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The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.

Erin Hoover Garcia
Today's fortune submitted by:
Erin Hoover Garcia

Houston, TX, USA

Erin Hoover Garcia is an oil & gas expert with a focus on marketing strategies and financial growth. With degrees in marketing and finance, she's adept at creating business pipelines. Experienced across all oil & gas sectors and various organizational structures, she brings a unique perspective to drive results in diverse companies.

The RPF Isn't Dead, But It Should Be.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about how the exact wrong request always gets the exact wrong answer.

Nearly every week, we receive an RFP (request for proposal) that has also been sent to as many as ten other agencies. The client will write up a creative brief for what they want to achieve, as well as details for exactly how they want it executed. It is then our job to try and jam ourselves into the little black box they've created for their future agency. Sorry. Unlike other agencies, we always (well, almost always) choose NOT to participate in this type of exercise because the result, even when we win, is often not good for us and is almost always not good for the client.

Please allow me to explain:

Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, the client has but ONE goal. No matter what they tell you, they need leads, sales, and revenue. Oh sure, they may say they need to refresh their branding, build a newfangled new website, or create a social media strategy, but they aren't being completely honest about their true objectives. The deep down driving need to generate revenue is almost NEVER mentioned in an RFP. Rather, it will be some far-off tactic, which has been identified as the top "project du jour," and this is what agencies are asked to bid upon.

What happens then is a half dozen or more agencies start spinning on their treadmills like a congregation of Red Bull-infused church mice to produce a proposal exactly based on what might be the exact wrong request. Yes, the WRONG request. When the smell of burnt rubber and cloud of dust clears, a winner is ultimately selected. The winner, of course, is chosen based on how closely their proposal matches, line for line, the tactics listed in the RFP, which is often second to how cheap their price was. For the other agencies who lost the bid, they realize how much time they've just wasted and cower off in the corner somewhere to lick their wounds.

At the end of the project, with or without painful delays, the client will finally have their shiny newfangled website or a glistening new brand...but the problem persists. The sales team will ask, "Where are the leads?" The CEO will ask, "Where are the sales?" and the Board of Directors will ask, "Where's the revenue?" Someone will say, "The new website didn't work. Fire that lousy agency and let's do an RFP for a redesign." And the cycle continues.

When we receive an RFP full to the neck with requests for nothing but tactics, we see their folly from a mile away and run in the other direction. Sometimes, however, we are able to venture an opinion about what they've requested and can have an honest conversation about what may add up to a better solution for their true objectives. When we walk against the grain and start asking questions to get to the truth, the client gets uncomfortable and even a little nervous, but it's for their own good.

I think today's fortune is talking about agencies like ours who push, pull, and force their way out of the box and do what's best. It may be scary to stick to your guns, but as today's fortune says, "The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground."

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Erin Hoover Garcia

Unpackaged in: 

Houston, TX, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"(for qualified buyers)."

What marketing says:

"100% Guaranteed Approval."

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