Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Advertising and Marketing RFP

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Advertising and Marketing Services

PURPOSE:

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is seeking the professional services of a single marketing vendor or multiple agencies to work as collaborative partners in the development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive marketing program to promote Kansas as a travel destination to regional, national and international markets.

 

BACKGROUND:

The Tourism Division of KDWPT is charged with encouraging the travelling public to visit and travel to and within Kansas by promoting recreational (including hunting and fishing), historic, artistic, attractions and natural advantages of the state and its facilities. The Division’s goal is to enhance the economy of the state by actively promoting Kansas as a great place to visit and play, as such improving the likelihood of individuals to live, work, and stay in Kansas. The Division’s efforts include promotion to the group tour market, leisure travellers, and the international travel community. The Division focuses on measurable goals in all of its marketing and promotional efforts. These goals include increasing domestic and international inquiries through our marketing efforts and converting those inquiries into visits to Kansas and generating positive public perceptions about Kansas as a travel destination.

 

GOALS:

In order to build upon our growth, it is important to the division to:

  1. Bring visitors to the state through the promotion and elevation of the Kansas brand year-round
  2. Increase visitor spending and length of stays
  3. Increase the number of domestic and international visitors
  4. Leverage co-op partnerships with the Kansas Tourism Industry to promote the brand and increase the number of visitors
  5. Position our brand to set the state apart and give us a competitive advantage as a vacation and outdoorsman destination
  6. Establish highly effective marketing and advertising campaigns that produce results and maximize ROI
  7. Utilize research to maximize our marketing investments to key consumer target markets
  8. Continue to focus on traditional consumer and trade marketing with an emphasis in television, Internet/digital, new technology, print, direct mail and guerilla marketing tactics.

 

SCOPE OF WORK:

EXPECTATIONS OF THE DIVISION / SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED TO THE DIVISION

  • The vendor/agencies shall not hold or acquire an account that is considered by KDWPT to be a competitive state, county, city, or region representing another domestic or international tourist destination marketing organization during the term of the final agreement without prior written approval. The vendor/agencies may assist, or have as clients, in-state and out-of-state cities or counties or other local destination marketing organizations, such as tourist development councils, Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce, or local or regional consortiums of such entities. KDWPT retains the right to determine whether it considers a    destination marketing organization or consortium as competitive.
  • The vendor/agencies will be expected to display knowledge of the tourism/travel industry.  The vendor must work collaboratively with the Division of Tourism to raise awareness and strengthen relationships with the visitor industry. The vendor is expected to uphold the same vision and service to which the Division is committed.
  • All concepts, slogans, or plans submitted or developed by the vendor for KDWPT during the term of the agreement, whether or not used, and any and all layouts, copy, artwork, films, and other tangible material which the vendor prepares for KDWPT or purchases for its account pursuant to an advertising campaign for KDWPT are KDWPT’s property exclusively, provided that KDWPT has paid the invoices rendered, if any.
  • The state’s marketing efforts will be multi-faceted, yet coordinated. While the RFP is divided into two components, it is understood that there will be overlap among tasks that will fall within each component. Further, it is important to recognize that the award of a contract under a particular component does not guarantee a vendor exclusivity to perform tasks described under that component.
  • The selected vendor/agencies will perform the following as directed by KDWPT; some tasks may be kept as operational activities within KDWPT.
  • Will coordinate efforts with KDWPT program specialists resulting in a seamless implementation of its strategic vision

 

COMPONENT ONE: MEDIA BUYING, RESEARCH, SEM, & CO-OP MARKETING – The vendor selected for COMPONENT ONE may be required to perform some or all, but not limited to, the following duties:

  • Planning and scheduling of comprehensive media schedules which are comprised of television, radio, newspapers, direct mail and other miscellaneous communication channels. The vendor will be expected to keep costs per impression competitive.
  • The vendor may be required to research, plan and produce presentations (which may include script writing and on-site technical assistance) for a number of special events in which KDWPT plays a major role. The vendor may be expected to assist in the production of collateral materials needed to support tourism efforts at local, state, national and international meetings, conferences, service clubs, CVB meetings, trade shows, receptions, presentations, and media and trade blitzes including the design and production of a printed annual report.
  • Conduct a focus group evaluation of a representative sample from TravelKS.com’s target market to assess target market response to graphic design, navigation and usability, and propose corrective mitigation.
  • Provide KDWPT all available web statistics bi-monthly including detailed traffic statistics, usage trends, site rankings, number of links, most common keywords searched and trend analysis available for free, through online advertising tracking portals (e.g. Google’s Analytics), as well as comparative, website usage, popularity and related statistics from KDWPT -approved website tracking firm. Archive all reports and statistics for future diachronic analysis and trend analysis.
  • Cooperative marketing. One of the Division of Tourism’s objectives is to produce effective cooperative marketing campaigns with visitor industry partners (CVBs, DMOs, etc.). As such, the vendor may be expected to provide support for this goal by producing and presenting coordinated media schedules, marketing presentations and cohesive marketing strategies to industry partners; assist in the development and communication of cooperative marketing programs available to the visitor industry; develop new ideas, strategies and materials to enhance cooperative partnerships and expand awareness of the marketing programs; develop creative for such partnerships.
  • Research. Research is crucial to all marketing efforts and must be the key for all decision making when it pertains to marketing and evaluation of campaigns. The selected vendor will be expected to interpret and utilize existing primary and tertiary tourism research. The vendor may also coordinate and conduct research projects including focus groups, written/electronic surveys. Focus groups may be conducted every other year or when considering a new market or when significant campaign design changes are being considered. The vendor will also provide studies that evaluate the profile and demographics of the Kansas visitor and audience; conduct testing of creative and messaging prior to the campaign to evaluate performance and overall effectiveness of ads.
  • Initiate and build an internet marketing campaign to improve TravelKS.com’s qualified visits. Use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies and tactics to increase the amount and quality of leads generated by search engines. Employ paid search advertising. Measure the success of search engine advertising and forward to the KDWPT through monthly progress reports. Assist with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Improv TravelKS.com’s ranking alongside current SEO by joining monthly calls and ensuring that SEO & SEM work together to improve TravelKS.com visibility. Suggest opportunities and communicate inquiries. Manage paid search buys on all of the major search engines.  This includes management of the allotted pay-per-click budget, distribution of keywords between partners to ensure Web traffic remains equitable and revising the descriptions and keyword categories based on response and season.
  • Recommend and create approved improvements to TravelKS.com and any ancillary websites and micro-sites.
  • Monitor and make recommendations based on social media trends. Construct and place social media ads on relevant platforms to boost awareness and following.
  • Provide and produce online outreach and lead-generation services.
  • Manage a comprehensive display ad strategy. This includes serving multiple creative elements that can be interchanged, as needed, to optimize the buy. The vendor will be expected to work and contract directly with the media vendors and hold them accountable to agreed upon impressions, click-through rates and conversions. Monthly reporting of each of the indicators listed above will be provided.
  • For COMPONENT ONE, the vendor shall be required to provide a qualified,  professional Account Executive who will be assigned to the KDWPT account and who will oversee all contractual obligations and responsibilities. This professional will be available for meetings, discussions, and reviews; will interact between KDWPT and the vendor, relaying the opinions, creations, and strategies of the vendor while soliciting comments from KDWPT and its reactions to same.
  • For COMPONENT ONE, one time every other calendar week, the vendor will be expected to submit a status/progress report specifically outlining the following to the Division of Tourism via email or agreed to vehicle such as Google Drive:

o Accomplishments achieved during the weekly reporting period

o Activities and projects completed pursuant to the provision of the contract and the completion dates of such tasks

o Planned activities for the upcoming month

o Planned activities and projects and projected completion dates remaining to be completed pursuant to the provisions of the contract

o Any other pertinent information and accomplishments for the week

 

  • For COMPONENT ONE, on a monthly basis, the vendor will be expected to submit a written spreadsheet report to KDWPT that details status of the budget. The report shall include expenditures for the month, expenditures to date by project, and the remaining balance, as well as media planning status, media placed, media billed and media yet to be billed. The format of this report must be approved by KDWPT.
  • For COMPONENT ONE, when applicable, the vendor will provide a Planning Calendar which outlines the scope of upcoming projects at least a year in advance of deadlines.
  • For COMPONENT ONE, the vendor may be expected to participate in weekly or twice monthly marketing meetings on a date and time established by KDWPT. At a minimum, the vendor may be required to travel to Topeka, Kansas, once a month for such meeting (at the vendor’s expense).
  • For COMPONENT ONE, the vendor must have the financial capacity to contract and purchase media without advance payment by the Division of Tourism.
  • For COMPONENT ONE, the vendor shall agree and understand KDWPT shall have the right to approve or disapprove an assignment of any of the vendor’s personnel assigned to the account team. Furthermore, the vendor must obtain the written approval of KDWPT  prior to replacement of any previously approved account team member. The vendor shall agree and understand KDWPT shall have the right to request replacement of any person assigned to the account team for any reason. Unless the situation regarding the vendor’s assigned personnel requires immediate replacement, the vendor shall be allowed at least fourteen calendar days after notification to replace the unsatisfactory personnel.

 

COMPONENT TWO: VIDEO PRODUCTION, PHOTOGRAPHY, CREATIVE, DIGITAL MARKETING, BRANDING, STRATEGIC INNOVATION, & MARKETING PLAN/STRATEGY – The vendor selected for COMPONENT TWO may be required to perform some or all, but not limited to, the following duties:

  • Review existing marketing plan and provide detailed recommendations and changes to develop, maintain and document an on-going marketing plan based on tourism industry trends, research and marketing best practices which will be used as the major driver of all advertising and marketing decisions. The written document will be produced a year in advance annually and formatted for use by the Department, tourism leaders, and state officials. This document will also include a second year ahead forecast of content suggestions and blog ideas to build on the following year.
  • The vendor will be required to maintain and further enhance the branding strategy through creative images, music, and messaging and design elements. The vendor may also be expected to develop a cohesive strategy for the Division of Tourism ’s cooperative marketing partners.
  • The vendor will be responsible for the majority of the production of advertising materials reaching our tiered markets. These materials must meet all standards required by the media outlet which includes, but is not limited to: publications, U.S. Postal Service, radio stations, television networks, cable networks, and newspapers.
  • Creative services. The selected vendor must be able to supply turn-key creative services to KDWPT. These services must include, but are not limited to, the following: planning, consultation and presenting multiple creative options to the Division in both electronic and printed mock-ups as they pertain to each project; editorial services and copywriting; fact-checking, proofreading and editing of all collateral materials before  first routing to client; revision of content as needed to appear across multiple platforms, including cooperative programs, adjusted as appropriate for the medium; creation and  implementation of original creative, designs, artwork, templates and related elements  that present a consistent brand as mutually developed with KDWPT; layout and design of agreed to media; typography (including procurement of fonts as determined by the project); illustrations and photography to complement agreed upon key promotions and  design direction; work in concert KDWPT Marketing & Creative Teams on design development.
  • Follow the creative guidelines and direction of the marketing plan to maintain consistency of brand and voice between all aspects of marketing and advertising.
  • Account management, including status reports and project calendars for all marketing campaigns and objectives.
  • Research and recommend new interactive technologies, strategies and services. This includes, but is not limited to; email marketing, on-site technologies, innovative marketing, mobile marketing and social media.
  • Follow the creative guidelines and direction of the marketing plan to maintain consistency of brand and voice between all aspects of marketing and advertising.
  • Develop video advertisements for KDWPT. This requires a vendor film crew to travel to designated areas in the state to set up, direct, assist in talent scouting, and shoot HD video. Professional studio work and sound technicians will also be needed to produce the advertisements.
  • The vendor will be required to maintain and further enhance the branding strategy through creative images, music, and messaging within video elements.
  • The vendor shall shoot all new footage in high definition (HD) and have HD editing capabilities.
  • The vendor shall coordinate all aspects of the production of videos including pre-production (e.g., script development, storyboarding, preparation of talent, sets and props), production (e.g., direction of talent, direction of sound/lighting, footage recording) and post-production (e.g., video editing, effects, animation, authoring) activities.
  • Provide for approval a rough cut, final cut, music selection, voice over, and completed videos.
  • Provide multimedia including high-resolution digital still images, digital videos, digital audio, expert digital editing service, expert digital audio mixing service, and other services related to the creation of professional multimedia content for the Internet and KDWPT websites.
  • Provide low budget, “student quality” videos of topical items for quick edit and strategic posting on YouTube and other popular video sharing sites on the social web to strategically generate interest in activities, attractions and events throughout the state.
  • Prepare videos for hosting on TravelKS.com as well as online video hosting sites such as YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, etc.
  • The vendor shall create a digital HD library and log all footage and photography into Libris Photoshelter. Items must be tagged correctly and filed into corresponding folders.
  • Prepare TV ads and distribute in required formats
  • Provide direction of content for any new HD film footage and photography needs beyond what KDWPT staff can provide.
  • For COMPONENT TWO, the vendor shall be required to provide a qualified, professional Account Executive who will be assigned to the KDWPT account and who will oversee all contractual obligations and responsibilities. This professional will be available for meetings, discussions, and reviews; will interact between KDWPT and the vendor, relaying the opinions, creations, and strategies of the vendor while soliciting comments from KDWPT and its reactions to same.
  • For COMPONENT TWO, one time every other calendar week, the vendor will be expected to submit a status/progress report specifically outlining the following to the     KDWPT via email:

o Accomplishments achieved during the weekly reporting period

o Activities and projects completed pursuant to the provision of the contract and the completion dates of such tasks

o Planned activities for the upcoming month

o The specific planned activities and projects and projected completion dates remaining to be completed pursuant to the provisions of the contract

o Any other pertinent information and accomplishments for the week

 

  • For COMPONENT TWO, on a monthly basis, the vendor will be expected to submit a written spreadsheet report to the KDWPT that details status of the budget. The report shall include expenditures for the month, expenditures to date by project, and the remaining balance, as well as media planning status, media placed, media billed and media yet to be billed. The format of this report must be approved by the KDWPT
  • For COMPONENT TWO, when applicable, the vendor will provide a Planning Calendar that outlines the scope of upcoming projects at least a year in advance of deadlines.
  • For COMPONENT TWO, on a quarterly basis, the vendor will be expected to report on advertising and marketing effectiveness, as well as pre- and post-campaign brand awareness assessment report.
  • For COMPONENT TWO, the vendor will be expected to participate in a monthly meeting on a date and time established by the KDWPT. At a minimum, the vendor may be required to travel to Topeka, Kansas, once a month for such meeting (at the vendor ’s expense).
  • For COMPONENT TWO, the vendor must have the financial capacity to contract and purchase media without advance payment by the Division.
  • For COMPONENT TWO, the vendor shall agree and understand that KDWPT shall have the right to approve or disapprove an assignment of any of the vendor’s personnel assigned to the account team. Furthermore, the vendor must obtain the written approval of KDWPT prior to replacement of any previously approved account team member. The vendor shall agree and understand that KDWPT shall have the right to request replacement of any person assigned to the account team for any reason. Unless the situation regarding the vendor’s assigned personnel requires immediate replacement, the vendor shall be allowed at least fourteen calendar days after notification to replace the unsatisfactory personnel.

 

COMPONENT THREE: INFLUENCERS, BLOG CONTENT, COPYWRITING, EDITORIALS, WEB CONTENT. The vendor selected for COMPONENT TWO may be required to perform some or all, but not limited to, the following duties:

  • Review existing influencer & micro-influencer relationships. Report on whether they fit the TravelKS brand and which niche audiences they speak too.
  • Determine new influencers and micro-influencers that can be utilized in social marketing. Report on where they fit, what the benefit of using them will be, and provide analytics on their accounts. Analytics should include engagement, following, blog engagement, likes, etc.
  • Develop an influencer contract for both large influencers and micro influencers to be used when creating relationships and partnerships. This should include outcomes KDWPT will receive, such as video/photo rights, blog/blog mentions, number of posts, language and hashtag usage, etc.
  • Create a social/blog plan that includes influencers that tie in with a current marketing plan and initiate communications. Blog themes can be set yearly with at least one blog a month using a theme.
  • Schedule influencers/micro influencers as seen fit throughout marketing plan and other initiatives. Coordinate with DMO partners as needed for comped rooms, meals,  tickets, etc.
  • Write & develop blogs to fill content space on TravelKS.com. Must follow branding and marketing plan, but is not limited to planned blogs only. Blog posts should total 5-7 a  month and can be split between vendor, influencers, guest bloggers, travel writers, and sponsored blogs through companies such as RootsRated, Atlas Obscura, etc. The goal is to continue building blog post numbers to improve content on the website as well as to ensure an active and developing blog that will drive consumers to more of the site through in-text links. Blogs should also include suggested keywords from SEO team, provided by KDWPT.
  • Work to develop a content creation and optimizing plan for TravelKS.com that will help build the site on a constant basis. Includes, but is not limited to: web page summarizations, content on specific topics, landing page verbiage, and campaign communication.
  • Copywriting for advertisements, social campaigns, promotions, and publications.
  • Editing of content written by other writers from KDWPT, if needed, to ensure branding is upheld as well as check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • For COMPONENT THREE, the vendor shall be required to provide a qualified, professional Account Executive who will be assigned to the KDWPT account and who will oversee all contractual obligations and responsibilities. This professional will be available for meetings, discussions, and reviews; will interact between KDWPT and the vendor, relaying the opinions, creations, and strategies of the vendor while soliciting comments from KDWPT and its reactions to same.
  • For COMPONENT THREE, one time every other calendar week, the vendor will be expected to submit a status/progress report specifically outlining the following to the KDWPT via email:

o Accomplishments achieved during the weekly reporting period

o Activities and projects completed pursuant to the provision of the contract and the completion dates of such tasks

o Planned activities for the upcoming month

o The specific planned activities and projects and projected completion dates remaining to be completed pursuant to the provisions of the contract

o Any other pertinent information and accomplishments for the week

 

  • For COMPONENT THREE, on a monthly basis, the vendor will be expected to submit a written spreadsheet report to the KDWPT that details status of the budget. The report shall include expenditures for the month, expenditures to date by project, and the remaining balance, as well as media planning status, media placed, media billed and media yet to be billed. The format of this report must be approved by the KDWPT
  • For COMPONENT THREE, when applicable, the vendor will provide a Planning Calendar that outlines the scope of upcoming projects at least eight weeks in advance of deadlines. All work should be planned a year out in advance. Ex: Planned
  • For COMPONENT THREE, on a quarterly basis, the vendor will be expected to report on advertising and marketing effectiveness, as well as pre- and post-campaign brand awareness assessment report.
  • For COMPONENT THREE, the vendor will be expected to participate in a monthly meeting on a date and time established by the KDWPT. At a minimum, the vendor may be required to travel to Topeka, Kansas, once a month for such meeting (at the vendor ’s expense).
  • For COMPONENT THREE, the vendor must have the financial capacity to contract and purchase media without advance payment by the Division.
  • For COMPONENT THREE, the vendor shall agree and understand that KDWPT shall have the right to approve or disapprove an assignment of any of the vendor’s personnel assigned to the account team. Furthermore, the vendor must obtain the written approval of KDWPT prior to replacement of any previously approved account team member. The vendor shall agree and understand that KDWPT shall have the right to request replacement of any person assigned to the account team for any reason. Unless the situation regarding the vendor’s assigned personnel requires immediate replacement, the vendor shall be allowed at least fourteen calendar days after notification to replace the unsatisfactory personnel.

 

Due Date:

January 16th, 2019

Address:

Department of Administration

Procurement and Contracts

Proposal # EVT000

Closing Date:

900 SW Jackson, Suite 451 South

Topeka, KS 66612-1286

Agencies worth considering for this assignment include APCO Worldwide and Zeno Group.