Proposal Due Date/Time (Eastern): October 29, 2023 at 3:00 PM;


General Information about the University of Toledo:

The University of Toledo is a public research university located in Toledo, Ohio. One of 14 state universities in Ohio, UToledo has more than 15,500 students, 5,000 employees and 168,000 alumni around the world.

UToledo was established in 1872 and celebrated it sesquicentennial during the 2022-23 academic year. UToledo became a member of the state university system in 1967 and merged in July 2006 with the Medical University of Ohio (formerly Medical College of Ohio). The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University’s clinical operations include the University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) and affiliated clinics and the University of Toledo Physicians and the physician group’s affiliated clinics. The hospital has cared for the Toledo community since 1964.

UToledo recently underwent a strategic planning process to create UToledo Reimagined: Strategic Plan 2023- 2028. Key goals and strategies of this plan related to the University’s clinical enterprise include setting the standard for health education and patient care and positioning UToledo for future success through financial and operational effectiveness.

Mission: The University of Toledo improves the human condition as a public research university and academic medical center whose mission is to educate students to become future-ready graduates, cultivate leaders, create and advance knowledge, care for patients and engage our local, national and global communities.

Vision: The University of Toledo will impact the present and shape the future through our actions and discoveries.

To achieve this vision, we will:

• Prioritize student success, health and well-being

• Create a diverse community built on foundations of respect, inclusion and belonging

• Embrace a people-first culture where we are known for outstanding student experiences, alumni and donor engagement, patient satisfaction and as an employer of choice

• Launch graduates equipped to think critically, act ethically, collaborate and communicate effectively in diverse environments, and apply their knowledge and skills to analyze and solve real-world problems

• Build on our distinct strengths and invest in areas that increase the University’s impact

• Foster research, innovation, discovery and creative work that transform our world

• Partner with our communities to advance our mutual success and create opportunity for all

• Inspire a love of life-long learning and commitment to serving others

• Develop and strengthen relationships that invest in our mission to improve the human condition


• Academic Excellence – We embrace the highest standards of achievement, challenging our students, faculty and staff to reach their greatest potential.

• People-Centered – We prioritize our relationships with our students, faculty, staff, patients, alumni and donors, creating a culture where everyone feels valued, supported and part of the Rocket family.

• Inclusion – We foster belonging, equity and respect for all as part of our commitment to valuing diversity of people and ideas.

• Community – We advance the public good in our regional, state, national and global communities through service and collaboration.

• Research and Innovation – We impact the world around us through innovation in discovery, integration, application, teaching and creative works.

• Integrity – We are trustworthy, acting with honesty, transparency, accountability and authenticity in all we do.

• Efficiency and Effectiveness – We ensure long-term success through fiscal stability, sustainability, alignment, efficiency and operational excellence.

For more information about the University, visit and .

Campus Map

A University of Toledo Map of all locations can be found on the University’s website via the following link:

5.2 Project Overview:

THE UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO (UToledo) located in Toledo, Ohio, is accepting competitive proposals from qualified companies for Marketing Services with extensive experience in public research institutions. The University of Toledo is a State of Ohio funded public academic institution.

The University of Toledo strives to be a stronger, sustainable public research institution with a redesigned brand to better emphasize the value of our education, research and patient care.

The University of Toledo is reorganizing its academic medical center and other clinical operations under UToledo Health to align operations more closely for greater efficiencies, align strategic goals and objectives, and create opportunities for mutual growth. The UToledo Health structure brings together the University of Toledo Medical Center and the University of Toledo Physicians and University of Toledo Dentists groups. It does not impact the academic College of Medicine and Life Sciences. UToledo Health will be led by a chief physician executive for which recruitment efforts are underway. The UToledo Health board is currently being constituted.

The reorganization of UToledo Health follows successful efforts to stabilize hospital finances and improve clinical operations. Citing ongoing fiscal challenges, exacerbated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, UToledo announced in April 2020 requests for proposals (RFP) for a potential acquisition, lease, management agreement or other transaction of its hospital. That RFP process was postponed indefinitely in July 2020 to focus immediate efforts on stabilizing UTMC. There was significant public interest in the fiscal challenges of UTMC including a “Save UTMC” effort that included former and current elected officials.

Leading up to the formation of UToledo Health, the University and hospital leaders amended UTMC’s medical bylaws, enhanced partnerships and worked on a number of business efficiency and cost reduction strategies.

Significantly in early 2022, UToledo received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to receive a higher reimbursement rate from Medicaid that generates an additional $25 million annually in funding to the hospital.

A number of improvements to clinical operations have resulted in a stronger UTMC today, including the  implementation of the EPIC electronic medical records system and investment in new technologies. In 2022 UTMC received a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the state approved the hospital to begin operating as a Level II trauma center.

The University is now in a position to increase marketing efforts to better establish our healthcare services in the community and support business goals for new patient acquisition and the promotion of strategic service lines.

UTMC’s current advertising campaign is Open for You and was introduced in November 2020. A second TV spot  was released in September 2021.

The University of Toledo’s brand is represented by the UToledo shield. The athletic brand is the Rocket. UToledo is not interested in changing its logos due to the high costs associated with such changes but will consider reasonable suggestions about brand presentation. Note there are limitations to the presentation of the UToledo shield in the healthcare space. The University and UTMC brand guides are available online.

The information provided herein is intended to assist suppliers to respond properly to this Request for Proposal.

The University believes this RFP provides interested suppliers with sufficient information to submit proposals that meet minimum requirements. It is not intended to limit a proposal’s content or to exclude any relevant or essential data. Suppliers are encouraged to include additional information that will substantiate their product quality and service capabilities.

5.3 Scope of Service/Project Information:

The launch of UToledo Health will require market research and brand development. We seek to define a brand promise, develop messaging and execute an advertising campaign to stand out in the competitive and rapidly changing Toledo area healthcare market to support new patient acquisition and reputation enhancement. We are seeking an innovative approach to seize the opportunity to reintroduce our clinical operations as UToledo Health to our community.

The selected partner will work collaboratively with UToledo’s Office of Marketing and Communications team and engage with University and clinical leadership to deliver market research, brand positioning and creative concepts in three phases.

• Phase 1: Market research to include interviews with leadership on the vision for the future, qualitative and quantitative surveys on current brand perceptions, and a competitive audit to better inform our current position in the Toledo area healthcare market and opportunities for growth.

• Phase 2: Brand development that is research informed and includes a brand promise, brand pillars, tagline and messaging for UToledo Health.

• Phase 3: Creative concepts for brand design and an initial advertising campaign to introduce UToledo Health in the marketplace.

The University seeks to launch the new brand campaign internally and in the marketplace for the 2025 fiscal year, not later than July 1, 2024.

Your response to this Request for Proposal must be structured, as follows:

1. Executive Summary

Provide a brief summary highlighting the most important points of the proposal.

2. Experience and Qualifications

a) Provide detailed information on your company’s years in business, history, organizational structure,

and market position, as well as company philosophy and value your company would add to UToledo

if selected to provide these services. Indicate if you have been a part of a merger/acquisition in the

last three years, and what your future plans are for growth/expansion.

b) Provide a summary of any previous experience your company has with UToledo. Include summary

of services provided and service dates.

c) References: Provide a list of customers in which marketing consulting and services on comparable

projects (type, scale, scope) have been performed in the last three (3) years. Indicate any third-party

firms involved with your program and state their role(s).

d) Examples: Submit two examples of successful branding campaigns for current or past customers.

Academic medical centers strongly preferred. Include information on the scope of the project,

timeframe and how success was measured. Include key creative assets.

e) Provide overview of team and staff who would work on UToledo account including roles and qualifications.

3. Approach to client services

a) State qualitative/quantitative methods that will be utilized to inform brand messaging.

b) Describe approach to agency/in house team collaboration.

c) Share your system to define an institution’s identity and reputation. Describe how you engage

stakeholders and analyze audience perceptions. Describe your competitive auditing process to identify strengths, weaknesses, and differentiators.

4. Pricing and cost considerations

In accordance with the Scope of Service:

a) Provide a narrative that describes your understanding of the scope of services being requested and the suggested approach for providing the services stated herein.

b) UToledo currently uses the services of a media buyer to place print, television, out-of-home and digital advertising. If this is a service your company provides, provide a narrative of the benefits of using your firm for media buys including your cost structure and your tracking and reporting practices.

c) Provide a detailed plan of proposed services.

d) Provide a detailed timeline of events and resources needed to achieve the stated goals. The approach should be designed in phases with key deliverables identified for each phase as well as the overall brand development and launch plan.

e) Estimated costs should be shared based on scope of work. Provide options for different levels of engagement and deliverables estimated separately. Clearly define one-time costs, clearly delineate service fees from hard costs for advertising or other deliverables and proposes any other value-added options.

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