The purpose of a digital marketing proposal is to have a prospective client sign on our DM services and agree to pay for performing the services. That agreement to pay to create positive cash flows and timely profitability is so essential. (If we read that sentence again, we will realize that the is the CORE aspects of being in business. Revenue Minus Cost = Profit).
Never send a proposal to a cold prospect. We are draining our best efforts into an abyss, that throws our business into a vicious circle. This is the vicious cycle of proposal making, not converted, does not know why it got rejected, again proposal making, and so on.
It needs digital marketing competencies to create a winning proposal. It should be our DM quest to have a virtuous cycle of proposal making.
When we are a digital marketing (DM) agency, we need constantly to create proposals after the proposal. If the number of proposals we do in a month comes down, it will hurt our revenue a few months down the line.
Not making enough proposals in a month or a quarter is a sure sign that the ride in the future is downhill. Proposal momentum is critical not only for our agency's growth but also for our survival.
Most often the proposals making need specific expertise. This expertise comprises of
It is almost like architect-ing a digital marketing solution to the specific needs of the client. That is why I call them 'Solution Architect'. Being a good solution architect is a quest in itself.
For every solution architect in an agency, s/he has the attitude to go for the kill with every proposal created. S/he wants every proposal to turn in to business. By the way, a solution architect also needs to be a business development and sales professional. S/he know how to turn those conversations (with prospective clients) into conversions (the paying client).
In fact, if we use the metric, no. of proposals submitted in a month, as a KPI (and that KPI to be associated with the solution architect's KRA), it is a good way to measure /harvest the time, intellect and effort goes into creating a proposal. By the way, creating a proposal is a tiring and intellectually exhaustive effort. (Personal check: If you ever felt so, you are either a solution architect yourself or you are thinking like one.)
Let's look at what are the critical sections that go into a digital marketing Proposal
The first section is the Overview and Goals. In this section, establish how our services can assist their success. Describe how that success manifest short term gains, and long term results. Mention the serious business challenges the client is facing that is impeding that success. Then, articulate how our services can reduce or remove those challenges.
In this section, we should also cater to the individual challenges of the person, to whom we are submitting the proposal too. I will recommend two or three lines here to appeal the 'What Is In It For Me?' to that decision-maker and the evaluators of the proposal.
Enumerating the services that we offer
Enumerate the services that we propose and what they will accomplish. These offered services should reiterate how this proposal is important and critical for the client's business.
Every proposed service that we offer, should have a comprehensive plan that has a list of action items. Give a detailed description of each of these action items. These details should help the decision-maker to understand and to decide how important each of these steps for the deliverables of the proposal.
The proposal will have mission-critical tasks, ownership of these tasks, and the due dates to complete these tasks. Explain how necessary documentation and reviews will help all the stakeholders (that is clients' team and our team) on the progress of the proposed services.
Milestones of the Digital Marketing Proposal
The proposal would have milestones aligned with the expected progress of the proposed services. For every milestone, a review meeting is necessary to take review, feedback, and sign off from the client to move to the next milestone.
Always have a section that talks about WHY we are the most suitable partner for the client's business. Share recommendations, accolades, and awards that we have from other clients and industry bodies.
A proposal should always have two stages. Stage one is to agree to the proposal. Stage two is getting commercial acceptance.
Never share our costs in our proposal, to start with. Every proposal needs agreement before we share the financial investments needed for the proposed services.
The agreement is on the scope of services, expected outcomes, the action items, and the timelines needed. the agreement is also on the general terms and conditions.
If we do not have the agreement on these, indicating a price for the proposed services is 'selling our self too early' or 'selling our self too short'. It is better to avoid such a proposal than winning that proposal.
We are 'selling our self too early' because the client has not established the need for our services. It will be 'too early' if they have not budgeted for the required investment.
We are 'selling our self too short' because we have not established what is the quality and quantity of services the client wants. We have an avaodable situation not to quote a price that is not commensurate with the value ou delivery or is not profitable to us.
Reach that agreement. Never give our costs before that agreement. This is another reason why most of the proposals get rejected. And this is one way to get the virtuous cycle of proposal making.
Only when the proposal is agreed upon, one-page costs and payment terms can be provided for commercial acceptance. This helps us have the clarity for our business and also have the necessary negotiating leeway to convert the proposal.
Let's get each of our digital marketing proposals convert into the business.
There you have it: Digital Marketing Proposals and Its Criticality.
Now we are keen to know how you create a Digital Marketing proposal.
Did you learn a new insight in creating a proposal?
Or may be you got a new insights/thoughts about this topic.
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
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