Your contact information
  • Schedule for this RFP process
  • Criteria for making your decision
  • Basic summary of the project, including overarching goals and timeline
  • Project’s target market, if applicable (customers, users, stake holders)
  • Detailed overview of the project/initiative
    • Primary goal
    • Secondary goals
    • Budget
    • General scope
    • Time frame
    • Business requirements
    • Creative/design requirements
    • Functional requirements
    • Content type/Content development needs
    • Existing technical environment/requirements
    • Your preferred working relationship requirements
    • Ongoing support and maintenance requirements
Information To REQUEST From Vendors In An RFP:
  • Vendor company information
    • Company background/history
    • Quick overview of services and capabilities
    • Management or key personnel bios
    • Contact information
  • Vendor’s proposed solution
  • Basic summary of the solution
    • Solution methodology/process
    • Development plan
    • List of tasks
    • Timeline
  • Details on proposed solution
    • Original ideas – strategy, creative, etc.
    • Features and functionality
    • Options and add-ons
    • Scalability
    • Technical requirements
  • Preliminary design compositions (voluntary)
  • Proposed budget
    • Cost of services
    • Required 3rd party costs
    • Support and maintenance
  • List of deliverables
  • Ownership
  • Proposed Project Team
  • Vendor references
    • Show examples of previous work
    • Provide client references
    • List awards/accolades and special certifications

Download The RFP How-To Guide


Download the complete Digital RFP How-To Guide here!



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