It’s not easy nowadays to pick the right marketing platform for your business. Here’s how to make the decision easier.

The growth of the marketing technology landscape has made it harder for marketers to pick the best tool for their company. The larger the number of available options, the harder the choice.

According to MarTech Today, there are more than 5000 marketing technology platforms, up from 150 back in 2011. The explosive growth has brought new opportunities for marketers from different industries and with a variety of objectives.

However, it’s still a challenge to find the best provider that will provide the right solution for your company and your goals.

Selligent Marketing Cloud has created the guide ‘How to find the perfect marketing platform’ to help companies make the most of their new marketing technologies by running a more successful RFP process.

The Request For Proposals (RFP) process is how companies decide on the right product by gathering and analyzing data and facts. It can be a time-consuming effort, but if it’s carried out correctly, it can be a lifesaver for your brand goals.

Content produced in collaboration with Selligent Marketing Cloud.

Creating an effective RFP

RFPs have become very common in companies making these kinds of choices. In fact, RFPs have become so common that they tend to end up in a template form that lacks all of the necessary context.

For example, a company can use an existing RFP for a new request by simply making slight adjustments from its previous version. This approach saves time, but you miss the opportunity to ask the right questions that will drive to the most interesting answers from platform providers.

The more interesting the questions, the higher the chances to discover if a particular product is the right fit for your company.

Why you need to ask the right questions

The best way to create a more effective RFP is to shift the focus from the features and the predictable template to a well-structured document that offers important details about your company’s goals and your challenges.

By starting with the challenges and the goals in your RFP, you are able to show that you know your own strengths and weakness and most importantly, that you know exactly what you’re looking for from a product.

This approach can save time the vendors time and also save you time during the decision- making-process by focusing the responses on the most important issues.

According to Selligent Marketing Cloud’s guide, the best RFP starts with:

  • Realistic goals
  • Long-term perspective
  • Clear timeline

It will be easier for your company to identify the right tool by stating all the marketing goals that are relevant to your business.

For example, right after listing your objectives, your timeline, your channels, your markets you can ask a good question to make your decision easier:

“How can your product deliver measurable results towards our set goals?”

This question shows:

  1. That you are data-driven and you’re already working towards meeting your key objectives
  2. That you know exactly what you’re looking for in a product and you’re asking the right questions.

This is a crucial step that can help you explore whether vendors are able to offer a customized solution for your needs, making the most of personalization.

Focusing on personalization

A personalized RFP can be more time-consuming but it can have multiple benefits for your company.

  1. It establishes your company’s reputation by proving that you’re serious enough about your marketing technology to invest time in it.
  2. It helps you understand what you’re looking for by involving the stakeholders that will answer the key questions.
  3. It makes it easier to focus on the right data and questions that will bring you the best answers.
  4. It also makes it easier for providers to try harder to convince you to build a meaningful relationship and a long-term collaboration.

A clearly structured RFP consists of the information that is more relevant to the particular vendor and the tool’s features, leaving aside the complicated stats and the unnecessary details that won’t add anything to the particular context.

Once you start mastering the art of a well-structured RFP you will also realize that you can save time while becoming more efficient simply by focusing on the content that matters to each customized RFP.

What’s your RFP telling about you?

Your RFP can tell a lot about your work and your company. A serious and well-structured approach can prove that you have a clear focus on your objectives.

On the contrary, a template that seems complicated, asks for too many details and unnecessary data can show a lazy approach that won’t make a good impression.

As with every business communication, think of your RFP as the document that provides an overview of your business, your goals and a guide to providers on how they can help you as much as possible.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. The more thoughtful and focused you are, the easier it will be for providers to provide the best answers to your challenges.  

If you want to learn more about the best practices of a well-structured RFP, don’t miss Selligent’s guide ‘How to find the perfect content marketing platform.’ 

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