RFP event in Boston draws a crowd

Riding the momentum from their successful event in NYC, the Online Marketing Network brought their Inner Circle Series to Boston. More than 125 media buyers and sellers convened at the Marriott Copley last night to “Learn How to Earn RFP’s and Win Media Business.”

The agenda was similar to the one in NYC, but the discussion was fresh because of the new set of experts.

Panel 1 – Getting on the RFP List

The first panel’s topic was “Getting on the RFP List.” It was moderated by Susan Beard, National Account Manager at The Washington Post Digital. The panelists were:

Here are some of my notes from the session:

  • Melissa – “Most of my team would say they don’t have enough time at their desk to get their work done.”
  • Paula – “I’m at my desk until 9:30 a.m. then gone to 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. when I catch up and get more work done.”
  • Melissa – “I like it when a vendor sends me an Outlook invite after we’ve set up a meeting because it gets it right into my calendar and I won’t accidentally double-book it.”
  • Melissa – “Don’t waste time in a meeting going through roles and clients. Get that up front because it’s a waste of time away from your offer”
  • Paula – “We try to keep our vendor meetings to 30 minutes. Plan for 20.”
  • Paula – “Visuals are good. Powerpoint is good as long as it is well put-together.”
  • Paula – “I have no hope of responding to every email because otherwise I’d be working 50 hours per day.”
  • Melissa – “Expect a 30 minute meeting.  However, you can get a full hour if you bring us lunch.”
  • Melissa – “We try to meet with everyone.  However, expect at least a six week lead time when setting up a meeting because we are so backed up.”

After the panel, I asked Melissa about her perspective on meeting with vendors. She told me that she follows the advice that Sarah Fay gave her when she was working for her at Carat. Sarah advised that you never know where people will end up and you should always treat them with respect.  Plus, you have to meet new people to get new ideas. That’s great advice.  Should we say that Melissa follow the “Fay Doctrine” in dealing with vendors?

I can certainly attest to Melissa’s willingness to meet. She met with me back when our Media Magnet and the Digital Media Planning Systems were just a concept and we wanted to validate our assumptions. She and her team met with us and provided some great feedback that helped us to design better products.  And, because we bought lunch, we got the full hour!

Panel 2 – Getting on the Media Plan

The second panel, moderated by Anthony DeMaio, Director East Coast Advertising at The Washington Post Digital, was on the subject of “Getting on the Media Plan.” The Panelists were:

Some of my notes from this session:

  • Victor – “The difference maker in the RFP is the people that come in, whether or not I trust them, whether they have good ideas, and they are different. What wins is the people and the ideas.”
  • Andrew – “The number of RFPs depends on many factors.  Typically 5-10 per campaign.”
  • Victor – “I don’t want my agency wasting time summarizing proposals. Instead, I ask them to rip the most important page out the proposal and I read that.”
  • Victor – “I have some advice to vendors: no one is the best. No one is world class. No one is one of a kind. No ones is state of the art. So, don’t tell me that because it is a turn off.”
  • Andrew – “What I like about the RFC is it organizes information and has the potential for innovative and brilliant ideas.”
  • Kaileen – “We like to host a media day where we bring in all the vendors and give them each some time.”
  • Andrew – “It sticks with me when the vendor brings in useful market research.”
  • Kaileen – “Mobile remarketing is an example of something that is innovative.”
  • Victor – “Everything has to be multi-channel. No channel is a silo anymore.”
  • Kaileen – “If you follow up, you need to add value every time you do. For example, updated information or a better price.”
  • Victor – “Effectiveness is what wins. I’m okay with trying something new and failing.”


Comments are closed.