Selecting strategic partners cannot be done with an RFP
by TrinityP3 on Mar 27, 2013
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You know, not all suppliers or agencies are created equally.
There are some that really just provide a service. They’re simply suppliers. Or vendors.
Then there are others who are important partners in developing and driving your strategic requirements. They are strategic partners. They are partners in the process of co-creation.
Now if you are simply selecting suppliers you need to check out their capabilities, experience and expertise as well as negotiating price.
And RFPs, or RFTs, or RFIs, or RFXs or what ever you want to call them are not a bad way of structuring this process.
But it is missing an essential ingredient for selecting a partner.
Partnerships require chemistry, alignment of cultures and values that leads to mutual trust and understanding.
So how do you measure chemistry?
At TrinityP3 we have been using a process of chemistry meetings and strategy workshops to allow both parties, agencies and marketers, to really test-drive each other within a robust selection process.
It’s a filtering process.
Initially we use a modified RFI to understand the longer list of potential partners.
Then we organise meetings where the marketer and the agencies test the chemistry through a series of challenging conversations to really understand the cultural fit of the parties.
Then the shortlisted agencies spend a day each with the market team actually working on a live strategic brief to experience the potential working relationship.
And finally the negotiation with the final agencies to close the value equation.
While initially many clients were concerned about the time commitment of the process, everyone that has used the process has nothing but positive feedback. That is marketers and agencies alike – even the unsuccessful agencies.
By moving the focus from just capability, expertise and experience to include culture, values and chemistry, we have helped marketers make more informed decisions when choosing the right strategic partner.
It lets them get the level of understanding you could never get from an RFP alone.
TrinityP3 – Strategic Marketing Management Consultants
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