Advertising RFP Template & RFP Guide

When it comes to Digital Advertising Campaigns, a Request for Proposal (RFP) may be needed. In this case, advertisers and marketers may want to consider using an Advertising RFP Template for the purpose of briefing digital vendors about their proposed and upcoming advertising campaign.

What exactly is an RFP?

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a briefing document that lets stakeholders and vendors know details about a particular advertising campaign for the purpose of investing and engaging with the project. In the context of advertising, an RFP is used to brief vendors about a business’s particular ad campaign or pitch ad campaign ideas to lead marketing teams.

RFPs may also be necessary for an ad campaign in order to have it approved, paid for, and implemented for larger companies. It may also be necessary in order to secure vendors for a particular campaign. Advertising Agencies often use this as the initial phase when requesting vendor proposals for their client campaigns. It’s an effect way to brief lots of possible vendors and get proposals back for review.

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RFP Template in Word Format

Most advertisers and agencies use a standardized RFP Template and is a great way to ensure that advertisers don’t miss a thing when outlining their advertising campaign. Here at Gourmet Ads we don’t believe that an RFP needs to be pages long– rather, we think they work well when they are written straight to the point.

As such we’ve developed our own template for advertisers to make it easy for media buyers at various agencies to have a go-to page for insights throughout any and all Advertising Campaign pitching processes. No matter if your campaign is planning to be executed or activated via Managed Services, Programmatic or Self Service our template will be useful for you and your team.

Since 2008 we’ve been replying to Advertising RFPs and we’ve developed this list of what to include after responding to thousands of the RFPs in this time.

To also help, we’ve developed a detailed guide below to help with filling in your Advertising Campaign RFP Template. Our RFP Template guide will follow these items :

  1. Name of the Advertising Campaign

  2. Outline of Campaign

  3. Outline of the Company, Product & Campaign

  4. Campaign Website or Landing Page

  5. Campaign Flight Dates

  6. Campaign Goals / KPIs

  7. Target Audience

  8. Creative Assets

  9. Time Lines

  10. Budget / Pricing Guidelines

  11. Data Considerations

  12. Execution / Activation Method

  13. Technical Considerations

  14. Contacts

  15. Deliverables

  16. Selection Criteria

Name of the Advertising Campaign

What is exactly the Name of Advertising Campaign? Why is this important? Vendors will need to create an “Opportunity” in their CRM, so having a consistent name is important particually if you are running a wide range of campaigns for the same advertiser.

Outline of the Advertising Campaign

What exactly is the advertising campaign about? It’s very important to get as detailed as possible here. As we mentioned in the introduction, a good RFP does not have to be pages long. However, when it comes to making it clear what the ad campaign will be about, it’s important to note as many details as necessary.

In your advertising campaign outline, include the website or landing page that is being advertised as well as all other relevant websites a vendor should review before replying.

Outline of the Company, Product & Campaign

You’ll need to break down what your company is, what products it produces, and the purpose of the advertising campaign.

For example, if you are a Food Company who manufacturers organic peanut butter make that clear in your RFP Response. Also, note which products are going to be advertised in the campaign and whether or not the product is new or going through a rebranding. Why is it being rebranded? Is the product new or existing? What makes this advertising campaign better than the original campaign before the rebranding?

Try to explain all of this for someone who has never heard of or seen your product before, even if the vendors you’re sending the RFP are familiar with your brand.

Campaign Website or Landing Page

Being able to review the actual website or landing page that will be used as part of the advertising campaign is always really helpful. If there are multiple websites, (i.e. you are going to A/B test websites or landing pages be sure to include both of them also. Try provide information or transparency if you are open to trafficking segments / cookies for retargeting purposes.

Campaign Flight Dates

What are the flight dates or multiple flight dates going to be for this campaign? When will the campaign go live, and why was that specific date chosen?

Use analytics and data to back up why you’ve decided to launch a new ad campaign for a particular time. Is it because the product is seasonal? Based on company reports, is the flight date you chose known for being very lucrative?

One tip is using the date format DD-MMM-YYYY ie 21-Feb-2020 just to minimize confusion with different date formats.

Campaign Goals / KPIs

What are the Campaign Goals of this Advertising Campaign? This is probably the most important item and will help advertising vendors craft their strategy / response to the RFP.  It could be driving more people to your website or it could be an actual metric. Ie Branding Campaign with a 70% Viewability Goal. On the conversion from it could be the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) needs to be under $20 per sale.

Typically, common Campaign Goals / KPIs for digital Advertising Campaigns include one or more of the following:

By setting and being 100% transparent about your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), advertising vendors are able to develop their advertising strategy / response to the RFP. Be sure to include your underlying reasoning and sources for the Advertising Campaign Goals and be sure to use simple easy-to-follow terms.

One important part to note in regards to the Campaign Goals / KPIs. Make sure you discuss how you will communicate the individual and aggregated performance during the flight dates. How will you vendors.

Target Audience

Your target audience is the most valuable aspect of your Advertising Campaign. What is the Persona of the Target Audience? When it comes down to it, the entire campaign is designed to appeal to a specific type of consumer– thus, you’ll need to write a detailed description of your target audience, what their demographics are, what their traits are, what their interests are and what your Advertising Campaign will do to appeal to them.

As with advertising campaign goals, be sure to include research data that supports your reasoning for establishing that specific target audience, as well as data that supports your reasoning for making specific decisions to appeal to them in your ad campaign.

Creative Assets

What Creative Assets do you plan on running for this Advertising Campaign ? Will you be using various Media Formats or a single type only?

Specifically, Digital Advertising Campaigns typically use 4 Media Types and within each type there are lots of detail required.

  • Banner Ads / Display Advertising

  • Native Ads

  • Video Ads

  • Audio Ads

Why did you choose a specific ad format? How does it connect with the target audience? Is it accessible for mobile devices, and does it follow current advertising trends online?

Be sure to ask if the advertising vendor has a Creative Specs available, they can respond with.

RFP Time Lines

As with our flight dates, you’ll need to make it clear to your advertising vendors when you’ll need a response from them to the RFP you’re sending and when you’ll make a decision of the shortlisted vendors.

Be fully transparent and request transparency from your RFP replies. Make it clear when you need a response, when revision requests should be submitted, and when you need an official decision in order to carry on with the campaign.

Typical RFP Advertising Time Lines

  • RFP Issued

  • RFP Meetings / Questions

  • RFP Response Due

  • Vendors Shortlisted

  • Media Plans Sent

Budget / Pricing Guidelines

There are two parts to the Budget / Pricing Guidelines. The first is what is the total budget for the advertising vendor if they are successful, not the total budget for the campaign, but what likely is going to be the individual budget per vendor. What is the budget you’d like them to present as part of the Media Plan. For example you might have a $1M budget but are after 20 vendors who’ll get $50K each.

Secondly, like the KPI section – provide ideal CPM, CPC, CPA price guidelines here.

Data Considerations

As part of the Advertising Campaign, are you open to using data, will you provide First Party Data or do you want the vendor to use their won data or are you open to them acquiring 3rd party data.

If you are going to provide access to your First Party Data it will be important to provide the DMP (Data Management Platform) you store the data in allowing the vendor to know if they can technically access it.

Execution / Activation Method

From an Execution / Activation perspective, there are basically 2 main ways to do this;

The follow-up questions here are mostly around Programmatic, these being ;

  1. What DSP do you use ?

  2. Do you buy using Deal IDs / PMPs

Technical Considerations

Are there any technical considerations that vendors will need to take into consideration?

Things to consider here might be DSP, DMP, Reporting formats etc.

Will the vendors be responsible for anything specific to the ad campaign in question?

Contacts

There are commonly 4 contacts here for Brands Directly or Advertising Agencies.

  • Marketing Manager

  • Media Buyer / Media Planner

  • Creative Contact

  • Accounts Payable Contact

Its best to provide all of their contact information (email, phone, location) for seamless communication in case vendors want to verify aspects of the RFP.

Deliverables

What will be delivered when sending over the ad campaign materials? What will your team need in order to assess the Advertising Vendors RPF Response ? Often vendors are asked for;

  • Media Plan in Excel

  • Proposal PowerPoint

Make a list of everything that will be included in the media kit, Rate Card as well as other sales collateral like Case Studies.

Selection Criteria

One of the most important aspects when sending an RFP is communicating how you’ll be selecting successful vendors. What needs to be included in order to be considered for the ad campaign? It’s important to be as transparent as possible. Sometimes it will be around pricing, sometimes it will be about targeting / capabilities.

That said it’s sometimes hard to know what you’ll be looking for till you’ve received all the RFP Responses.

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