There are no shortage of complaints about the online RFP process, and they come from both sides of the table.
So, you thought "RFP" stood for "request for proposal"? Sorry, folks, that's no typo in the title. Sad to say, but the RFP process for online media is starting to get out of hand. Unfortunately, buyers and sellers are playing a game these days with an important business tool that can really make our lives a little easier -- and more profitable.
If you're an agency person, you might be thinking, "Oh boy, I'm glad he's going to vent on the rep community! I'm tired of all the BS I get back in proposals." Yup, you'll see some venting shortly. But get ready to take a good look in the mirror. (If anything, I'm a fair and balanced "venter.")
If you're an online media rep, don't fret. I know we agency people create a lot of frustration. But don't jump up and down just yet. (Venting usually goes both ways...)
Instead of merely blowing off steam, we need to do something about the problem. Let's start by taking a look at how we're misusing RFPs, examining the problem from both perspectives. Then let's see what we need to do to get things back on track.
What's Wrong With the Good Old RFP?
It's not so much the tool itself that creates confusion and friction, but how everyone uses and responds to RFPs.
Let's start with the buyer side by listing a few common complaints:
From the seller side, we hear:
I could probably add to both lists for a while, but I think you get the drift.
Getting Back on Track
Here's my list of suggested best practices to get the most out of your next RFP experience.
I'm sure some of you have other suggestions, so send 'em my way. Together we can utilize the RFP process the way it was meant to be... and leave the gamesmanship for more appropriate things -- say the upcoming new edition of Doom?
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