An RFP is usually just an email from the advertiser or agency. This email formally invites the publisher to submit a proposal for consideration and includes relevant details about the campaign such as:
An RFP will generally include two related documents:
If you’ve received an RFP, your next steps should involve reviewing the campaign brief and starting to work on completing the proposal document. The Premium section below contains some tips for addressing some of the more common challenges that arise when going through this process.
As discussed more in the Premium section below, receipt of an RFP is generally a very good sign. Advertisers or agencies typically only send RFPs to publishers whom they intend to seriously consider for the upcoming campaign. But getting an RFP does not mean that you’re guaranteed to see a spend; depending on the budget, timing, and several other factors, it is common for 10% to 50% of publishers who receive an RFP to be excluded from the final campaign.
There are three objectives in completing an RFP that will help to increase the likelihood of inclusion in the final spend:
Though the situation obviously varies by agency and advertiser, receipt of an RFP is generally a very positive sign. Most advertisers / agencies conduct the majority of the vetting process before sending out RFPs, in order to avoid reviewing a massive amount of proposals. This is especially true if the advertiser has run numerous campaigns before; they may regularly invite new publishers to “audition” to be included, but will often have a pretty good idea of the sites they want to include well ahead of time.
Still, it’s important to take all RFPs very seriously; a spend is never won until the ads start running.
RFPs generally come with some form of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements; this can be a formal document that publishers will have to sign and send back, or simply a notification within the email indicating that confidentiality is required. This requirement is understandable; advertisers don’t want details of their advertising campaigns to become public information accessible to competitors and publishers who weren’t included.
However, many publishers are happy to share information about RFPs with other sales reps anonymously. This occurs most frequently through SellerCrowd, a community where information is regularly shared with the aid of usernames that protect real identities (a link is included in the resources section below).
An RFP can be intimidating, especially if it’s one of the first you’ve received or a particularly large dollar amount. There are a few things to keep in mind:
To provide an RFP, you need to tailor your RFP to best articulate your company’s need, its includes:
You’ll want to include useful background information about your company. If any vendor is serious about working with you, they’ll want this information before moving forward
Project goals and scope of services
You’ll want to outline the project you need completed, and the goals you expect to accomplish from the project. It’s important you get as specific as possible
It’s crucial you include a detailed schedule, so vendors know if they can meet your deadline. You’ll also need to give vendors a window for when they can ask questions regarding the project.
By including the time frame in your RFP, you’re able to eliminate any vendor who can’t work within your time constraints.
Elements of proposal
If you don’t outline clearly and specifically what you expect bidders to include in their proposal, you can’t necessarily fault them if they don’t include it. It’s critical you outline a checklist so vendors know which elements you’re expecting to receive. It’s also a good test for who’s capable of handling your demands
Outlining your expectations will help eliminate vendors who don’t meet them. For this section, you’ll want to do some brainstorming with your team to come up with a mandatory list of items you feel are the best indicators of impressive candidates
you’ll want to outline any roadblocks, such as limited resources or a custom website, that might prevent certain vendors from successfully completing the project
Any vendor needs to know how much you’re able to pay them for their services before they’ll move forward with their bid
The importance of an RFP in business is to help your company find the solution for which you’re looking. It’s a critical element that helps your organization as you’re searching for a partner with specific expertise. Businesses that need to solve a problem, such as improving their marketing or branding, for example, put out an RFP so that marketing firms can bid on the project.
The business then sees qualified candidates who know exactly what your business requires. This saves time because the business doesn’t need to sift through dozens of applications and waste time speaking with companies that may not meet the budget, timeline or skills standards.
A Request For Proposal (RFP) is a document containing details about a project, as well as solicits bids from contractors who will help complete the project
A Request For Proposal (RFP) a statement of work, describing tasks to be performed by the winning bidder and a timeline for providing finished work
RFP should be used when a project is sufficiently complex, requires a great deal of technical information, solicits hard data for analysis and compression, and thereby warrants a formal proposal
The primary purpose of an RFP is to transmit the understanding of the requirement for a project to suppliers who you believe can provide solutions
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