You're likely to have encountered a request for proposals (RFP) if you've been in the marketing industry for some time.
You may have different opinions about what an RFP is and how effective it can be, depending on whether you are the client or the agency.
RFPs were a great way for buyers to compare and categorize suppliers of similar products (commodities) in their prime.
Let's say you are looking for a new supplier for hospital supplies. A request for proposals (RFP) can help you evaluate your options. There are many things you can learn, including the history of clients and their prices, as well as proof of reliability.
An RFP is a great way to resolve issues later on in a relationship, especially for an industry that can be as dry as sheets and bandages and rubbing alcohol.
RFPs can be confusing in creative industries such as marketing. Understanding when and how an RFP can help you is crucial.
RFPs are a great way to find a content marketing agency.
The Key Takeaways:
While an RFP is a traditional way to hire an agency, content marketing is something that is not traditional.
An RFP will stifle creativity as well as strategy for solving a problem.
It is possible to find a great agency for marketing without a RFP.
What is an RFP?
Companies often issue a request for proposals when they are trying to find a solution for a problem that has already been identified.
This document contains a rigid checklist that often covers many things, including prices, work history, number of employees, and a description for the project. The RFP often includes a timeline in addition to the description of project scope.
The RFP can have some advantages. A company is essentially announcing that they are a hot lead by issuing an RFP. RFPs show that they are ready to buy and know the problem they need solved. This is a salesperson's ideal.
However, the RFP process has its downsides, especially when it is about choosing a content agency.
A rigid checklist makes it difficult to think creatively about the company's problems. This type of selection criteria is best when there are tangible and objective results. The RFP will fall flat if responses are easy to interpret.
The RFP that falls flat
It's much more difficult to quantify creative elements when it comes down to the truth. You could theoretically say that a video marketing company will create 60 second animations to use in your ads. It seems pretty straightforward, right? What if they design and style your brand in a way that you hate?
They were perfect on paper. Their pricing was reasonable, their timeline was precise, and their plan seemed to be foolproof. This doesn't mean that you don't like their work.
Content marketing is an artistic space. Companies are often graded on their responses to an RFP. This can lead to them overlooking their work, process and results.
An RFP is a sign that the company is aware of their problem and can fix it. They would probably fix it themselves if that was the case.
The RFP will not be accepted if the company issuing it doesn't have a marketing department. Marketing is always changing. Each day brings new marketing trends, both good and bad. There is also more data to learn.
Content marketing is highly in demand. Content is the king in the digital age. This is a difficult industry to grasp.
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An RFP can stifle creativity and create a list. This is great for a business dealing with an industry that moves band-aids around, but it can be disastrous in marketing.
Content marketing is all about strategy. You can't just throw caution to the wind and hope for the best.
Your strategy is what will set you apart from the rest. These are just a few of the many benefits that a content marketing strategy could bring:
- Your brand should be consistent. A strategy can help you stay consistent, from publishing tone to voice, which can lead to trust and brand loyalty.
- It's easier to track ROI. A strategy will help you define your efforts and track your results. You can save time and money by knowing what works.
- The complete picture of the puzzle. The full picture can sometimes be blurred due to the many ways of driving traffic. Strategy will help you see where your efforts are most effective and where they fall short. Perhaps your blog is doing well, but your social media channels are not being used. These are the areas that need to be addressed with a strategy.
- Optimizing leads. Content marketing generates leads. With a solid strategy, this process can be optimized for more sales.
Although this isn't a comprehensive list, you can see the point. Strategy gives content marketing a solid foundation and makes it easier to succeed.
This is not something an RFP will highlight. An RFP doesn't allow a company to offer advice in the specific area that they are best at. An RFP effectively whitelabels the relationship in the decision-making process.
You may see the company logo, name, and contact information, but you will not meet the person until the deal has been signed.
It is essential to have good rapport between your agency and you. Effective communication between you and your marketing agency is key. You should be comfortable speaking up for yourself and your client if you have concerns.
If I have successfully made you wary about the RFP…
How do you find the best marketing agency?
There are some things to keep in mind when you search for the right agency.
- Be clear about your goals and open to new ideas. There are many reasons you might need a marketing agency. You might be having problems with your content marketing efforts, or your blog and videos. If you don't have marketing professionals on your team, it might be worth looking for a larger marketing agency. You should set a goal and not follow a path when looking for an agency.
- Take a look at their strategy. You don't have to abandon the RFP just because you didn't accept it. Stress test any agency that presents you with their strategy. You want to ensure that the agency you are considering is legitimate.
- Ask the right questions. It's important to start a conversation. You want to have a conversation.
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You need to find the right marketing agency, just like Goldilocks.
There are many types of marketing agencies. There are many types of marketing agencies, from overhead agencies that can handle all your marketing needs to niche agencies that can optimize specific aspects of your strategy. After identifying your problem and setting a goal, it is better to let experts help you find the right solution than trying to figure it out yourself.
Do you need to do some heavy lifting in your content marketing strategy? To learn more about this niche, you can check out our SEO Blog Writing Services.
Marketing Insider Group's first post, Why an RFP Doesn't Work when Finding a Content Marketing Agency, appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.
By: Giana Reno
Title: Why an RFP Won’t Work When Finding a Content Marketing Agency
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/why-an-rfp-wont-work-when-finding-a-content-marketing-agency/
Published Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2022 11:00:36 +0000