Professional marketers know how important it is to get the approval of key stakeholders for the budget of the marketing campaign. If you fail to convince those people that your marketing ideas are great, you may get asked to ditch the ideas altogether. That is why you, as a marketer, need to come up with a marketing proposal that wins the approval of all those people who matter.
A marketing proposal is a form of presentation or document that is provided to key stakeholders to communicate the potential of a marketing project and its budget. The objective of such proposals, as mentioned, is to get the approval necessary to put the respective marketing strategies into action. If you are new to this process and don’t know much about preparing a marketing proposal, don’t worry. Here’s a step by step guide on how to develop a winning marketing proposal.
- Create a lasting impression with the cover page:
The cover page you design for your marketing proposal needs to be visually appealing. This is the first thing that the stakeholders see in your marketing proposal. So, feature their brand logo on the cover. The proposal should demonstrate that it is all about the organization and their vision. Since the proposal will be evaluated by the crucial decision-makers in your organization, make sure that the cover page is aesthetically rich.
- Describe the findings of your discovery session using the executive summary:
Prepare your executive summary in a way that the reader can quickly get an idea about the findings of your initial discovery session, along with the goals, budget and timing. You also need to describe any research you did and present a few key points. A short description of how you plan to deal with the most challenging problem or how you plan to take the organization to another level can work. If you are preparing the proposal for an agency client, you should highlight your willingness to work with the client and explain why your agency is the right choice for the project.
- Outline the goals and challenges to make your solutions sound more convincing:
During the initial meetings or the RFP reviewing session, your goal should be to understand the main business or the issues faced in marketing. If you don’t have clarity on these things, it will be difficult for you to connect your strategy, tactics and expected results to the return of investment. In this section, you need to outline the goals, plans, challenges, as well as timeline to put stress on the current scenario and make your solutions sound more convincing to the stakeholders. You should consider asking the following questions to the stakeholders before developing your marketing proposal.
- What are the revenue goals for the next quarter or year?
- What goals were set on the previous quarter or year, and whether they were able to achieve them?
- What resources do they have to achieve the goals in this quarter or year?
- What challenges kept them from achieving the previous goals?
- What other priorities need to be dealt with before working towards the current goals?
- Would they revise the goals or the timeline if the goals are not met this time?
Having clarity of these issues allows you to prepare your marketing proposal with much more confidence, and nothing in the proposal surprise the stakeholders.
- Discuss the strategies and tactics in detail:
In this section, you need to explain the strategies and tactics that you plan to use to reach the goals. This section will be considered either the “deliverable” or the “approach” section, depending on the type of proposal you are preparing. Here, you need to outline how you are planning to solve the marketing problems the organization is facing. A detailed overview will be okay, but you may need to provide the details of your strategies once your team better understand the business. You will have to explain each of the deliverables with the proposed benefits.
- Highlight the scope of work:
You need to line-item the different deliverables and upsells and list out feeds that are linked with them (if applicable). This should be presented in a one-page summary that the reader can easily reference.
- Explain how you will scale the success of your strategies and tactics:
Depending on the level of discussion you had with the decision-makers during the qualification phase, you may have a better understanding of the mindset of the decision-makers about the marketing priorities. You can add some benchmarking data, especially if this is a lead generation campaign or a website relaunch. Then you need to highlight the goals you have proposed for the relationship and the time allotted to reach those goals.
- If you are doing this for an agency, convince your client to choose you:
From this step onwards, you need to focus more on the external decision-makers than the internal ones. Once you have a better understanding of your client’s marketing need and have outlined a strategy, you can then start working on building trust. In the “About Us” section, mention what it is like to work in collaboration with your team. Share your agency values and your work culture in the proposal. Also, mention all the things you value in a client relationship. In other words, you need to give the prospects a clear idea about what experience awaits them when they choose you.
- Give proof of success in the case studies section:
You should also consider adding a few relevant case studies and client testimonials to highlight your successful work in the past. These case studies serve to put stress on the claim that you are competent enough to deliver the results using the deliverables suggested in the proposal.
- Outline the terms and conditions for the deal:
- Add the final contract:
You will also have to add the final contract in the marketing proposal for your clients to accelerate the process of beginning the deal. Once your client agrees to the contract, make sure you provide them with all the necessary details that they need to close the deal. There you go. Now you know how to develop a marketing proposal. While a majority of the steps towards the end are applicable for marketing agencies, the knowledge of all these steps can certainly make you more knowledgeable about all types of marketing proposals. So, go ahead and prepare one yourself. Good luck!
Author bio: Clara Smith is a senior marketer at a reputed e-commerce company in Michigan, US.