RFPs often take time and resources away from current clients and viable leads. And while it’s an opportunity being handed to you, it’s likely being handed to at least a handful of other companies with the same solutions. While you don’t want to pass up an opportunity, sometimes there’s no way to be confident you can win the business.
So what powers a winning response?
Plenty has been written about the steps to a winning RFP response, from unpacking and truly understanding specific requirements, to making sure the final submission exudes clarity, brevity and style.
In between all that, there are two critical parts of a winning response that stand out for our purposes here:
- Understanding the context of the prospect’s status quo – their category and competition.
- Differentiating yourself — demonstrating with data-driven recommendations why you are the best choice.
How do you tackle these? That’s where competitive intelligence software come in.
First off, having access to competitor intelligence allows you to frame your own thinking with an understanding of the prospect’s current competitive situation. Next, data-driven insights from advertising intelligence provide you with actionable recommendations that stand out from the pack.
An interactive competitive intelligence platform lets you explore the context, and pull together detailed data, of your prospective company’s spend, impressions, top advertisements, channel distribution, top site publishers, ad format and more. (And get the same data for your prospect’s competitors, too.)
So how would your next RFP look with competitive ad intelligence? Here’s what the right platform can do.
Targeted Spend Recommendations
Let’s say you received an RFP from Fox Broadcasting Company, the ninth-highest media spender in April this year. They want to know how much money you recommend spending on digital advertising on a monthly and yearly basis.
Instead of working in the dark, back your recommendations up with competitive data.
Below is an example of how Fox spent their ad dollars in April compared to the media industry as a whole.
You can also compare your prospect’s spend to its direct competitors.
As you can see from the chart above, Fox’s spend only comes to 19 percent of the total spend between the company and three of its competitors. However, the spend data doesn’t stop there. Take a look at the discrepancies in spend versus impressions below.
That’s right. Fox is spending 19 percent of the share, but only receiving 9 percent of the impressions. Meanwhile, CBS is capturing 60 percent of the impression share with 37 percent of the spend share.
Once your prospect sees this data, they’ll be eager to learn more.
Data-Driven Ad Placement Strategy
This is where the breakdown of ad placements comes in. Your prospect (Fox, in this case) is going to want to see how CBS is getting so many impressions. And you’ll be ready with a handful of answers.
First, you can show them a breakdown of sites each competitor is publishing on and how many impressions each site gleans. This information is available in a chart within some platforms, or as a downloadable spreadsheet format for data manipulation.
You can also show your prospect where their spending overlaps with competitor spending.
And where it doesn’t overlap, but should (at least not until you win the RFP).
Not only can you show your prospect exactly where their competitors are publishing ads, but how each competitor is purchasing placements.
So now that you’ve shown how much and where funds should be allocated, based on real results, it’s time to tie it all together with a campaign strategy.
Proven Campaign Strategy Proposal
With effective ad intelligence, you can view each brand’s top advertisements across desktop, mobile and video, as well as your target industry’s top advertisements as a whole. You can also tie each ad back to spend, impressions, dates run and top publishing sites.
Below are the top ads for the media industry in April, listed by spend.
And here’s a deeper dive into the top creative.
With this data on the top creative products within your prospect’s industry, you can tie your entire RFP together with actionable recommendations for an entire campaign, from spend to ad placements to creative strategy.
Want to learn more about how to leverage competitor intelligence? Check out the related reads below.
- Who Are the 5 Top Media Ad Spenders? [Exclusive Data]
- Agencies Are Facing an Ad Transparency Crisis (and What To Do About It)
An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.