If you’ve been tasked to write a Digital Marketing RFP as part of your procurement duties, it’s likely that you started with a general marketing RFP and dropped in notes from the requesting department. It’s also likely you did not fully understand what you were asking for in the RFP, or even what questions to ask when processing the request.

As one that has read multiple formal Request for Proposals within the digital marketing space, I’d like to offer up a few tips for you so that your task is less stressful and the resulting submissions are more attuned to the desired outcomes. In this case, going outside of your standard template will result in better-qualified responses. In today’s marketing environment, there are more ways to reach desired goals, various technological options, and opinions on how to apply them.

When first reading an RFP, I often form a long list of questions that require answers before an accurate and effective strategy and proposal can be developed. This can lead to back and forth Q & A’s due to the technical intricacies that a digital marketing campaign requires for success.

The challenge of communicating via email, with someone that you’ve never met, is not knowing how in-depth an explanation needs to be. This leads to either sharing too much (or not enough) information; either way, both parties may end up frustrated.

An RFP for Digital Marketing should specify what the exact marketing needs are and what exactly the desired outcome is. As a digital marketing firm, I look for the following information to provide the most accurate response in terms of strategy and price:

  • The exact product/service needing marketing.
  • Primary and Secondary Target Audiences identified as specifically as possible. Include age and gender data, as well as interests and common behaviors or life stage data.
  • Insights and implications regarding your brand, product/service, and industry.
  • Marketing efforts that are managed in-house – both traditional and non-traditional.
  • Quarterly or seasonal trends that impact business.
  • Creative and content development needs.
  • SMART goals for the campaign.
  • Budgetary information.

An RFP that clearly identifies the above will allow responding vendors to accurately quote their vision of what is needed to fulfill the RFP requirements.

Below is an outline of the most valuable information that should be organized prior to developing your RFP release. While not all information is necessary to include in the RFP, it will help you clearly state your needs, requirements, as well as establishing your plan to measure the results.