Marketing RFP How To – But Do You Really Need One?
Written by: Ryan Flannagan

Creating an RFP for a website is a very involved and time-consuming process. In order to create a comprehensive RFP you need to conduct research, assess technological needs and project goals. Often times it is more complicated because it involves technological knowledge that many companies are not familiar with. You may be wondering how you are supposed to write an effective request for proposal when you aren’t knowledgeable about an aspect of the project or the industry to which you are sending the RFP. Well, that is what we are here to answer.


Sending RFP’s to Web Design Agencies

Most web design and digital marketing agencies have become frustrated with RFPs, and many agencies will not even look over these proposals anymore. This is because the RFP often comes littered with requests and stipulations that limit the agency’s expertise. The purpose of an RFP is to give a company the ability to convey to a design or marketing agency what is wanted out of a business relationship services, budget, qualifications, and capabilities. The RFP process tends to bypass initial relationship building and discussions with a client, and often they do not understand what is the most effective solution, therefore not allowing for the flexibility necessary to propose a successful project.

The thing about web design and marketing agencies, though, is that their goal is to create a relationship with their clients.

An initial discovery process helps agencies come to fully understand client needs and be able to apply the agency’s appropriate expertise in websites and digital marketing to solve their client’s problems.


Do you need to write an RFP in order to get the right web design or marketing partner?

The answer is, NO, not if you don’t absolutely have to.
Okay, now you have to figure out how to tell your boss and the rest of your team why an RFP is not necessary. Don’t worry, we are here to help you with that as well.  After all,  we are a web design and digital marketing agency that has created many successful business relationships by minimizing giving and receiving RFPs. In today’s landscape, web design and digital marketing agencies all have their own ways of helping companies figure out solutions to problems.


What are your other options?

Many agencies offer handbooks and kits on special topics like B2B or B2C  websites, SEO best practices, or digital marketing and PR Guides. These tools allow a company to learn about the topics and apply them to their business practices to get a better idea of what they want and what the agency offers. These are helpful for a client meeting with an agency, or writing an RFP.

Like Nuanced Media, many digital marketing companies chose the simplest option of offering consultations. Many agencies offer free consultations which allows a company to sit down and explain what their vision is, who they would like to reach, what their budget is, and much more. For the majority of agencies that do not respond to RFPs, this is the imperative first step for any potential client. Building this two-way street of communication allows agencies to use their best judgment and expertise when offering a scope of services to help potential client companies. This initial consultation also allows both parties to build a preliminary relationship to see if their personalities match, which is incredibly important because all businesses operate differently, so communicating and working cohesively is key.

Other agencies have created their own processes for handling new clients and figuring out the best course of action as a team to resolve key issues.


Discovery Process → the RFP Replacement?

The Nuanced Media Discovery Process is essentially an exploratory project that really looks at and seeks to understand a company, how it operates, and its competitive advantage or other unique business aspects. This is done so that we know exactly what is needed to increase a company’s presence and improve business.
How we do it:
Through client briefings and in-depth industry research, we discover our clients strengths and weaknesses, creating a plan for amplifying their strengths and correcting their weaknesses through website design, digital marketing tactics, and overall marketing strategy.
What you get:
You are provided with a site map of their website structure, style tiles that effectively brand the company, and website wireframes and inspiration boards to depict the look and feel of the website based on their vision and our research.

This Discovery Process effectively replaces an RFP because it not only gives a company solid insight and direction into their website redesign, the Discovery Process gives companies a tangible product to either present to other companies or move forward in the web design process with Nuanced Media.

And to top it all off, the process is complete within a month, as opposed to the one to six months it takes to write, request, review, and choose a candidate from a comprehensive RFP.

Now, congratulations to those of you who will not be writing that RFP anymore! But for those of you who couldn’t get out of it, let us help you through it. Who better to help you than a Web Design/Digital Marketing Agency? Luckily for you, we have made a website design RFP toolkit that offers a complete guide through the process including helpful tips to make sure you don’t miss a thing.


Ryan Flannagan
Ryan Flannagan

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.

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