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When B2B goes off the rails

By Randy Mitchell

There are some moments when the world of B2B does not make sense. Thankfully, these meltdowns are few and far between. I had one of them last week and I’m still reeling.


My moment of madness happened because I read the following statistics from Hubspot:

73 percent of B2B firms have increased their marketing spending in 2022

63 percent of B2B firms do not follow a formal marketing RFP process


The first stat made perfect sense. The second one is stupefying.


Let’s say you work at a B2B firm that’s planning a major marketing initiative like a social media program launch, website redesign, video production or full-on rebranding. What’s the first logical step you should take? Find the right agency partner. How do you determine the right fit for your objectives? Send out a B2B marketing RFP to your shortlist of agencies.


What possible reasons could prevent you from protecting your project outcome and your budget with an RFP? I was so flummoxed by this thinking that I asked a friend who is a B2B financial services marketer about it. Here is her response.


Q. Do you send out a B2B marketing RPF for your major projects?

A. “Not anymore. I used to, but our RFPs are train wrecks. They confuse the agencies and the responses we receive make our CMO rage. I’m done with that nonsense.”


Her answer was enlightening. And, as it turns out, there is a solution for this chaos which I want to share with you.


I’ll start by admitting that the marketing RFP process, particularly on the B2B side, can be an inexact science. It’s a complex, time-consuming, high-profile assignment that is initiated out of necessity. In many cases, it’s also an uncertain path with loosely defined parameters. In short, everything goes off the rails pretty quickly.


Here’s a radical notion: Eliminate the guesswork from your B2B marketing RFP and restore some much-needed order to this vital process.


Boomm has developed a B2B Marketing RFP Template that will help you from initiation to final selection. Here’s how it works.


It’s all about the process.


The best business decisions usually start with a carefully considered set of criteria established by the key stakeholders. The same holds true for an effective B2B marketing RFP. The right outcome starts with a smart evaluation list from your team.


Your RFP evaluation list should provide a clear set of standards for the prospective agency partner, so your selection team can choose based on substance rather than style. To help you make an effective list, you’ll find a section on the evaluation process in the B2B Marketing RFP Template.


This customizable document is the right place to start your next B2B marketing RFP because it gives you a proven structure to help streamline and optimize the entire process.


Among the agency selection criteria the template considers are:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Account management
  • Creative excellence
  • Performance goals
  • Industry expertise
  • Social media
  • Public relations


The important takeaway here is that you don’t have to put up with conflicts or confusion. Instead, you can establish a clearly defined order before the B2B marketing RFP process ever begins. When that occurs, you will know what type of agency partner you want and can narrow down your short list before you even send out the RFP. In addition, the selection criteria list gives you a report card to make the most objective choice after the process is complete.


In short, this approach simply makes sense. And now all is right in my B2B world again.