Merced County Issues Digital Media RFP
It is the intent of this Request for Proposal (RFP) to secure the services of a qualified Bidder who will help design, execute and evaluate a pilot digital media outreach campaign for the Child Support Departments of Merced, Imperial and Del Norte Counties. The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has awarded multiple grants for the development and assessment of a digital media outreach plan that will establish proven messaging, channels, and best practices that can be adapted for other state programs. The primary goal of the County in creating these campaigns is to explore the use of digital marketing to increase participation in the Child Support Program among those who are not currently on government cash assistance programs.
The objectives in meeting the primary goal are to:
a. Increase general awareness among male and female targets age 18 to 40 in all stated geographic locations.
b. Inspire action and engagement of eligible targets with specific messages and creative executions, aimed at male or female target audiences across selected channels.
c. Refine engagement of eligible targets per channel analytics. Test a detailed mixture of parameters.
d. Develop a digital media outreach program template easily replicable across states and audiences.
In September 2018, OCSE awarded a discretionary grant under a cooperative agreement to the California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) to develop and implement a digital media outreach campaign. This grant award is known federally and locally as Reaching the Unassisted: Digital Outreach to Non-TANF Prospects (herein after the Digital Outreach Project).
The decline of child support caseloads and the subsequent decline in payments to children, even as childhood poverty rates remain consistent, is of great concern to social service agencies throughout the country. This OCSE funding requires a three-phase campaign employing digital strategies to increase awareness and participation in the California Child Support Program. While this campaign will be conducted in California, we seek solid takeaways for the rest of the country due to California’s extensive and varied geography and highly-diverse population, and the wide range of audiences included in the research.
The selected Bidder will help with the design, implementation and evaluation of new digital marketing content – guided by the insights gleaned from recent brand research conducted with California child support participants, employees and stakeholders – in three very distinct regions with very dissimilar populations, to test, evaluate and refine what works best with these groups of unassisted single parents of minor children in a way that can be extrapolated nationwide.
To select target audiences, counties with low percentages of cases where the parent receiving child support payments has not received public assistance through the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program, also known as “never assisted” cases, in their caseload per FFY 2017 performance data were compared with the “single parent” population of that county as reported in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey. This identified counties containing a significant pool of families who might need child support services and who would not otherwise be automatically referred by TANF. Then the counties were cross-referenced by percent of the population between ages 18-40, as households likely to have minor children and highly-likely to be heavy consumers of digital media, and by race/ethnicity to identify counties with unique racial or ethnic demographics. The final selections considered geographic placement within the state to deliver results applicable to both urban and rural residents, in mountainous, coastal and agricultural areas, and with both low and high availability of traditional media sources compared to digital channels. The counties included in this effort will be Del Norte, Merced and Imperial.
Responses should focus on creating digital outreach to single parents not likely to be referred through TANF in our pilot locations, expanding current activities and evaluating channel effectiveness across targets and message effectiveness across channels. Prior to implementation, the project team will create a new website with a unique URL associated solely with this digital outreach campaign in order to track activity generated. This site will offer opt-in for text messaging of new information and/or content and links to existing social media accounts, blogs as well as specific pages of the “official” California Child Support website, including the interactive online application, frequently asked questions, and payment options information.
Scope of Work:
The primary objective of this engagement is to secure consulting services with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to assist with the development and evaluation of a digital media campaign which include creating content, placing ads and defining and evaluating success metrics within diverse media markets. This is a deliverable-based, fixed price (deliverable costs should include overhead, travel, and general/administrative expenses) contract to obtain consulting services to perform all activities as defined in this Scope of Work.
Bidder Milestones and Deliverables
The items below are the anticipated milestones the Bidder must perform and their associated deliverables. The County understands that one Bidder may not possess the required skill-set to accomplish the work defined in this Scope of Work; therefore, the County is open to the Bidder partnering with other companies and submitting sub-contractors on this engagement.
The deliverable descriptions presented below are a description of the work product the County expects to receive at the conclusion of each specific milestone. The County recognizes that there could be vastly different approaches to this engagement and is purposefully offering flexibility in the Bidders approach as long as the goals and objectives of the engagement are met. It is expected that the deliverables shall be worked on concurrently, not sequentially.
Milestone 1 (M1): Develop and deliver Project Management artifacts related to this effort.
The Bidder shall submit a Department-approved monthly status report that is not limited to, but shall include the items below at a minimum:
· Planned Accomplishments
The Bidder shall develop and maintain a detailed Project Schedule and submit to the Department on a monthly basis. The schedule will include, at a minimum, the following:
· High-level Contract Deliverable Schedule (M1D1) – The High-level Contract Deliverable Schedule is due within three (3) weeks of the contract start date.
· Payment schedule tied to deliverables (M1D2).
· Monthly Status Reports (M1D3) – The Monthly Status Reports are due by the 24th of each month.
· Monthly Project Schedule – The Monthly Project Schedule submissions are due by the 24th of each month.
Milestone 2 (M2) Deliverable 1 (M2D1): Learning Cycle 1: (M2D1): Develop and execute a campaign to increase general awareness among male and female targets age 18 to 40 in all stated geographic locations. Message content will be designed for general awareness of child support services role, directing consumers to the new website and inviting two-way contact. Bidder’s deliverable will include:
· Demographic/Geo-targeted Advertising
· Search Engine Optimization
· Third-party website advertising (example: Facebook–including video, YouTube, Google Mail, streaming media, local news websites, parenting/children’s health blogs), budgeting efforts in close alignment with the below population percentages:
1. IMPERIAL COUNTY: 85% Spanish, 15% English
2. MERCED COUNTY: 58% Spanish, 42% English
3. DEL NORTE COUNTY: 20% Spanish, 80% English
Milestone 2 (M2) Deliverable (M2-D2): Refine campaign based on evaluation of measured traffic to new site, sources of traffic, pages visited, click-through rates, time on website and exit pages and other criteria developed by County.
Milestone 3 (M3) Deliverable 1 (M3-D1) Learning Cycle 2: Develop and execute a campaign to inspire action and engagement of eligible targets with specific messages and creative executions, aimed at male and/or female target audiences across refined channels per data from Learning Cycle 1. The campaign should include:
· Contextual and Behavioral Advertising
· Continue Search Engine Optimization, refined per Learning Cycle 1 data.
· Add an Influencer social media campaign in Del Norte to include tribal and legal partners to test messages that inspire influencers; refine percentage of budget towards efforts in English and Spanish per Learning Cycle 1 data, if adjustment is indicated, in alignment with the below populations:
1. IMPERIAL COUNTY: 85% Spanish, 15% English
2. MERCED COUNTY: 58% Spanish, 42% English
3. DEL NORTE COUNTY: 10% Spanish, 70% English. 20% Influencers
Milestone 3 (M3) Deliverable 2 (M3-D2): Refine campaign based on evaluation of measured traffic to new site, sources of traffic, pages visited, click-through rates, time on website and exit pages and other criteria developed by County.
Milestone 4 (M4) Deliverable 1 (M4-D1) Learning Cycle 3: Refine engagement of eligible targets per data from Learning Cycles 1 and 2. Execute a refined plan of content and channels to engage the greatest number of eligible targets. Make refinements to creative executions and adjustments to the budget against channels. Test a detailed mixture of parameters and/or test a heretofore unknown message identified as important in an earlier cycle. In the same counties as stated before, bidder will be expected to conduct:
· Contextual and Behavioral Advertising, refined per Learning Cycle 2 data.
· Search Engine Optimization, refined per Learning Cycle 2 data.
· Phase 2 of the Influencer Campaign, if successful, continued and refined from Learning Cycle 2. If not successful or results are not measurable, consider and advise.
· Evaluate budget percentage against each language in each county.
Milestone 4 (M4) Deliverable 2 (M4-D2): Refine campaign based on evaluation of measured traffic to new site, sources of traffic, pages visited, click-through rates, time on website and exit pages and other criteria developed by County.
Milestone 5 (M5) Deliverable (M5-D1): Build a clear, easily-replicable template for successful digital media outreach that can be tailored to a wide range of demographic targets and geographic locations, using the Learn-Innovate-Improve (LI²) model. Create a PowerPoint presentation to be used as an educational tool to communicate key findings, recommended channels and messaging and best practices.
February 14th, 2019.
County of Merced
Department of Administrative Services-Purchasing
2222 M Street, Room 1
Merced, California 95340
Attn: Kim Nausin, Purchasing Manager
Shift Communications and Kwittken PR have relevant experience.