City of Sugar Land’s Office of Economic Development Issues Marketing RFP

The City of Sugar Land’s Office of Economic Development (Tourism and Primary Business Industries) seek a qualified firm to provide marketing services including Public Relations, Advertising, Digital Marketing, Experiential Marketing, & Media Planning Services. The City of Sugar Land’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is seeking a qualified firm to manage its annual marketing program directed at primary businesses which includes business attraction, retention and expansion and tourism promotions. This request for qualifications (RFQ) is designed to help OED select a marketing firm who can adequately demonstrate it has the resources, experience, and qualifications to provide professional marketing services. Our goal is to find a marketing partner whom we can build a business relationship and grow alongside our mutual progress. Although we ask for experience we are also open to ambitious firms that have evidence of a commitment to excellent work.

Basic services required either directly from the selected firm or subcontractors to the firm include:

·         Public relations

·         Marketing strategy

·         Market research

·         Creative

·         Digital marketing/media including strategy, production and analytics

·         Media planning and buying

·         Potential experiential marketing


Located just 20 minutes southwest of downtown Houston, Sugar Land is one of the finest cities in Texas to do business, live, work, and visit. With a rich history dating back to the early 1800s, Sugar Land continues to be a great location for business, attracting Minute Maid, Texas Instruments, Schlumberger, Fluor Corporation, Yang Ming, Nalco Champion an Ecolab company, and dozens of other global companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms. From a tourism perspective, Sugar Land capitalizes on its close proximity to the Houston area by attracting visitors to venues such as the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land, Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land and Constellation Field. Additionally, not only is Sugar Land one of the most diverse cities in the nation, it also boasts a variety of different business industries, ranging from light industrial to Class A office tenants.

Since its creation in 1999 within the City of Sugar Land, the Office of Economic Development (OED) has worked with numerous corporations and developers to generate thousands of jobs and over $1 billion in capital investments. The Primary Business Industries (PBI) program is charged with working with numerous site selection consultants, developers, brokers and businesses to relocate and expand businesses in Sugar Land. OED is the first point of contact for information regarding the City’s data, economic development projects and activities. 

In 2011, as major destination venues were forecasted to come into the Sugar Land market, the Tourism program – Visit Sugar Land Convention and Visitor Services (VSL) – was activated and housed within the OED. Tasked with the mission to increase the number of visitors and their length of stay in support of retail, service, and hotel businesses to ensure the success of Sugar Land’s existing and planned destination venues, VSL acts as an in-house marketing team that targets leisure and business travelers to the Sugar Land market. 

As external facing programs tasked with responsibility to connect, communicate and position Sugar Land as an economic powerhouse, VSL and PBI are seeking support from a marketing firm to fulfill this responsibility.

Scope of Work:

OED is seeking responses from marketing firms who can adequately demonstrate they have the resources, experience, and qualifications to provide the OED with quality marketing professional services. Only firms submitting for this RFQ and meeting qualifications based on the review from the selection committee will be considered for the project. This RFQ is designed to aid in selecting the most qualified marketing firm to enter into a partnership to deliver ongoing marketing services including:

                1. Public Relations / Earned Media

                                a. Create press releases for unique and quality Sugar Land business and travel stories utilizing key messages and overall brand standards

                                b. Distribute and follow up on newsworthy content to generate placement

                                c. Brand reputation management

                2. Marketing Strategy

                                a. Development of annual marketing plan that includes at minimum goals with metrics, proposed advertising placements, and budget

                3. Market Research

                                a. Identify the current trends and opportunities and how to best position OED

                                b. Conduct annual high-level competitive analysis that reviews competitor strategies

                4. Creative

                                a. Develop creative materials and concepts for PBI and VSL programs as outlined in the marketing strategy and/or as needed.

                                b. Provide graphic design and content development for digital, print, and collateral material, as requested.

                Of note, the City of Sugar Land and OED intends to own and have the rights to use any creative work for the future as it deems necessary.

                5. Digital Marketing/Media

                                a. Develop and implement a thorough search engine marketing plan that may include pay per click, website conversion, and landing page optimization to increase the number and quality of inquiries generated by search engines

                                b. Perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve the ranking of OED and VSL’s sites in search results (organically); acquire more qualified inbound (one-way) links

                6. Media Planning and Buying

                                a. As part of the marketing strategy, recommend, secure space, create ad, and report metrics for media purchase and placement for both digital (web, social, etc.) with a focus more on digital than print

                7. Experiential Marketing (Potential)

                                a. Open to recommendations on how to generate positive momentum for brand  recognition

Due Date:

June 27


City of Sugar Land City 

Secretary Office, 1st Floor 

2700 Town Center Boulevard 

North Sugar Land, Texas 77479

Shift Communications and Kite Hill PR have relevant experience.

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