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31 July 2017 : Pica #011

The path to great ideas is paved with great questions.

GIGO Garbage In Garbage Out

If you work with brands and you write or respond to RFP’s these 8 questions are the key to effective solutions.

Most corporations and agencies have their own “briefing document” format. The way information is organized and presented varies, but it’s the content that affects the result not the form. The following eight questions can help you identify that vital content.
If you are writing an RFP and you don’t have comprehensive and clear answers to these eight questions you aren’t in a good position to ask for a proposal because you don’t have the necessary information to correctly evaluate any responses.
If you are responding to an RFP which doesn’t give comprehensive and clear answers to these eight questions you aren’t in a good position to provide a great solution because you don’t have the necessary information to formulate an effective response.

1 - What is the business objective?
Everything starts with this, as the end goal it must be the first thing clear in your mind. Don’t focus on the deliverable, focus on what the deliverable should achieve. Having a clear business objective is fundamental to writing a good RFP and the key to correctly comprehending one you receive.

2 - What is “it”?
Identify the product/service. Its relative standing to competitors. If appropriate consider also indirect competition.

3 - Who (potentially) cares?
Identify and describe the customer or chain of customers (the decision maker, the influencer, the buyer and the user - sometimes the same person but not always).

4 - What brand values?
The values and image of the brand: perceived and/or desired.

5 - Competitor brand values?
The perceived values and image of the competitor brands.

6 - Brand touchpoints?
The brand manifestations, objects, people, locations, digital and physical communication channels.

7 - Pertinent context?
Critical aspects and situations: internal and external. Brand context, corporate context, customer-context and real-world context.

8 - Deliverables?
The thing or things that are the means to achieve the business objective. Sometimes it’s ok for this to remain a question to be answered by the proposal.

One final thing. If you write an RFP on your own ask a colleague to read it critically. It’s easy to omit something when you are immersed daily in a brand. And if you receive an RFP read it alone taking notes and only afterward re-read it with your colleagues. The different interpretations that may arrise from individual reading can be important for correctly understanding or asking for clarification.

Next > "The huge cost of a poor RFP."
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