COASTAL MISSISSIPPI REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS MARKETING/ADVERTISING AGENCY

Proposals due by 12:00 p.m. CDT By 12:00 PM CDT July 17 

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI

Attn: Kendra Simpson, Marketing Director

2350 Beach Boulevard, Suite A

Biloxi, Mississippi 39531

kendra@coastalmississippi.com.

INTRODUCTION

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, d/b/a COASTAL

MISSISSIPPI (“Bureau” or “COASTAL MISSISSIPPI”), is charged with attracting and serving

visitors by communicating and facilitating the COASTAL MISSISSIPPI experience.

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI’s multi-faceted sales and marketing approach includes local,

statewide, regional, domestic, and international campaigns. The Bureau is searching for

a creative agency offering a strategic and creative approach based on sound research to

create a campaign(s) that will increase awareness of COASTAL MISSISSIPPI as a travel

and tourism destination and attract overnight visitors.

ABOUT COASTAL MISSISSIPPI

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI is a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi governed by 15

Commissioners appointed by the Boards of Supervisors of Harrison, Jackson, and

Hancock Counties. Its fiscal year spans October 1 through September 30.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted hospitality businesses, including hotels,

restaurants, and small businesses. However, with the strategic efforts of our potential

agency partners, we believe we can overcome these challenges and restore the vibrancy

of our tourism industry. Additionally, many tourist attractions experienced sharp declines in

revenue and visitation.

OBJECTIVE

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), COASTAL MISSISSIPPI is seeking proposals

from qualified agencies with a strong understanding of the tourism industry. These

agencies should be able to demonstrate their experience and capability to collaborate

effectively with COASTAL MISSISSIPPI and its affiliated agencies (including creative

services, paid social, public relations, photography/videography, and website vendors) to

ensure that marketing and ad hoc campaign efforts are both effective and relevant in

maintaining and increasing visitation to the destination. The desired

MARKETING/ADVERTISING AGENCY SERVICES include media strategy, media

planning, media negotiations, and media buying.

Prospective respondents are required to submit proposals for COASTAL MISSISSIPPI’s

MARKETING/ADVERTISING AGENCY SERVICES, adhering to the conditions outlined in

this RFP. While we intend to contract with the agency that best aligns with the

qualifications and scope of work, COASTAL MISSISSIPPI reserves the right to terminate

negotiations if an agreement cannot be reached on all matters, including scope of

work and cost.

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI intends to contract with a qualified agency to support its continued

recovery efforts stemming from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. Future

projects undertaken by the selected agency that are enumerated or implied to fall under

the scope of this RFP may be paid in whole, in part, or not at all by federal and state

grants. The grants may be currently awarded to COASTAL MISSISSIPPI or

may be awarded in the future. These funds may be used so long as it is deemed

appropriate under the scope of the grant and meet the legal requirements of such.

COASTAL MISSISSIPPI reserves the right to make these determinations on an as-needed

basis, and any payments are not to be construed as a grant award unless explicitly

stated to be such. COASTAL MISSISSIPPI makes no warranties, express or implied herein,

regarding grant awards in this RFP.

Further, in compliance with federal and state statutes, COASTAL MISSISSIPPI encourages

small, minority, and women-owned businesses to respond to this RFP. As such, this RFP

will be placed on MS PTAP, the bureau’s website, Central Bidding’s website found

hereinbelow, placed in a newspaper of general circulation at the time of publication, and

intentional outreach will be conducted in accordance with 2 CFR § 200.321 to ensure

equal opportunity for all to respond.

GOAL

Coastal Mississippi requires an agency to represent our destination, encompassing three

counties, to deliver media planning, including buying and designing strategic marketing

campaigns, negotiating advertising rates, and placing media buys with vendors while

maintaining an accurate budget and reporting campaign performance. The agency will

enhance our image through innovative media campaigns adhering to our current brand

standards as a foundation. Collaboration with other vendors will be pivotal to ensure

seamless integration of marketing efforts and amplify our reach. Moreover, the agency

will craft a dynamic media strategy that adapts to evolving tourism trends and seasonal

fluctuations, ensuring relevance and resonance year-round. Ultimately, the goal is to

foster sustained growth and engagement within our target audience while maintaining

cohesive and adaptable marketing campaigns.

TARGET AUDIENCE DETAILS

As our marketing efforts grow in scale, so do our efforts to connect with travelers who

represent significant and enduring growth opportunities for COASTAL MISSISSIPPI. We

will continue to monitor universal changes in traveler sentiment and behaviors; however,

the primary focus will be on the Experiential Travelers Audience.

While there remains room for growth within the Experiential Traveler audience, we see

an opportunity to expand the definition and diversity of the audience by better

understanding the multicultural makeup and focusing on how to reach and connect with

all who wish to visit.

CORE EXPERIENTIAL TRAVELER

Those traveling with friends, partners, or solo. Frequent travelers seeking new travel

experiences off the beaten path.

FAMILY EXPERIENTIAL TRAVELER

Traveling with family, young and old. Seasonal travelers who are seeking out travel

experiences that build stronger bonds.

SCOPE OF WORK

The selected agency will work closely with Coastal Mississippi’s marketing team to

collaborate on a strategy to develop, execute, and track the results of the annual

marketing and paid media plan that supports the strategic plan set forth by Coastal

Mississippi. This collaboration includes strategic direction, marketing strategy, media,

media negotiations, and media placement.

  • Create an advertising strategy utilizing creative campaigns that support
  • organizational strategies and goals
  • Integrate marketing communications, including traditional advertising, digital
  • advertising, branded content, sponsorships, and strategic partnerships
  • Guide marketing activities designed to showcase Coastal Mississippi’s experiential
  • offerings equitably
  • Develop and prepare media plans for each target market
  • Utilize research and marketing insights to develop strategic recommendations for
  • budget allocation
  • Leverage paid media partnerships and placements as a means to effectively
  • distribute and amplify owned and earned content
  • Provide insights on emerging trends and new media to evolve and reach the target
  • audiences continually
  • Execute media plans with strategic and cost-effective planning, buying, and audits,
  • including placement, optimization, cancellations, auditing, payments to vendors,
  • and billing
  • Produce monthly reporting on campaign and brand continuity, end-of-campaign
  • reports, including images/tear sheets of all assets, a dashboard of goal
  • performance, and a summary of key takeaways
  • Maintain regular communication on all activities and provide an annual summary
  • of campaign performance
  • Provide clear budget plans

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