Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

What Are The Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

Cher Scholl is a new business director here at RSW, and recently, Cher and I traded emails on the RFP process and the increased amount of RFPs she’s seeing.

Interestingly, this topic came up in episodes three and four of our Cut to the Chase agency interview series (shameless plug).  Those agency owners had alternating views-one steadfastly against, the other open to them.

As a general rule of thumb, we don’t chase RFPs for our agency clients, but there are multiple exceptions.

In her post, Cher gets into what she’s seeing on the business development front, and provides a counterpoint to never, ever doing another one.  -Lee McKnight Jr./VP of Sales

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

It seems my social feeds are starting to bloom with more company posts inviting agencies to participate in their RFPs.

And while some agencies prefer to avoid the RFP process I figured it was a great time to talk about this apparent increase, and the benefits for agencies who choose to participate in them.

Benefits of the RFP process for ad agencies

1.   Streamlined Agency Selection Process

One primary reason for the surge in RFP usage is the need for a streamlined agency selection process.

As our world is moving at a faster pace the traditional methods of evaluating potential partners, such as referrals or unsolicited proposals, can be time-consuming and may not yield the desired results.

RFPs provide a systematic approach, enabling organizations to evaluate vendors based on predetermined criteria and compare their proposals side by side, saving time and effort while ensuring a fair and transparent selection process.

2.   Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

Another reason they’re becoming more prolific is because they encourage effective collaboration and communication between the company and agency.

When crafting an RFP, the company outlines their specific requirements and expectations providing vendors with clear guidelines to follow.

Additionally, RFPs often involve multiple rounds of questions and answer sessions, enabling agencies to seek clarifications and provide further insights to facilitate a deeper understanding of the project and help establish a solid foundation for a successful partnership.

3.   Increased Competition and Competitive Pricing

RFPs also bring increased competition to the market.

The competitive nature of the RFP process encourages agencies to put forth their best proposals, offering innovative solutions, competitive pricing, and value-added services.

4.    Transparency and Accountability

In an era where transparency and accountability are paramount, RFPs offer a transparent and accountable procurement process.

By adhering to a standardized evaluation framework, they minimize bias and ensure fair treatment for all vendors.

This transparency fosters trust and strengthens business relationships, providing a solid foundation for successful partnerships.

As businesses strive for efficiency and improved outcomes, RFPs offer a structured approach to procure goods and services, allowing organizations to identify the most suitable partners.

By embracing RFPs, businesses can maximize their chances of securing quality solutions, establishing long-lasting partnerships, and driving overall success.

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies


Why Should My Agency Participate in RFPs?

I get asked this question a lot. The biggest reason most agencies want to avoid the RFP process is the time and resources required to prepare a comprehensive and compelling proposal.

In order to craft a winning RFP agencies must allocate significant time and effort to research, strategy development, and proposal writing, diverting resources from ongoing client work.

So why should you participate in the RFP process?

Show Off Those Skills

Participating in RFPs can bring several benefits for agencies. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity to showcase their expertise, capabilities, and creativity to potential clients. RFPs allow agencies to present their ideas, strategies, and solutions in a structured manner, highlighting their unique selling propositions.

Learn Some Things

Moreover, the RFP process can also be a valuable learning experience for agencies. It prompts them to thoroughly analyze client requirements, conduct in-depth research, and develop tailored proposals. These efforts can contribute to honing their skills, expanding their knowledge base, and improving their overall service delivery. Additionally, agencies can gain insights into industry trends, market demands, and competitive landscapes through the RFP process, allowing them to refine their offerings and stay ahead of the curve.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Winning an RFP can lead to lucrative contracts and long-term partnerships, boosting an agency’s reputation and revenue.

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

You never know who is sitting in on these proposal reviews. I’ve had a few agencies not win  business with their submitted RFP for the company who released it, but they did win business with another company or brand under that umbrella that saw their RFP during that process and learned they would be a good fit for them.

I have also had companies not be happy with the winning agency and relook at the runner ups in the RFP process to give them an opportunity.

Repurpose RFPs And Win Some More

Rather than treating an RFP as a one-time document, companies can view it as a valuable resource that holds immense potential.

By carefully analyzing past RFPs, businesses can identify recurring needs, emerging trends, or common challenges faced by prospective clients.

This information can serve as a blueprint for creating future winning RFPs.

A great practice for Agencies to do is create two folders for their submitted RFPs.

One folder for winning RFPs and the other for lost RFPs.

In each folder be sure to categorize them by industry if your agency works with multiple.

Also include the scope of work from the company as well as the submitted RFP.

Not only is this a great way to see why certain RFPs were stars of the show but it allows you to repurpose those carefully thought out, time consuming winning masterpieces for future RFPs.

Doing those simple steps in the beginning can save you a lot of time in preparing future RFPs so you don’t have to pull resources and time away from ongoing client work.

It Never Hurts To Ask

I encourage my agencies to ask for the winning proposal.

Seeing the competition and why their proposal was selected will help you better understand what to do on future RFPs and keep you ahead of the game.

Balance opportunity and risk

While there are many benefits of agencies participating in these rise of RFPs you must balance opportunity and risk.

On one hand, winning an RFP can be a game-changer, opening doors to new clients, projects, and revenue streams.

It can establish an agency’s credibility and position in the market, leading to long-term success.

On the other hand, unsuccessful bids can be disheartening and time-consuming, with no guarantee of compensation for the agency’s efforts.

Agencies should carefully evaluate each RFP opportunity, considering factors such as the client’s reputation, project scope, budget, and alignment with their expertise to determine if it is a strategic move for their business.

All in all, the more you can participate in, the more you will learn, and the more business you could win.