What is the RFC – Request for Consideration (vs. RFP)?

The “RFC” or “Request for Consideration” is new method of media planning that was introduced by NextMark in February 2012. The RFC is an alternative/complement to the “RFP” or “Request for Proposal” process that has been traditionally used in the media buying/selling process.

The RFP and RFC are both methods for match-making among buyers and sellers. With the RFP, the buyer requests proposals from sellers.  The RFC takes the opposite approach. With the RFC, sellers request consideration from the buyer. In other words, the seller says “Here’s why I think this program deserves to be in your media plan. Will you please consider it?”

The motivation for the RFC is the universal dissatisfaction with the RFP. It seems nobody in digital media likes the RFP.

This inspiration for the RFC comes from interviews with buyers and sellers and an understanding of the dynamics of today’s digital media marketplace.  The RFP works great in an environment where the options are limited, well-known and relatively static – like TV was in 1962. Fast forward 50 years to today’s digital media and you find the opposite: tens of thousands of options that change every day. It’s virtually impossible for a digital media buyer to keep up with the market and to make efficient and optimal decisions. The RFC addresses this problem by shifting the burden of proof from the buyer to the seller and gives the seller more responsibility in the match-making process.

RFC processThe RFC employs a patent-pending method and protocol between buyers and sellers. The RFC match-making algorithm utilizes NextMark’s proprietary index of the top digital media programs. As you see in the the attached flowchart, the process starts and ends with the media planner. The media planner makes all decisions regarding the media plan. However, with the RFC the seller has the ability to discover the campaign and make a proposal without requiring the media planner to specifically request it. This opens up the process to both innovation and efficiency. In implementing the RFC, it’s important to include spam controls and identity protection to protect the time of the media planner. Otherwise, more time will be wasted than saved.

The RFC is currently implemented in two commercially available products by NextMark: (1) Media Magnet for media planners and (2) Compass for ad salespeople. Both products access the RFC platform via a web API. The RFC engine and API is available to third party software developers via licensing agreement.