Why nobody ever wins an RFP

Latest marketing headlines & resources

  • Wondering what to expect from consumers as we move into the 2020 holiday season amidst the pandemic? There’s a great primer from Adweek here. Not a big surprise, it will be the biggest online shopping season ever. Cyber Monday? Try Cyber Month. Black Friday will seem like a quaint memory – a crazy thing people used to do in the B.P. (Before Pandemic) times. 
  • Our team loves a good, classic, print ad, and we’re really loving this campaign from Ikea that won a Clio. The ads spoof gimmicky skincare ads by reminding us of the fundamental bedrock of health: sleep. 
  • Another campaign that has us in stitches is Uber Eats’ Star Trek vs Star Wars campaign, which pits Patrick Steward and Mark Hamill against each other in the most trivial of ways, including a dramatically overwrought duel over the pronunciation of “tomato.” 

Let's Dive In

This week’s Dispatch was written by Betsy Rowbottom, Director of Business Development. 

As many of us begin to plan for a better year, I want to talk about one surefire way to get what you want out of every dollar you invest in 2021. Our partners care about shared scoreboards and achieving the best outcomes, so I’d like to talk about where the best results come from and how to select the right partners. 

Some companies start with a set of tasks, and a determination of how much those tasks should cost. This comes in many forms, but the most popular is an RFP (Request For Proposal). The RFP is meant to level the playing field and take all of the personalities and fluff out of the equation to accurately compare the costs of several vendors. However, they miss a fundamental step. The step that allows their new potential partner to behave like a partner and not a vendor. A partner should weigh in and provide much-needed guidance to help them to achieve their goals. It’s the old “we don’t know what we don’t know” and RFPs that are driven by purchasing requirements fail to start with broad questions. Valuable questions like: 

  • How do we drive qualified leads to our sales teams in a brand new way? 
  • How do we introduce a premium product in a marketplace ruled by price?
  • How can we break free from our heavily-focused Sales-lead initiatives and build a more robust Marketing funnel so the customer acquisition process is more repeatable (and predictable)? 

Vendors tell you what you want to hear. Partners tell you what you need to know. Partners look for hidden opportunities to win. They make suggestions that you may not think of. Trusted partners provide a reality check where to refocus resources. 

Sadly, for too many companies, transactional thinking is still the norm, but that hasn’t stopped us from imagining (and creating) a better world. One of the best compliments we get is when a visitor is in our office and they can’t tell who is the client and who works for the agency. Our values: 

  1. Win for clients 
  2. Take pride in our craft
  3. Remember: We are all on the same team. 

The last one: Remember: We are all on the same team. That’s not limited to our agency team. That’s the whole team that’s working together to answer tough questions. This demands looking beyond cranking out sales collateral or websites. It demands creative solutions that fit clients’ aspirations. It’s almost budget season. 2020 challenges required nimble and creative solutions. Right now, it looks like 2021 will be equally challenging. Are you ready? Are your partners? 

Thoughts or questions for Betsy? Get in touch: betsy@srhmarketing.com 

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