Custer County, Montana Issues Marketing RFP

Custer County, Montana Issues Marketing RFP

Montana’s Custer County is seeking the professional services of a marketing/advertising creative service agency to provide: advertising and collateral; web services; social media planning and execution; and publication development. The county’s comprehensive marketing program is designed to promote the tourism region as a travel destination to state, regional, national and international markets.

Custer County’s total annual budget is approximately $400,000. The mission of Montana’s Custer County is to increase visitors to Southeast Montana by increasing awareness of our region, showcasing our cultural heritage, developing memorable experiences and educating our residents about the economic benefits of tourism.

Scope of Work

Advertising Agency. Offeror will be expected to assist Custer County in developing a strategic consumer marketing plan annually that includes: identification of target markets; specific strategies that include measurable objectives for each target market; and tactics to achieve these objectives. Awareness and integration of components from the statewide Montana Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan is expected. In addition, the plan shall address strategies, objectives, tactics, and measurement for each major campaign element described below and will be reviewed and updated annually.

  1. At the direction of Custer County and in conjunction with Custer County’s annual consumer marketing plan, offeror will analyze and recommend specific marketing mediums and assist Custer County in developing and producing print, broadcast and electronic advertising materials. Upon Custer County approval of all materials, offeror will place these marketing materials in media approved by Custer County. Custer County reserves the right to place certain media on its own behalf and enter into partnership marketing opportunities with outside companies which may bypass the contracted agency buying the media in certain circumstances. Offeror should be knowledgeable and have experience in the following forms of advertising development:
    • Full color magazine advertising production.
    • Direct Mail production.
    • Promotional Brochure Production.
    • Newspaper advertising production.
    • Radio advertising production.
    • Web banner design, as well as other forms of online advertising including video ads, expanding ads, and interactive ads.
    • E-marketing production.
    • Outdoor Advertising.
  2. Offeror must have knowledge in developing a brand. Custer Countr is in the process of evaluating its brand and its name. The agency of record may be charged with rebranding the region, updating the existing brand, or staying the course with the current branding elements. Please explain your experience in the following branding aspects (and include samples):
    • An outline of brand development process.
    • Distinctive Brand Pillars upon which the brand is built.
    • The markets targeted by the brand.
    • Development of logos and taglines.
    • A style guide created by the agency for the brand.

3. Offeror should seek out and (with assistance from Custer County) develop cooperative/partnership opportunities with other regional tourism-related organizations.

Website Developer. Offeror will be expected to assist Custer County in maintaining its web presence at its current address of This includes having the ability to make changes or additions to the current website, or redesigning the website entirely. Developer must have the ability to integrate cutting edge technologies into the Custer County website in order to create a product which is up to date. A new website which is already under development will be launched in April.

  1. Offeror will be expected to assist Custer County in improving access to the site from mobile devices. This will require either a .mobi mobile website, a smartphone application, or both.
  2. The website includes an interactive event calendar which contains a comprehensive list of all tourism related events in Custer County. This calendar includes an XML feed for easy update. Offeror should explain their experience in this area and provide examples of interactive calendars they have produced in the past.

Social Media Development. Offeror will be expected to assist Custer County in building and maintaining a Social Media presence. Offeror must be knowledgeable in all Social Media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, SCVNGR, etc.

  • Offeror should have the ability to write code in FBML (Facebook Markup Language) in order to personalize the Custer County Facebook Page with custom applications.
  • Offeror will develop a social media strategy and assist in its implementation. The strategy should be designed as to allow Custer County staff to implement long term maintenance of the social media outlets independently.

Publication Development. Offeror will be expected to help Custer County produce an annual travel planner in a magazine format. Advertising sales work will not be a part of this contract. Successful offeror will design, layout, strategize content, and obtain print bids for the annual travel planner. Offeror will provide samples of similar publications completed by the offeror.

  • The Travel Planner will incorporate Custer County’s brand standards throughout, with special emphasis on the brand pillars of Western Adventure, Indian Nations, Dinosaur Adventure, Outdoor Recreation, and Historic Adventure.
  • All ad sales will be done by Custer County staff. After the sale is made, it will be the responsibility of the publication development agency to obtain camera ready ads and coordinate specifications with the purchaser.
  • Offeror will be responsible for all design work such as layout, photo selection and arrangement, calendar of events design, Cover design, and coordination with the standards of the Custer County brand.
  • Written content for both editorial and calendar of events will be provided by Custer County.

Proposal due by April 15 to:

Nick Mann, Marketing Manager, Montana’s Custer County
P. O. Box 31177, Billings, MT 59107 Fax: (406) 245-7333

Leading tourism PR firms include Quinn & Co., 5WPR and Coyne PR.

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