Marketing and Communications Services State Agency: Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA or Authority)

State Issuing Officer: Lisa Connell


Address: 1963 Bell Ave, Suite 200, Des Moines, IA 50315

Proposals Due Date: May 3, 2024 / 4:00 PM Local time Des Moines, IA


2.1 Overview. The successful Contractor shall provide the services to the Authority and

other agencies using the Contract in accordance with the specifications as provided in this


2.2 Proposed Scope of Work and Deliverables. Deliverables listed are the minimum

expected from the Contractor. Additional information and deliverables based on Contractor’s

experience with similar projects are encouraged.

IEDA is soliciting proposals from qualified experienced entities for the planning and execution of

its strategic marketing and communication efforts. IEDA is seeking a vendor(s) to work with its

professional and experienced staff to continue and advance the state’s integrated marketing

efforts to achieve the objectives described below.

Objectives. The vendor will be charged with documenting the success toward measurable

goals for each of the following objectives:

• Support new and existing business growth by increasing awareness of Iowa’s benefits

as a place to live, work and do business.

• Champion efforts to attract and retain workforce through the promotion of quality of life

and opportunity in Iowa.

• Grow the state’s economic benefit from travel expenditures by inspiring more visits to

and within Iowa.

• Generate support and advocacy for IEDA’s programs by increasing understanding of

how they generate beneficial economic activity and improve communities for the state

and its citizens.

Target Audiences. Target audiences for IEDA’s marketing and communication efforts include

the following:

• Business influencers, including executives in target industries (biosciences,

insurance/financial services, advanced manufacturing and information technology as it

relates to these industries), either currently based in, or considering relocating to, Iowa;

site selection consultants and service providers; and economic development


• Job seekers, including those who might relocate to Iowa (e.g., former residents or

students in target industries, or veterans and graduating students who would consider

building their careers in Iowa.

• Tourists, including current residents of, and those interested in visiting, Iowa as well as

business influencers and job seekers investigating potential growth in, or considering a

move to, Iowa.

• Iowans who use and pay for, through their tax dollars, many of the business, tourism and

community development programs, marketing efforts and incentives and have a stake in

the state of the economy.

Service Elements. Working in partnership with the Chief Strategic Communications Officer or

designee(s), the vendor will provide the following for IEDA’s marketing and communication


Planning & Strategy

• Conduct, or support conducting, primary market research as needed to identify and

characterize the most appropriate target audiences, strategies and tactics to achieve

IEDA’s marketing and communications objectives.

• Develop a comprehensive annual marketing and communications Strategic Plan to meet

stated goals and objectives and including recommendations for key performance

indicators (KPIs).

• Follow and recommend application of industry trends or insights to support mid-term

adjustments to the strategic plan or take advantage of unique opportunities.

• Serve as a project manager for all initiatives within purview, including detailed and

regular status and KPI reporting.

Content Development, Marketing and Measurement

• Recommend and manage an integrated approach to content marketing to ensure

synergies between each aspect of the Strategic Plan: digital, social and media relations.

• Develop compelling content – across industries, business and tourism/lifestyle topics

and trends – for the right audience and the right channel to make a difference against

stated objectives.

• Measure and report on content performance against KPIs, recommending adjustments

as needed to increase search engine optimization (SEO), expand reach and attract the

right audiences.

Media and Influencer Relations

• Identify, monitor and build relationships with media – traditional and new – essential to

reaching target audiences.

• Prepare and pitch proactive, positive stories that help meet marketing and

communication objectives.

• Recommend and successfully broker contractual relationships with influencers whose

third-party endorsement, authored/created content or reviews enhance the value and

visibility of IEDA’s messages.

Advertising Services

• Recommend and implement a media mix, including print, broadcast, radio, digital and

social channels, that supports the Strategic Plan.

• Collect and analyze metrics (e.g., CTR, CPM, bounce rate, time on site, etc.) against

KPIs and recommend mid-term adjustments to optimize overall advertising performance.

• Follow and recommend any adjustments to advertising based on trends, emerging

products and/or unique opportunities.

• Plan, propose, implement and measure a cooperative marketing program involving

tourism and economic development stakeholders.

• Manage administrative aspects of media buy from negotiation to measurement, including

the budget, timing, submitting artwork, meeting deadlines and reporting progress or

adjustments in a timely fashion.

Creative Services

• Determine the best approach for different channels and audiences to deliver on KPIs.

• Develop creative concepts and executions for a variety of mediums, including graphic

design for print, web and social, video production for web, social and broadcast and ad

copy writing.

• Design and implement compelling, creative experiences, such as unique direct mail

approaches/pieces; 360, VR, AR or time lapse video; memorable events or displays at

conferences or meetings.

• Follow and implement trends, new tools and new technologies in creative services and

design recommendations and applications.

Website Development and Digital Marketing

• Further develop and maintain IEDA digital presence that delivers on brand and supports

the Strategic Plan.

• Review and recommend upgrades to digital assets managed by current vendors,

including IEDA websites, based on knowledge of latest trends and tools for reaching a

variety of target audiences in a compelling way – keeping in mind the need for lead

generation, mobile responsiveness, SEO and content strategy.

• Manage and maintain back-end database that feeds tourism listings and direct

marketing efforts as well as provide analytics that help better target audiences and

generate workforce and business development leads.

• Identify opportunities to improve website functionality and digital tools, such as

interactive maps and comparisons, location services, and other features to improve user


Social Media

• Develop overarching social media governance recommendations, including voice and

cadence and support IEDA in implementing (e.g., social media monitoring,

training/access to any new tools, etc.).

• Provide recommendations for leveraging social media in support of the Strategic Plan,

including social media-driven contests and campaigns.

• Follow evolving profile of current and new social media channels and best practices for

engaging; provide recommendations to IEDA regarding any adjustments to deliver on

social media-related KPIs.

• Provide support developing both written and visual messages for social media as


2.3. Budget information. The total amount of the contract(s) resulting from this RFP is not yet

known. This figure will be determined based on final IEDA appropriations from the Iowa

Legislature and budget allocation approval by the IEDA Board. Based on previous expenditures,

the total annual billing amount is expected to be approximately $5-6 million, inclusive of

advertising buys, sponsorships, material production and mailing, which are billed at cost.

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