A modern-day business is unthinkable without a digital strategy in place. In 2020 alone, digital advertising spending amounted to a whopping $356 billion!
However, performing quality digital marketing in-house is not easy: you need dedicated specialists that not many companies can afford to hire permanently. The solution is to outsource digital marketing experts that can deliver steady results when you need them.
The key to hiring the ideal digital marketing vendor is in preparing a comprehensive digital marketing RFP (request for proposal) that leaves no stones unturned.
Having already discussed the RFP meaning, process and response, we now shift our attention to digital marketing RFPs and how to write this procurement document when hiring a vendor in this field.
We also provide a free, downloadable digital marketing RFP template that you can use for your purposes.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Digital Marketing RFP?
- Why Is RFP for Marketing Services Important?
- 10 Essential Steps of the Digital Marketing RFP Process
- How to Evaluate Responses for Digital RFP
- Digital Marketing RFP Template
- Best Digital Marketing Agencies to Help Boost Your Business in 2022
- Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing RFP
What Is a Digital Marketing RFP?
A digital marketing request for proposal is a formal business document that companies draft to procure services of digital marketing agencies.
The RFP document organizes all necessary information to successfully outsource services and allows companies to compare different marketing vendors that send their bids in an RFP response.
The RFP process, guided by the RFP document, provides an objective approach for buyers selecting vendors. Digital marketing RFPs can be used to find a partner for one-off digital marketing campaigns or ongoing marketing services.
Why Is RFP for Marketing Services Important?
An RFP for a marketing agency streamlines and improves the way organizations connect with potential vendors by providing all the necessary information in one place.
Through digital marketing RFPs, clients can identify multiple decision factors while providing aspiring service providers with enough company and project information. This will help agencies identify which of their digital marketing services would benefit the client the most.
Other notable advantages of drafting a digital media RFP include:
- Lower procurement costs: RFP is an integral part of strategic sourcing. It reduces the overall procurement cost by efficiently finding the most suitable agency partner.
- Head-to-head comparison of vendor experience: The organization, with its detailed requirements, scope and deliverables, will have a quick overview and insight into each vendor’s capabilities as the RFP response contains their qualifications, past work, customer results, pricing and other considerations.
- Better transparency and fairness: Organizations send RFP documents to multiple qualified digital marketing vendors, ensuring each has a fair chance of winning the account.
10 Essential Steps of the Digital Marketing RFP Process
Every digital marketing request for proposal is different to accommodate the organization’s specific requirements. However, each RFP should contain the essential steps below to ensure process consistency and proper briefing to vendors.
1. Share Your Company Background
At the beginning of your digital marketing RFP document, you should supply a clear, concise and understandable summary of your business:
- A brief history and mission statement
- What your brand is known for; UVPs
- Business values
- Key personnel and stakeholders
- Links to company info online, etc.
This step aims to provide basic information about your business to companies not familiar with your business.
2. Provide Project, Audience and Competitor Briefing
In the project overview, describe the particular project objectives and list the short-term and long-term goals you wish to achieve with it. Of course, these objectives should fit into your general business growth strategy.
In this section, you should also include details about your target audience and their general attributes such as:
- Demographic information (gender, age, location, income, etc.)
- Psychographic information (expectations, pain points, online behavior, etc.)
- User persona/ideal buyer
It is where you can also introduce your competitors – who they are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what their brand identity is, etc.
3. Identify Targets and KPIs
Set your KPIs and communicate them clearly in the RFPs so that potential vendors know what they should provide you with exactly.
Defining very specific digital marketing goals along with measurable KPIs in a digital marketing campaign couldn’t be understated. These should align with your business objectives, so try to emphasize this relationship when defining your targets in the RFP.
Try to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based. Invest in resources to ensure the goals and project outcomes are adequately defined and not unrealistic or unattainable.
4. Share an Overview of Current Benchmarks
Along with defining your targets and ideal performance, you should also share your current marketing performance status. This readily available information will give potential suppliers a better idea of what solutions they should suggest and which direction they should take when proposing a digital marketing strategy for your business.
It will serve as a benchmark on which all future campaigns will be measured.
5. Present Your Budget
Sharing your budget constraints and availability will help you better evaluate the submitted RFP responses from various vendors. Being transparent can help them provide realistic outlines of what they can achieve with the budget at your disposal.
6. Mention Expected Outcomes and Roadblocks
Outcomes that support the entire digital marketing project are essential and it’s important to identify and communicate them in the RFP for digital marketing agencies.
Likewise, possible constraints that could impede a digital marketing project should also be a part of your RFP. This can include any possible limitation, such as technical website implementation difficulties, lack of in-house know-how, a budget limitation, certain non-existent channels for digital advertising, etc.
7. Outline Your Vendor Requirements
In your RFP document, outline what you expect from an ideal vendor. It will help you quickly eliminate those that don’t fulfill these basic requirements.
These expectations can be:
- The desired work hours/time zone
- Familiarity with particular tools and project management systems
- Readiness to work with other third-party providers like web hosts or marketing specialists
- Availability for regular face-to-face meetings, weekly updates, etc.
8. Communicate Timeframe and Deadlines
One of the most important aspects of a solid RFP digital marketing document is communicating the overall project deadline and the timelines for specific parts of the process.
These dates and deadlines can include:
- The date of RFP document distribution to potential vendors
- The period during which you will accept RFP responses
- The date when you will shortlist the most qualified agencies
- The date when you will announce or contact the winning vendor (and those that were not chosen)
- The start date for the digital marketing project
- Specific milestone dates for different parts of the project (if any)
Indicating when you expect certain events to take place and deliverables to be submitted is vital because the vendors can plan their response and presentation around that.
Also, always try to indicate whether deadlines are fixed or flexible.
9. Itemize Resource Availability
In your RFP, include information about the resources you have available in-house. Summarize your capabilities or reliance on third-party service providers in terms of website hosting, website design, content creation, social media management, etc.
You should also list out all the relevant tools and software you are using, such as various SEO tools, project management tools, analytics software and so on.
10. Pinpoint Competition and RFP Selection Criteria
For aspiring service providers, it can be very beneficial to find details regarding RFP distribution in your request for proposal document.
In this regard, you can include information about the number of vendors you have reached out to and what types of agencies they are.
When vendors know this information, they know who they’re up against, which guides them in formulating RFP responses.
Letting them know of your selection process and criteria is also advisable. For example, you can use a score-based system to allocate points to relevant experience, track record, cost of services, cultural fit, skills and others.
How to Evaluate Responses for Digital RFP
Once digital marketing RFP responses start pouring in, you should read them thoroughly and carefully while focusing on the following five questions to help you determine the right vendor.
- Do they have expertise and experience in the digital marketing channels you require? Full-service digital marketing agencies work with multiple channels and take an integrated approach to each, while niche agencies specialize in managing one channel. Be sure to identify the type of vendor to make sure they can deliver on channels that are important for you.
- Have they worked in your sector before? It is advisable to pick an agency with a track record in your particular sector or industry. This effectively means that they have likely encountered issues similar to the ones you’re experiencing and can apply their knowledge and adequate digital marketing strategies to help you solve them.
- Does their portfolio include relevant successful projects? An agency that truly boasts of its past success should be able to back its claims with specific case studies, client feedback and industry awards — all of which should be relevant to your project goals. Look for these in their RFP response and evaluate them accordingly.
- Are they a good cultural fit? It is very important to find and work with a vendor whose core values and beliefs align with yours. The agency with a culture similar to yours can act as an extension of your in-house team which results in a flourishing collaboration.
- Can they work with your budget? Another indicator of a vendor being a good fit is if they can work with companies of similar sizes and budgets to yours. An agency that works with a budget that is higher than yours may not be able to provide a cost-effective option and if they work with budgets much lower than yours, they may not have the resources to manage the project.
Digital Marketing RFP Template
Digital marketing RFP template is useful for creating your own request for proposal from scratch because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.
You can also download your copy of a free digital marketing RFP template to the right on this page.
Here is an example of what a well-rounded digital marketing agency RFP template should contain:
Statement of Purpose
- Your company name
- Why you’re requesting a proposal
- The state of your digital marketing campaign
- Products/services that you provide
- Timeframe for your marketing campaign
- Criteria on deciding on the agency
- The due date to choose an agency
- Contact info
Digital Marketing Campaign Goals
- Increase site traffic by X5
- Boost conversion rates by X%
- Improve online reputation
- Boost brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Increase email subscribers
- Increase social media followers
- The products and services that you offer
- Past experience with digital marketing firms
- Yearly company-wide goals
- How digital marketing fits into those goals
- Your industry
- Your target audience
- Your competitors
- Company history
- Mission statement
- Company values
- Daily expectations
- Weekly expectations
- Monthly expectations
- Yearly expectations
- How much money you plan to allocate for this project
- Contract expansion
- Contract renewal
- Dates of RFP release
- Reply deadlines
- Consideration dates
- Decision dates
- Dates of contract negotiation
- Agency introduction
- How many years in business
- Growth since the beginning
- List of digital marketing services and prices
- Direct contact
- Sample of digital marketing work
- Potential obstacles
- Contacts for finalizing contract
Best Digital Marketing Agencies to Help Boost Your Business in 2022
The best digital marketing agencies are the ones that can help you achieve your business goals.
No matter what type of business you have, you need to be able to reach your customers to convert them into paying customers. The best way to do this is through digital marketing.
When choosing a digital marketing agency, there are many things to consider. One of the most important factors is their understanding of your business and what you want.
These agencies can provide a solution, whether driving more traffic, generating more leads, or increasing sales. Take a look at our best digital marketing agencies in 2022:
- Location: 21 York Place, Leeds, England LS1 2, GB, Leeds, LS1 GB, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $125/hr
- Expertise: 360° Digital Agency Services, Branding, Video Production, Web Design, Digital Marketing, B2C, B2B, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, eCommerce Marketing
An award-winning digital marketing agency, Favoured knows how to deliver.
This team creates comprehensive solutions that align your brand with your customers' needs and wants, resulting in better brand awareness and loyalty.
Their experts are highly experienced in digital marketing and have worked on various projects, from small websites to full-fledged eCommerce platforms.
This reputable agency has partnered with big clients from various industries, like Kodak, Durex, Veet, and Pho.
- Location: 563 Jessore Road, Calcutta, Calcutta, 700074, India
- Average Hourly Rate: $20/hr
- Expertise: Amazon Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Digital Strategy, B2B, eCommerce, Search Engine Marketing, Web Design, Creative, Digital Advertising
Content Spotlight stays true to its name by working to produce content that will put your business in the spotlight.
A content and SEO service provider, this agency strives to provide high-quality original content for businesses that want to reach a wider audience without breaking their budgets.
They specialize in specific niches, from travel, lifestyle, health, and wellness, to environment, science, and education.
3. KODE DIGITAL
- Location: 353-3 Jalan C Y Choy, 10300 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia., Penang, 10300, Malaysia
- Average Hourly Rate: $40/hr
- Expertise: 360° Digital Agency Services, Digital Strategy, Branding, Graphic Design, Media Buying, Web Design, eCommerce Development, Website Development, Legal Digital Marketing, SEO, Google AdWords, Social Media
KODE DIGITAL's team consists of talented individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.
This results-driven digital marketing agency knows how to breathe life into ideas by thinking out of the box and producing show-stopping content and design.
Whatever your niche is, KODE DIGITAL can bring out the best in every brand.
- Location: 26-28 Kempton Road, Pershore, WR10 2TA, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $70/hr
- Expertise: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, SEO
Infinity Digital is the right company if you want a digital marketing agency to help drive your business forward.
This agency knows how important it is for small to medium enterprises to stay ahead of their competition. Specializing in SEO and digital marketing, Infinity Digital always ensures that its clients stand out from the crowd online.
- Location: 21725 N 20th Ave, Ste 101-102, #1026, Phoenix, Arizona 85027-2640, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: 360° Digital Agency Services, Public Relations, Media Buying, Advertising, Creative, B2B, Website Design, WordPress Development, SEO, PPC
With over 30 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing, Nvent Marketing has proven to be a gamechanger in the field.
An award-winning digital marketing agency, they are experts at building brand awareness, driving leads, increasing conversions, and growing a customer base—all while maintaining high levels of engagement across all channels.
- Location: Avenida da República, 45, 5º Esquerdo, Lisbon, 1050-187, Portugal
- Average Hourly Rate: $65/hr
- Expertise: 360° Digital Agency Services, Digital Strategy, Branding, Video Production, Web Design, Digital Advertising, SEO, Google AdWords, Social Media, Email Marketing
BYD stands for Boost Your Digital, which is the primary goal of this agency. Having worked with leading companies like L'oreal, Teleperformance, and Alliance Healthcare, the company uses a combination of innovative strategies and unparalleled creativity.
The agency prides itself on its team of experts who focus on working to increase your visibility on search engines, traffic on web pages, and the conversion rate overall.
- Location: 52 York Cl, Southwater, Horsham, RH13 9XJ, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $60/hr
- Expertise: Responsive Website Design, PHP Development, Digital Marketing, B2B, Search Engine Marketing
Made Simple Media is a digital marketing agency with all the right tools to help you take your business to new heights.
As their name suggests, they have a straightforward approach to business needs. They aim to simplify strategies by providing clients with access to easy-to-use technology platforms.
If you want accurate results through uncomplicated processes, Made Simple Media is the right partner.
- Location: 95 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, M4K 1N2, Canada
- Average Hourly Rate: $125/hr
- Expertise: 360° Digital Agency Services, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, PPC, Google AdWords, Social Media
Kaizenzo is a digital marketing agency that builds results-oriented digital advertising and marketing campaigns.
They have a holistic approach and infallible goals, so they know what it takes to get you where you need to be. They have almost zero churns, so they're doing a great job keeping their clients happy.
Their dynamic team constantly innovates their process to ensure that they continue to offer the best experience for their clients.
- Location: Sos. Nicolae Titulescu, nr. 1, bl. A7, et. 6, Ap. 77, Scara C, sector 1, Bucharest, 011131, Romania
- Average Hourly Rate: $50/hr
- Expertise: Social Media, Google AdWords, Web Design, Advertising, Digital Strategy, eCommerce, Digital Marketing, SEO, Website Development
- Marketing Deck has helped over a hundred businesses grow their revenues through innovative solutions that are cost-effective and drive real ROI.
They are 100% committed to your success and will go above and beyond to ensure you get the desired results.
Clients commend this agency for its fast response time, transparent processes, real-time reporting, and passion for helping businesses hit ROI within three months.
- Location: 5401 N University, Dr Ste 102, Coral Springs, Florida 33067, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $150/hr
- Expertise: Branding, Public Relations, Advertising, Creative, Web Design, Website Development, UI/UX Design, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Legal Digital Marketing, Social Media
In 2022, you need a digital marketing agency to help you continue taking your business to the next level.
That's what Bright Pink Agency aspires to accomplish for its clients.
With 14+ years of experience and a series of prestigious awards, this agency boasts an impressive portfolio that includes work for franchises, multilocation, and nonprofit organizations.
- Location: Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, United Kingdom
- Average Hourly Rate: $100/hr
- Expertise: 360° Digital Services Creative Web Design eCommerce, WooCommerce, WordPress, SEO, Digital Marketing, PPC, Google AdWords, Social Media
In a world of growing competition, it's hard to keep up with the saturated market.
You must ensure your brand stays relevant, communicates and markets effectively, and strives as an industry leader.
That's where WDL.Digital comes in.
Specializing in SEO, eCommerce, Branding, and Design, this London-based agency is capable of crafting bespoke solutions that exceed expectations.
They rank among the top 5 web designers in the UK and the top 3 in London.
- Location: Naples, FL 34103, Naples, Florida 34103, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $50/hr
- Expertise: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Local SEO
Digital marketing is a great way to expand your brand and reach new markets. But, it can be challenging to do it right if you don't have the right resources or know-how.
That's why Brandignity is here. Companies of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises, can rely on this humble agency.
Founded in 2010, Brandignity has been helping companies navigate their way through the world of digital marketing.
They believe there's no science or secrets to successful campaigns—just honest-to-goodness digital marketing.
- Location: 9 Independence Ct, Concord, MA 01742, Concord, Boston, Massachusetts 01742, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $800/hr
- Expertise: Digital Strategy, Web Design, Small Business, Website Design, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Marketing
If you have a small business, you know how hard it can be to get your name out there. You need a partner who understands your challenges and is as invested in your success as you are.
It's why clients love working with AlchemyThree. It's a marketing firm emphasizing three key components: design, marketing, and strategy.
The hourly rate may seem overwhelming, but it's worth it once the agency drives growth for your business, saving you from stress so you can rest easy.
- Location: 13572 Chillicothe Rd, Novelty, Ohio 44072, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
- Expertise: Digital Strategy, Small Business Branding, Video Production, Advertising, Web Design, Mobile App Development, Website Development, Shopify, Digital Marketing, SEO, Google AdWords
Your website reflects who you are and what you stand for. It needs to be professional, informative, and easy to navigate, and Alt Media Studios is the right agency to strike all that.
With around 20 years in the industry, this reputable agency has proven to be an expert in helping businesses establish a trusted brand for themselves.
This Google-certified, full-service digital marketing agency specializes in customized web solutions, showcasing the best parts of your business.
- Location: #1031 1919 Taylor St, Houston, Texas 77007, United States
- Average Hourly Rate: $500/hr
- Expertise: Web Design, Responsive Website Design, Search Engine Marketing, Legal Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media
When you want to take your business to higher ground, it's time to hire an agency that understands growth is more than just getting more customers. It's about creating a brand that people can't stop talking about.
That's what Lords Only Digital Marketing does better than anyone else.
With a $500 hourly rate, their services are an investment that will revolutionize your brand's identity, leading you to success.
Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing RFP
The general guidelines for writing effective, detailed and comprehensive RFP for digital marketing can also be applied to other industries or procured services like:
- RFP for IT services
- eCommerce RFP
- Website design RFP
- Web development RFP
- RFP for SEO
- Branding RFP
- Social Media RFP
- Mobile app development RFP
- Software RFP
The basic reasoning behind hiring a vendor in all of these industries relies upon a similar set of criteria.
Regardless of the kind of RFP you need to create, don’t forget to involve all relevant stakeholders and members of your team, as they can contribute invaluably by providing information or insights that are vital for the success of your digital marketing project.