Marketing RFP Issued By Spartanburg County, South Carolina

Description of Project: OneSpartanburg, Inc. is seeking the professional services of a qualified full-service marketing and advertising agency to work with OneSpartnaburg, Inc. in the development and implementation of our strategic marketing plan to promote Spartanburg County as a premier travel destination to state, regional and national markets. OneSpartanburg, Inc. seeks an agency partner that can help develop and deliver an integrated program that maximizes paid, owned, earned, and shared media strategies.


OneSpartanburg, Inc. is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of Spartanburg, South Carolina. OneSpartanburg, Inc. promotes the County to attract travelers who will stay longer and spend more money, thus increasing business activity, jobs and tax revenue.

Scope of Work:

Spartanburg is a collaborative city and county working together to offer authentic experiences to group, sports and leisure visitors alike. Spartanburg is an emerging tourism destination. Our partnership with an agency will help create a sense of place and actionable tactics to make this happen. During the next three to five years, Spartanburg is poised for tremendous growth. It is important that Spartanburg has an agency partner that can help us meet the moment of opportunity for our community, as well as provide a high level of flexibility in working together. This year, more than any other, has shown how quickly things can change. It is important that we also have a partner that is skilled at pivoting on a dime to meet challenges when they happen. Over the last three years, in alignment with the OneSpartanburg Vision Plan, we have partnered with a lead agency to execute on a five-year strategic marketing plan for tourism, including the following strategic priorities:

· Drive high-value visitors to stay longer and spend more

· Attract visitors through brand storytelling

· Drive group business and sports tourism

· Rally regional partnerships and community involvement

· Enhance the overall visitor experience

We want a partnership, not a first date, so bells and whistles do not matter to us as much as substance. We are finding our stride as a tourism destination, so we want a marketing and communications partner who can appreciate where we are and where we are going, backed by the necessary capabilities to get us there. Now that we have streamlined our branding, we are seeking a diverse, nimble creative agency that can drive results. We do not want a make-work exercise, but to foster a conversation between us. The RFQ asks five questions to help us make a decision. Please limit answers to a total of 10 pages, including a maximum of three case studies and up to five minutes of exemplary video that showcase your capabilities.

Any questions regarding this request for qualifications must be submitted in writing to Procurement Director, Lisa Coleman at by April 22, 2021 at 5pm. This will be the only opportunity to submit questions prior to submitting proposals. All questions and answers will be shared with potential participants via Addendum.

OneSpartanburg, Inc. prefers one agency to handle all aspects of the scope of work but may divide initiatives based on agency skill set. There will be one “lead” agency chosen that will be primarily responsible for strategic guidance of the campaign, coordination of all partners/subcontractors and measurement of success. The selected agency will work to execute the elements of the strategic marketing plan. We are seeking:

1) Account/project management 

2) Creative development/concepting 

3) Media planning 

4) Digital marketing 

5) Social media content generation 

6) Video Production 

7) Web development 

8) Digital Communications 

9) Content development 

10) Other capabilities that could bring value

This budget is based on creative production, strategy execution, media planning and placement (both offline and online), account management fees, and out-of-pocket expenses. OneSpartanburg, Inc. reserves the right to adjust both the budget and related services. The advertisement spend is $275,000-$300,000 for leisure, meetings and sports combined.

Question 1: How do you think, and what do you know? Please tell us a little about yourselves that reveals as much about who you are and of what you are capable.

– Describe your process for coming up with needle-moving ideas.

– How do you create differentiation?

– How do you define a target audience? 

– What are your channel strengths and weaknesses? 

– How do you measure success? 

Question 2: What have you made happen for your clients? Please provide three examples of relevant work featuring:

1. An example that best embodies who you are as an agency and how that helped your client achieve success.

2. An example of your unique ability to understand and resolve a client problem.

3. An example of your experience in tourism and your understanding of specific challenges of the industry.

Question 3: How can you help us accomplish our strategic plan? Please offer a brief perspective on how you can help us deliver on our strategic priorities, listed above in section B (What we’re looking for). Copies of the 5-year strategic marketing plan are available upon request. An electronic file will be provided. 

Question 4: What kind of partner are you? Please share the operational nuts and bolts of your agency and team.

– Give us a snapshot of your agency. Size, scope, areas of expertise and industries of focus.

– Give examples of when and how you work with other agencies, if relevant.

– Describe the team you’ll put together to work with Spartanburg, and why.

– Explain how your account management and billing works. 

– What are your values and how do you live them each day? 

– Who are your three longest-served clients, and what has contributed to your success? Who were your three shortest-served clients, and why?

Question 5: List any cost-saving and/or added-value advantage offered by your agency. Final proposals are due May 13, 2021, 2021 at 2:00PM. One original and four copies of the proposal (five total) must be delivered to the address as noted on page 1 of this Request for Qualifications. Timeline: Week of May 17, 2021: We will schedule follow-up interviews with finalists to review proposals. Week of May 24, 2021: We will award contract, move to contracting

Due Date:

2:00pm, EST., May 13, 2021


Spartanburg County Government Purchasing Department Room 1220 Attention: Lisa Coleman, Procurement Director Mailing Address: P.O. Box 5666 Spartanburg, South Carolina 29304

Relevant agencies to consider includes Finn Partners and Burson-marsteller.

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