Say RIP to the Media RFP

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Cassette tapes. Catalogues. Floppy disks. Fax machines. The list of things rendered obsolete by the digital age grows longer every year. But here’s one practice it can’t seem to kill off fast enough – the media RFP. GE’s New York-based chief marketing officer Linda Boff shared her thoughts with Ad Age … 

In a slower, less-connected era, a laundry list of standard questions and a formal, arms-length RFP operation may have been the most effective and fair way for a brand to solicit media business. But in an age of constant iteration it just feels lazy and wildly inefficient.

In my 20-plus years of marketing, I have yet to see a truly creative idea come from a standard RFP.

Listen, I get it. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s the devil we know. But I absolutely believe that, collectively, it’s holding us back from producing our best ideas.

RFPs favour off-the-shelf, fill-in-the-blank, template-based recommendations. They don’t inspire new thinking or give fledgling ideas room to grow.

So let’s finally pull the plug on the RFP – may it rest in peace.

Let’s agree to bury an old-fashioned idea and tell the media world that we’ll only entertain bespoke ideas. Let’s put out a sign that says we’re only looking for creative partners, not sales proposals.

About two years ago, our marketing team at GE rallied behind a no-RFP stance. We elected to put the time in to sit with media partners and platforms – to get to know them, and for them to get to know our brand.

Since then, as a team, we’ve introduced what I consider to be some of our best work yet.

Read the full story at here.

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