RFP’s – A Thing of the Past for Web Design Agencies?
Written by: Ryan Flannagan

Are RFPs the most effective way to begin business relationships?

For large corporate partnerships, we agree that they are the best option, however for smaller, creative agencies such as B2B marketing and B2B web design agencies, the process is very different.

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With these types of agencies, RFPs are becoming less preferred when communicating with potential partners, and this is especially true for website proposals and digital marketing proposals. The creative work process is not just in simply requesting services, it is about exploring problems and finding the best creative option to solve them. Face-to-face contact and direct communication are the preferred method to solicit services.

For industries such as the medical or financial industry where services are fairly straightforward and understood, RFPs are easier to adapt. However, when a client submits a website proposal to a creative agency requesting specific services such as SEO optimization or a new website, they are restricting the agency to respond strictly to the services requested. This leaves proposing agencies no room to explore the company’s problems for better solutions before responding to the client.

Because a website is not just a website, there are many different facets of web designs that solve different spectrums of problems beyond SEO. Many times, the solution to a problem is found through discussion with the client while reviewing different options.

It’s not as effective as a creative agency to suggest solutions based on a vague overview of the key problems within a company because there is usually more beneath the surface than specified in an RFP. Marketing and design are specialties that solve problems by exploring options and potential solutions to find the correct one.

These days, agencies are creating their own unique processes that omit the website proposal process. In fact, many creative agencies have handbooks and toolkits to help the client better understand services offered before meeting with clients for the first time. Others offer free consultations and specific processes unique to their business, an example being our own Nuanced Media Discovery Process. Yet, the common denominator in all of these processes is communication.

The point of not using the website proposal process is to open a two-way street of communication and work as a cohesive unit to achieve the client’s vision. This process enables agencies to show clients what is possible and to find solutions in real time. Explore the costs of your website re-design using our Website Cost Calculator.

The idea of today’s process is to have a communication channel between the client and the agency making solving problems a much more streamlined and effective process. So, as a company that wants to submit an RFP to a creative agency, ask yourself, what is the best option? Is it better to directly communicate with the company or go through the long process of writing an RFP that could yield incomplete results? Before deciding to write another RFP, evaluate your requirements to make sure you will receive the results that are the best fit for your company and digital marketing needs. Nuanced Media is a premier Phoenix web design agency, and we are always here to answer any questions you may have regarding website design and development.

 

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