University of Washington Issues Marketing RFP

This request for proposal, (RFP) is issued by the University of Washington to solicit proposals from consultants to execute marketing campaigns for the Michael G. Foster School of Business, with the purpose of increasing brand awareness and ultimately enrollments.


The Marketing & Communications team at the Michael G. Foster School of Business is responsible for successful execution of advertising and marketing campaigns that extend and promote the Foster brand and drive awareness for the fee-based educational programs. These programs generate revenue for the School of Business and rely on marketing to drive awareness and preference at the beginning of the customer journey. The operation and marketing of Foster’s programs is a multilayered process. Each program has differing needs and demands. The selected vendor(s) will have to be able to build rapport with the various program directors and marketing & communications staff, work within the parameters of a higher education environment and facilitate multiple projects to completion.

The Foster School of Business marketing and communications team currently works with the following graduate and continuing education programs:

·         Full-time MBA

·         Evening MBA

·         Executive MBA

·         Hybrid MBA

·         Technology Management MBA

·         Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

·         Master of Science in Business Analytics

·         Master of Science in Information Systems

·         Master of Science in Taxation

·         Master of Science in Entrepreneurship

·         Master of Professional Accounting

·         Executive Education (certificate and seminar program)

Each program has varying marketing and advertising needs, with some requiring no assistance and others requiring higher degrees of service. In addition to promoting these programs, we run a Foster brand campaign throughout the year, along with one-of requests from Foster centers and other departments.

Our marketing strategy is to focus on promoting Foster at a high level, with a specific, targeted approach to advertising the individual programs. Approximately 50% of time and budget should be allocated to the Foster campaign, with the remaining 50% designated to the programs noted above.

Current makeup of Foster’s marketing and communications department:

·         Managing Director

·         Strategic Marketing Director

·         Senior Manager, Marketing Strategy & Insights

·         Advertising and Brand Manager

·         Writer and Managing Editor

·         Director of Marketing Operations

·         Senior Video Producer

·         Content Strategist

·         Web Production Manager

·         Web Information Specialist

·         UX Analyst

The selected vendor will work with and report directly to the Advertising and Brand Manager. The vendor may communicate with the other members of the marketing and communications department and other individuals throughout Foster on a project-by-project basis as needed, but the Advertising and Brand Manager will be included in all communications. The selected vendor may on occasion work with other vendors as it pertains to individual Foster campaigns. In such a case both vendors will be expected to communicate transparently with one another and the Advertising and Brand Manager for the good of the Foster School of Business.

Scope of Work:

This project requires that the selected vendor(s) have an understanding of academic environments, including a grasp of the admissions cycle for MBA, specialized master’s and executive education programs. This knowledge is important for identifying motivators for prospects seeking advanced or continuing business education.

Vendor services required are:

                A. Creative design and execution for digital, print, and out-of-home (OOH) advertising

                B. Performance tracking for all projects

                                a. May include digital, social media (paid/earned), and offline assets (direct mail, print ads, radio, and OOH advertising)

Vendor services desired are:

                A. Programmatic digital advertising placement capabilities

                B. Media planning and buying (to include digital, print, radio, and OOH)


                A. Creative, project management and reporting $75,000-100,000

                B. Media buys/placements $250,000-275,000


                A. Campaign creative:

                                1. Provide concepts and execution options that assist the Foster School in differentiating itself among local and national competitors.

                                2. Develop creative concepts that integrate with the existing Foster brand, WordPress website, and blog.

                                                A. Project management:

                                                                1. Monthly check-ins (via phone or in person)

                                                                2. Project timelines and schedule for each project

                                                                3. Weekly email status updates for ongoing projects

                                                B. Analytics:

                                                                1. Reporting from the prior month, to be provided by the 10th calendar                                                                                day of every month

                                                                2. Recommendations for creative or placement changes based on                                                                           analytics, as needed

Due Date:

May 27th, 2019. 


Agencies worth considering includes Hunter PR and Zeno Group.

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