How To Write A Website RFP (Request for Proposal)

A website RFP, or Request for Proposal, is a document that outlines the requirements for the website redesign project, existing challenges, and business objectives. The RFP serves as a wish list for the project and invites agencies to submit a plan detailing how they would address your specific project challenges.

As a digital advertising agency, we receive Requests for Proposal on a weekly basis, for a variety of projects. Some RFPs are simple, but website RFPs tend to be more complex, and it’s understandable why. Your company’s website serves as the hub of your marketing: educating prospects, inspiring purchases, and providing a consistent source of content that helps them throughout the time they are a customer.

It’s not just the site’s importance in your marketing that makes website RFPs so complex, but how many stakeholders, opinions, and requests are often involved. For this reason, it is essential to provide a clear picture of your needs in order for the agency to accurately deliver a proposal. Without this information, the odds of disappointment in the end result of the project increase exponentially.

Website RFP Committee Meeting

What many website RFP committee meetings tend to feel like.

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  • 09.19.16

2017 Social Media Marketing Best Practices

We recently published a series of guides for six of the top social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube. As we approach 2017, social media marketing will have an even larger impact on your brand – not just for social conversation, but also for your bottom line. Download to learn about each platform’s unique features, targeting, key performance indicators, and “Best In Class” examples.


YouTube: Should Subscribers Matter to Brands?

YouTube Is A Search Engine

youtube is search engine

Most people watch videos on YouTube for one of two reasons: either to be entertained or be educated. YouTube is arguably the only social media platform in which a user is purposefully seeking out instant gratification through content consumption.

Unlike Facebook, there aren’t dozens of distractions in the form of engagement announcements or political rants from your weird uncle. If you’re passively scrolling through your Instagram feed, you aren’t necessarily looking for a specific piece of content. While people can certainly spend hours watching YouTube videos, there is typically something specific that led them there in the first place, whether they clicked on a link sent by a friend or searched for a particular video.

Marketing on Youtube

Content is not a rare commodity on YouTube, especially with new content creators and vloggers rising to the scene every day. This makes YouTube a tricky platform for many brands and advertisers to not only fully understand, but to effectively incorporate into their overall content marketing strategy. Making it even more difficult is the fact that brands are focusing on the wrong metric by which to measure success on the platform.

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  • 09.15.16

Twitter Is Dead! Long Live Twitter!

Twitter Is Flatlining

April 2016 marked Twitter’s 10 anniversary yet media publications, bloggers, and Twitter’s own users have been saying the platform is dead or dying for the last 7 years. So what is Twitter’s future? First let’s look at other social media platforms’ pasts.

Twitter is dying

Without looking it up, name a completely defunct social media platform. MySpace? Nope. In fact MySpace was sold this past February to Time Inc and expected to add $100 million to Time’s bottom line1. What about the social media grandfather, Friendster? It didn’t even go dark (read: “pause our services”) until last summer and Wikipedia does not have the platform listed as totally defunct…yet.

A few of the social platforms that are no longer operating include; Windows Live Spaces, Yahoo 360, Apple Ping or any of the others listed here. But the point here; not many major social media platforms have ceased operation.  But yet why are so many people fixated on Twitter’s demise?  Why do people keep saying this?


Twitter is dying

Well that doesn’t look good. Continue Reading


National Live Creative Day with Our Creative Directors

It’s national live creative day so who better to spotlight than IQ’s creative director and associate creative director? Art direction and copywriting are essential departments we are excited to celebrate today.

iq creative directors

For the official record, what are your names and your titles at IQ?

Carol Montoto, Creative Director

Christian Durrett, Associate Creative Director

Why did you get into Art Direction?

Carol: I’ve always been creative, ever since I could make a mark with a crayon. I was an art kid, so it made a lot of sense. I loved art, and I loved computers, so I decided to study Graphic Design. Somehow I accidentally ended up in Advertising. My first job after graduating from UF was designing banner ads at Planning Group International (now SapientNitro). It wasn’t until a few years in that I connected the dots and realized I had become an Advertising Art Director. Continue Reading


Is Facebook Advertising Worth the Investment?

Is Facebook Advertising Worth The Investment?

There are certain social media channels on which advertising makes a lot more sense than others. Recently, Facebook has come under fire as to whether or not brands should invest considerable marketing budgets buying ad space on the platform. With organic reach steadily declining and a new algorithm that seems to make it harder than ever for branded content to be consistently seen by users, it almost feels like Facebook is forcing brands to cough up the money to stay relevant (and visible).

facebook advertising

It can’t be denied that on Facebook, brands have to pay to play. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – brands can still have extremely effective advertising campaigns that yield big results. In short, Facebook advertising is definitely worth the investment, as long as you have a strategic approach in place. Sadly, but not surprisingly, many brands do not. Continue Reading

  • 09.08.16

Bad Content Marketing is Ruining Content Marketing

The Rise of Content Marketing

For years now, marketers have praised content marketing as the solution to grow their customer base. The outbound, “interruptive” approach doesn’t work anymore they say — somewhere in the early Internet era (based on Google searches), inbound marketing was coined as a new methodology. Content marketing as its own practice would come soon after.  Today, planning for content marketing (which includes social content) is a standard practice for most marketing teams.

Since content has always been a part of marketing and advertising since its earliest days, what exactly is the newly coined “content marketing”?

There are 54,700,000 Google search results for “content marketing”.

content marketing

According to the aptly named Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Well, it’s a pretty broad definition. You might even be able to replace a few words and have a good definition for your media or advertising strategy (a great way to open your next PowerPoint presentation, also great at parties). Continue Reading


Get The Most out of Twitter’s Latest Feature

Twitter’s main strength has always been its ability to aggregate real-time reactions to cultural events. That strength tends to pose trouble for many brands that struggle to figure out how to use Twitter appropriately in their marketing. Additional confusion is added since, for many, the platform tends to be more about customer service than providing value to someone during their shopping journey.

Combine the skepticism of marketers with the fact that Twitter users are rushing to other platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and it is not a surprise that Twitter was in a hurry to launch something new. Continue Reading


Rockstar of The Month: Shaun Hines, Art Director

Shaun Hines

At IQ, we recognize our incredible employees by rewarding someone the coveted IQ Rockstar of The Month. The office votes on someone who has been going above and beyond with their job, and that Rockstar gets flown to Vancouver and an engraved watch (JUST kidding, they do, however, get a ballin’ parking spot and construction paper red carpet to their desk).

Our new Rockstar is Shaun Hines, Art Director and carnivore.

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How to Know if Your Marketing is Successful

Many reoccurring themes emerge in meetings with new clients and prospects, but one of the most frequent is “how will we know if our marketing is successful?” In the age of data, where everything a consumer does is measured and tracked, it’s often easy to overlook what we’re supposed to be doing with the data we work so hard to collect.

Specifically when it comes to social media marketing, even though it has continued to grow as a part of our overall marketing mix during the past ten years, many marketers still do not have a firm grasp on what their social strategy is or what metrics should guide it.

In the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, one of the top five questions, gathered from their survey of over 5,000 marketers was, “How do I measure the return on my social media marketing?” Given how often it comes up in conversation, it isn’t surprising that 86% of those surveyed had this question in the front of their mind.

Many brands tend to focus on “vanity metrics” vs. numbers that will actually move their business forward. Vanity metrics are numbers that don’t paint a clear picture of what is actually happening, and in some cases may even be manipulated in order to make something appear more successful than it is. These are numbers like page views, impressions, and downloads. It’s not that these metrics don’t matter, it’s just that they tend not to matter as much.

The good news is that the answer to “is it working?” is a lot easier to find than you might think. In fact, the effectiveness of all your marketing channels should be measured by the single most important metric every business shares: revenue.

With so many different channels and marketing metrics available, it’s easy to forget that everything within your marketing arsenal has to support driving revenue for your business. Once you can isolate, test, and track which elements of your marketing help drive revenue, it’s just a matter of supporting those metrics with effort and budget. Here are a few areas to focus on as you look for correlations.

  • Website Traffic: is there a noticeable correlation between a rise in your website traffic and an increase in sales/revenue/new subscriptions/etc.? If so, does a relationship also exist between your site traffic and certain elements of your marketing? If more visitors mean more sales, then your marketing should pull its weight in that area.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Simply put, this is the cost of adding one new customer. A general way to obtain this number is to add up all of your marketing costs, which include research, software, tools, and salaries that come out of your budget and divide by new customers within the same period. I recommend calculating this cost for a few months in order to generate an average CAC. Now, if you have a goal of how many new customers you need for the year and your Acquisition Cost multiplied by your goal number exceeds your available marketing budget – it’s time to look at ways to improve what you’re doing on a channel-by-channel basis.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): What is the average duration that someone is a customer and how much revenue is that customer worth during that period. CLV is a key metric when determining the effectiveness of channels that acquire new customers vs. channels that retain customers. Additionally, it is important to compare your Customer Acquisition Cost to your Customer Lifetime Value to ensure they’re proportionate. You obviously do not want to spend more acquiring customers than you get in return from them.
  • Social Media Reach: This is the number of people who see your content (not to be confused with impressions, which is the number of times your content is displayed). Social Media Reach is similar to how newspapers and magazines measure circulation numbers or how TV networks use Nielsen ratings. This metric helps gauge the power of the channel for your brand, and it helps you assess what content is valuable vs. irrelevant to your audience.

Focusing on revenue, and which aspects of your marketing are proving to drive your business, might not be as exciting as discussing millions of impressions or social chatter. However, once you understand what measurements are critical, your marketing becomes stronger and more successful than ever.