RIP to the RFP

Picture this: you’re a creative agency, eager to get started on a new project. But, before you can even begin to brainstorm, you’re bogged down by the dreaded RFP process. Yes, that’s right – the infamous Request for Proposal… a time-consuming, creativity-limiting, and often biased practice that’s been around for ages.

First, I want to talk about the sheer amount of time and effort that goes into the RFP process – clients have to craft a comprehensive document that outlines every last detail of the project, while agencies have to spend weeks or even months reading, analyzing, and developing proposals. It’s no wonder that the start of the project is often delayed! Who has the time for all of that?

It’s not just the time commitment that makes the RFP process a drag. It also severely limits creativity and innovation. Agencies are forced to propose ideas that fit within the client’s predetermined scope, which can truly stifle innovative solutions. Plus, because they’re competing against one another, they may be hesitant to share their most creative ideas for fear of theft.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the lack of transparency and communication that can arise from the RFP process. Sometimes clients use it as a way to gather ideas and information without any intention of actually hiring an agency. Yes, this actually happens.

Finally, there’s the issue of bias. Larger, more established agencies have the time and resources to invest in responding to RFPs, they have teams solely dedicated to it actually. Meanwhile, smaller agencies may be left out in the cold for projects that could be a gamechanger for their business. This can result in a lack of diversity among the agencies considered for a project, which isn’t fair or beneficial for anyone.

In my opinion, it’s time to rethink the RFP process. There are plenty of alternative approaches that allow for more collaboration, communication, and creativity. By shaking things up, clients and agencies can achieve better results and more successful projects. So let’s ditch the RFP and try something new – your creativity (and sanity) will thank you for it!