Using our proprietary partnership with PromoAid, we run an initial screening of potential resources in the PromoAid database of almost 3,000 vendors and 10,000+ marketing programs against the resource criteria that have been customized for your search; the screening is comprehensive and fast. We will integrate any agencies or vendors that are not in the PromoAid database if you – or we – think they should be included, for whatever reason. We typically reach out first with email contact, then follow up with phone contact/discussions. The output of Initial Screening is a complete review of all resources evaluated and a recommendation for who makes it to the next round. We discuss the output of all of this with your team, and we jointly reach consensus on who makes it to Round One.
In a typical RFP, the Initial Screening might look at 15-50 potential resources (depending on what we are resourcing…), and 5-15 might make it through.
Round One Submission.
During this round, we ask the agencies/vendors to complete a thorough information submission in writing. This is typically a combination of 1) overview of their company, 2) fairly detailed drilling down of their resources (as relevant to what we are looking for), and 3) answers to a set of custom-designed questions that address how they think and do business and what experience they have that is specifically relevant to what we are seeking.
We handle all of their questions as they work through their submissions, collect and organize the submissions, read and evaluate them. Of course, we expect you to read and evaluate them as well. (It is going to be your agency/vendor!).
We will then organize a team meeting to discuss the submissions and determine who makes it to the Finalist Round. Usually about 25% - 33% of the agencies/vendors make it through this round (so if we start with 12, maybe 3-4 make it). We handle all of the communication, both with those who advance and those who do not, and debrief/provide feedback to those who did not move on.
We then invite the Finalists to come into your headquarters for an in person presentation. This presentation will typically be focused on a Case Study/Brief that is specifically relevant to your business; we will work with you on drafting this Brief. The presentation will also likely include presentation of some relevant case studies from the agency/vendor. And – of course – you will get to meet them in person, which is absolutely critical.
We organize, coordinate, and attend these Finalist Presentations, and also organize and lead the debrief, which we like to try and do immediately after the last presentation, so that everything is fresh to everyone. We use our structured evaluation process to ensure a proper and consistent evaluation method is utilized.
Selection of Winner/Negotiation of Contract.
Last – but ultimately most importantly – we help you pick the Winner! Of course, it’s your decision (it’s going to be your resource/partner), but we often serve as a critical sounding board here, both because of our tremendous experience and because of our very objective/”outside” perspective. We also help you think through the negotiation of your contract/deal with the winning resource.
And, of course, we handle all of the communication, and work hard to debrief the participants properly and provide both feedback and encouragement, as well as thanks for their hard work.