10 RFI Tips To Help Your Ad Agency Stand Out From The Crowd

rfp1200If it were your RFP how would you prefer your invited agencies to respond? Have you ever thought about that when reviewing an RFI response prepared by your agency. You might consider doing that next time.

In many instances clients send out 10-30 RFI questionnaires at any one time. Can you imagine having to wade through all of them to select your top 4-8?

Here are some tips to help your agency stand out from the crowd:

  1. Follow the instructions…do not try to win the Pitch at this RFI stage.
  2. If you have an opportunity ask all your questions of the client or consultant and LISTEN to the feedback.
  3. Do your homework and research up front. This will help you answer the questions in context.
  4. Do not use case studies or work older than 3-4 years old. That’s akin to a history lesson.
  5. Be Honest about your capabilities. If you cannot answer the question or do not really have the capability then say so.
  6. Avoid the bate and switch tactics. They will backfire on you.
  7. Show relevance to their business whenever and wherever you can. Why is this case study relevant?
  8. Cut the BS. Answer the questions succinctly and accurately. Make every word count.
  9. Use every opportunity to demonstrate how your experience and capabilities can help them succeed.
  10. Check for spelling, grammatical and formatting errors. Make it easy to read and remember.
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2 Responses to 10 RFI Tips To Help Your Ad Agency Stand Out From The Crowd

  1. All solid points. That said, if I were a client looking for an agency I would ask an additional question about past experience/case studies: Give an example or two of marketing misfires you’ve made in the past 3-5 years. ie., a campaign that didn’t accomplish what it was supposed to…a promotion that didn’t generate results as anticipated, etc…and ask what happened and what the agency (and client) learned from the experience. I’ve requested clients to ask that question before – and it usually creates a lot of excitement as well as angst on the part of the agencies. Well, so does an RFP and such is agency life. Bottom line – a new and interesting question that holds the potential to generate some very interesting and revealing examples. We had one agency tell the client that they couldn’t think of any misfires…and another blamed the client for not selecting the right advertising campaign. Both were shown the door very quickly.

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