AdScience & Marketing Science

Media, Creative, Web Designer, Writer RFP Guideline

Advertising or Creative Supplier RFP Template


The purpose of this tool is to help you design a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Ad AgencyServices. An RFP is a formal invitation to request vendor proposals that meet specific business requirements and purchasing criteria.

Agencies (or creatives) interested in pursuing the opportunity will respond with their approach to delivering on your requirements, provide a detailed project plan & budget, and relevant references. An RFP is useful for expediting the contracting process, once negotiations are complete.

How to Use this Template

Complete the following sections with your Ad Agency project team. Cut & paste this information into a document that reflects your corporate image, and deliver your RFP to a short-list of potential vendors for review and proposal submission. The ‘Scope of Work &Business Requirements’ section contains a comprehensive list of potential requirements. Be sure to cut out requirements you don’t need, and add any that are particular to your organization.

Title Page

[Insert Company Name or Logo]

Ad Agency or Media or Creative or Writer etc [insert category here], Request for Proposal

[Insert Date]

Table of Contents

Agency Information . Estimated Budget & Resources Required .

General Information

1.1 Corporate Overview Provide a description of your organization including company size, locations, current capabilities & systems, stakeholders, expansion plans, and the business goals you are looking to achieve. INSERT OVERVIEW OF COMPANY, including target customers, verticals served, solutions offered. INSERT INDUSTRY OVERVIEW, including competitors, relative positioning, growth opportunities, go-to-market strategies, etc. ROLE OF AGENCY PARTNER: what services you expect the agency to provide. OVERVIEW: insert a paragraph on the key attributes you hope to find in the agency you are hiring, and your reason for hiring.


Contact Information

Primary liaison contact information: Enter Name Email to which questions should be addressed: Enter Email Address

5. Location for presentations: Enter Address, City, State/Province, and Country.2.

Statement of Work

2.1 Purpose The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) process is to invite vendors to submit their proposal to provide Ad Agency and implementation services. This document contains the business requirements necessary for a successful engagement.

2.2 Scope Outline the scope of services, such as:

  • Ongoing strategic planning and creative consultation
  • Content creation
  • Media relations – international, national, trade, business, local
  • Analyst relations
  • Awards (need to better understand relevance)
  • Product reviews
  • Trade show support
  • Special events
  • Metrics and monitoring

2.3 Project Schedule This schedule is based on our current timelines, but is subject to change. Project Milestones Deadline RFP Delivered to Agencies June 1 RFP

Question Period Ends July 15

RFP Close Date July 30

Conduct Agency Evaluations September 1

Award Contract to Agency September 30.

Proposal Submission Procedure

3.1 Vendor RFP Reception

By responding to this RFP, the agency agrees to be responsible for fully understanding the requirements or other details of the RFP, and will ask any questions to ensure such understanding is gained. [Insert your company name] retains the right to disqualify agencies who do not demonstrate a clear understanding of our needs. Furthermore, the right to disqualify an agency extends past the contract award period and [insert your company name] will be at no fault, cost, or liability.

3.2 Good Faith Statement

All information provided by [insert your company name] is offered in good faith. Specific items are subject to change at anytime based on business circumstances. [Insert your company name] does not guarantee that any particular item is without error. [Insert your company name] will not be held responsible or liable for use of this information or for any claims asserted therefrom. 3.3 Communication & Proposal Submission Guidelines Communications shall not be effective, unless a specified procurement executive who is responsible for managing the RFP process formally confirms these communications in writing. In no case shall verbal communication govern over written communications. Please submit your proposal by [insert RFP Close Date]. Please send questions and agency proposals to: [Insert contact name & title] [Insert phone/email/fax contact information]

7. [Insert your company name] [Insert department name] [Insert mailing address]3.4 Evaluation Criteria All proposals will be evaluated systematically, based on the following key criterion. The purpose of this section is to identify agencies with the interest, capabilities, and financial stability to provide services as defined in the Scope of Work. Following is a list of our key evaluation criteria:

  • Insert Criteria
  • Insert Criteria
  • Insert Criteria
  • Insert Criteria
  • Insert Criteria

3.5 Short-list Selection Agencies who have demonstrated their capacity to meet our needs will be contacted via phone and/or mail to be notified of their selection to move forward in the RFP process. Agencies, who have not been selected, will not be contacted.3.6. Term of Service COMPANY wishes to engage agency for a/an ____-year term with a ____-day cancellation provision by either party.

3.7 Conflict of Interest Proposing agencies are asked to certify that they have no conflicts of interest in serving COMPANY. Principal competitors are: LIST COMPETITORS. Additional companies may also be considered competitors, and we ask that you email any questions on competitors if you have them.

8. 3.8 Proposal Presentation Points To keep the presentations focused, we ask that you focus on how you are going to help us achieve the three priorities of our 2017?program, listed below:

  • Priority #1
  • Priority #2
  • Priority #3

3.9 Reference Accounts: Three client references should be provided at the time of your presentation, including: Current contact name, address, phone number and email.

  • Client Reference #1
  • Contact Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Client Reference #2
  • Contact Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Client Reference #3
  • Contact Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email for. Agency Information

9. Agencies (creatives) must submit the following information to be considered:

  • Corporate Overview – legal name; year of incorporation; number of employees; income statement if available.
  • Products & Services – description of all products & services supplied.
  • Markets Served – description of geographic/industry markets & % of share.
  • Partners – list of current business partners and roles in ecosystem.
  • Customer References – provide references of customers in our industry.

5. Estimated Budget & Resources Required All Agencies (creatives) must provide a breakdown of costs related to the services provided. Costs include, but are not limited to, fixed pricing & deliverables, billable hours (time & materials based pricing), travel expenses, etc. Agencies must agree to keep the quoted pricing in their proposals for a minimum of 90 days after proposal submission. Finally, all proposals must include a project schedule & work breakdown structure, which identifies timelines, key milestones, project phases, or other project plan information.

Please let us know if you have positive or negative experiences with this RFP guideline, please send us suggestions for improvement. AdScience

RFP Guidelines & Popular Lingo

Hiring a new marketing agency, web developer, designer, UI/UX, writer, SEO expert or advertising creative strategist is an investment in time and resources.

Why hire a marketing agency?

Experienced marketing agencies & web developer’s, designer’s, UI/UX’s, writer’s, SEO expert’s or advertising creative strategist’s offer a fresh perspective and can give clients insight into specific customers, products and business. Marketing agencies can remain focused on strategy, creative, etc., while not getting bogged down with business matters. They also provide expertise and support to in-house teams that are working at or above their capacity.

Specialty marketing agencies can add value

In some cases, even when a company has one or more marketing agencies in its network, it may bring in a specialty firm that can help target a specific demographic, such as the Millennial or youth market. A specialty agency can successfully execute a certain type of program proficiently and develop relevant assets. The right agency working within its area of expertise should be able to execute fresh, exciting work with creativity and efficiency.

Marketing agency hiring process

Once the decision to hire a marketing agency is made, the following are valuable steps in the agency hiring process.

Request For Proposal (RFP)

A good first step is for the company to identify and document its needs. Doing this gives a prospective agency insight into the company’s goals. It also can help stakeholders within the company’s organization align on key elements of the program and prevent unmet expectations later. The approach to documenting your needs can vary from listing a few key points written in an email to a detailed Request for Proposal.

A good RFP will outline the following:

  • Business and brand background and positioning
  • Summary of desired work and objectives (include any special expectations and considerations)
  • Details on targeted consumers (and customers and/or distribution and retail systems if appropriate)
  • Budget
  • Timelines for responding to the brief and for the program

Some clients prefer not to provide budget information, however a budget is necessary in guiding the agency to develop feasible solutions to the company’s marketing challenges. Agencies will spend a great deal of time and energy responding to an RFP, therefore potential clients should be clear with the agency about the following:

If an agency may not be hired as a result of the process

If funding has not been approved for the agency’s proposed projects


Research Potential Agencies

There are a few ways to research potential agencies. You might network within your organization or research trade publications. When you identify a potential candidate, you should have an initial phone interview with the agency to discuss your project and the agency’s capabilities.

As you conduct this interview, consider the following:

  • Does the agency really do the things you’re looking for or are they just saying, “we can do everything”?
  • Can the agency provide examples of past work (done in the last three years) that is relevant to your needs?
  • Does the agency have other clients that you think can serve as a reference point for your own needs/goals?
  • Is there chemistry and personality fit?
  • Does the agency have a formal system to manage work and update clients on progress?
  • How does the agency staff client accounts?
  • How does the agency bill for services?

RFP Discussion

Provide the RFP

When selecting agencies to respond to the Request for Proposal, be available to discuss it with each agency. Remember, the more details you communicate about your project, the more likely the proposals will fit your needs. Give each agency or supplier a reasonable RFP due date of at least two weeks.

Evaluate the Agency Proposals

Plan to review agency proposals in-person or via phone conference, allowing the agency to present the proposal and not just email it to you to read. Criteria for evaluating proposals should be identified in advance and consistently applied to each agency. This typically includes agency expertise, topline concepts, ability to execute, how the program will be measured, budget analysis and other factors specific to the project.


Hiring the agency typically involves signing a service agreement, agreeing on a payment schedule and having a kick-off meeting.

Hire a Marketing Agency

Focus groups are a method of research in which individuals are asked their views on products, advertising, or their experiences in order to gather insights about their attitudes and behaviours. Similar Terms: Market research

Digital Survey

A digital survey is a research tool used to gather and measure consumer insights via the internet. Similar Terms: Online survey

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is part of a brand’s strategy in which it strives to inhabit a specific position in the minds of consumers relative to its competitors. Similar Terms: Branding, product positioning

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a document that outlines the marketing and advertising strategy and tactics to meet marketing objectives. Similar Terms: Business plan

Grassroots Marketing

Often using nontraditional advertising and marketing methods, grassroots marketing targets precise audiences by appealing to their interests. Similar Terms: Word of mouth, niche marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing uses key leaders in a consumer segment to amplify a brand’s message to a larger audience. Similar Terms: Brand ambassadors

Partnership Marketing

Partnership marketing is based on two companies which share common consumers, joining forces to reach those consumers in a unique way. Similar Terms: Co-marketing

Community Management

Community management is a brand’s effort to build strong relationships with its social media fans and followers by demonstrating value to those community members. Similar Terms: Online customer service

Social Media Promotions

Social media promotions are contests and other programs used to grow a brand’s social media following or increase its community engagement. Similar Terms: Online sweepstakes

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising utilizes the demographic information and targeting capabilities (geo-targeting, behavioural, etc.) of social media sites to reach specific consumer groups. Similar Terms: Online advertising, social media marketing

Sponsorship Activation

Sponsorship activation is a brand’s plan to utilize the sponsorship assets they have purchased to maximize awareness, grow sales, or achieve some other business objective. Similar Terms: Sponsorship execution

Event Experience Design

Event experience design is the development of a brand’s physical “footprint” that will provide consumers with a memorable experience while they engage with the brand.

Similar Terms: Event presence, sponsor presence

Mobile Marketing Tour

Mobile marketing tours are a form of experiential marketing that typically use custom vehicles to access consumers in markets across a wide geographic area. Similar Terms: Promotional tours, pop-up stores

Promotional Products

Promotional products are branded items companies give to consumers for free usually to increase awareness, motivate them to purchase a product, or as a gift with a purchase they have already made. Similar Terms: Premiums, swag

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is the implementation of non-traditional, unconventional, and low-cost marketing tactics. Similar Terms: Viral marketing, buzz marketing

Paid Media

Paid media, particularly relative to digital media, is media a brand pays for to reach consumers on a large scale. It includes Google AdWords, search and display advertising, SEO and PPC campaigns, social media platform advertising and promoted posts, and more. Similar Terms: Earned media, owned media

Earned Media

Earned media includes publicity gained through a brand’s marketing and promotional efforts other than advertising. Relative to digital media, earned media is usually content picked up by other sites, mentions, shares, reposts, reviews, or recommendations. Similar Terms: Free media, owned media


Content is information used or created by a brand to attract and retain its customers. Brands strive to make their content relevant, interesting, entertaining whether it’s in the form of text, images, video or audio. Similar Terms: Content marketing

Graphic Design

Graphic design is the visual communication that combines images and words to convey a brand’s marketing message to consumers. Similar Terms: Art direction, design

Art Direction

Art direction is the unification of the overall visual appearance of a brand – from visual elements, style, messages, and concepts – all leading to a design that supports a brand’s positioning. Similar Terms: Graphic design

Visual Identity

A visual identity includes a logo, wordmark, color pallet, typeface, and other elements that combined create a consistent visual brand representation. Similar Terms: Branding, design

Package Design

Package design is creating the visual outer design of a product a consumer purchases at retail. Similar Terms: Branding, graphic design


Copywriting is writing for a range of advertising, marketing and promotional tactics.

Similar Terms: Advertising

Print Collateral

Print collateral includes any marketing and promotional items such as business cards, letterhead, brochures, fliers, postcards, signage, and more. Similar Terms: Collateral design