Vermont Information Centers Issues Marketing RFP

The objective of this RFP is selection of an individual to provide marketing services to potential and existing registered users (“Customer”) for the Vermont Information Centers Division (the State) to host advertising material for the promotion of the Customer’s businesses and attractions. The service will include the coordination of all aspects of the marketing program, including marketing to potential customers, customer registration/re-registration, invoicing, maintenance of State records (proprietary information) that designate which advertising material will be placed in the selected/contracted locations, collaboration with multiple VICD locations/staff, the customers, and the warehouse/distribution vendor on the inventory/ordering /restocking process, robust data collection, and flexible billing options to improve the program utilization and achieve operational efficiencies.

Background:

The Vermont Information Centers Division (VICD) provides marketing services at 19 statewide facilities – 17 state-run and 2 public-private partnership locations. [See Attachments 6.5 and 6.6 for locations.] The method used to register customers for both the brochure and ad sales programs is time-consuming and heavily dependent on VICD staff. The previous systems used to document the programs was through an antiquated data base, paper records, and one-on-one support for customers, vendors and staff by a program manager. VICD is currently collaborating with a vendor to provide a web-based data management system that will enable registration, re-registration, invoicing, and assist with the data involved in the inventory/stocking process. The current brochure program distributes approximately 3 million promotional brochure and publications per year. The VICD facilities host 3.3 million visitors annually who are seeking information on Vermont’s attractions and businesses. Experience indicates that traveling public wants to walk away with something they can refer to later, something concrete. The electronic advertising has not been successful in the past.

Scope of Work:

The State of Vermont seeks bids to meet the following business need(s):

Management of the State’s Vermont Information Centers Division marketing program. This scope of work includes procurement of the following:

                • Marketing Services

                                o Primary contacts (customers) include statewide area businesses and attractions — to                                  promote the marketing opportunities offered through the VICD marketing program.

                                o Annual follow up with businesses/attractions to explain and execute the annual                                           registration and invoicing process.

                • Customer Service

                                o Strong promotional/sales skills, collaborating with statewide businesses and                                                   attractions, mentoring co-worker skills, and empathy are required to lead a diverse                                        team of VICD field staff.

                                o It is critical to this position to maintain collaborative and effective working                                                        relationships with customers, contractors, and coworkers.

                • Process Collaboration

                                o While the position does not directly supervise, the incumbent must continually direct                                                and instruct statewide VICD staff in the proper ordering, stocking, and display of                                              brochures – to ensure the correct quantities and types of brochures are available at the VICD sites.

                                o Collaboration with the management of VICD and Government Business Services to                                     establish policy, practice, procedures, provide reports, and to annually set rates.

                                o Ongoing collaboration and follow-up with warehouse vendor to ensure there is                                            adequate stock for each brochure, to confirm delivery dates for specific brochures, in                                    the correct volume and to specified locations.

                                o Continual follow-up with staff at the 17 VICD locations and two public-private partnership locations that display the program’s brochures — to ensure an adequate supply of any brochure is received and displayed during the correct time period

                                o Ongoing collaboration with the Agency financial services office to ensure invoices are                                                 processed and payments are received and assigned to the correct account.

                • Database Management

                                o Utilize the existing database to document all transactions relative the registration and                                                distribution of brochures and ad panels.

                                o Collaborate with Vermont Information Consortium on the functionality of the data                                      management system.

                • Daily Operation

                                o The success of the brochure program rests on the manager.

                                o All aspects of daily operation — including customer service, warehouse oversight, and                                                site staff training — is the responsibility of the manager.

                                o To collaborate between customers, the warehouse management, and multiple staff in                                             each of the 17 VICD locations and two private businesses that host VICD brochures to                                    ensure adequate stock is maintained in the warehouse.

                                o Multiple VICD staff need to be trained in the ordering and display expectations for                                      each brochure — will require, at a minimum, monthly site visits.

                                o Travel will be required — bi-weekly travel to the various statewide VICD visitor centers, and travel to potential and existing customers.

                                o It is paramount that the advertising medium that the customer is paying for is                                                                displayed to the customer’s expectations and satisfaction.

                                o This position requires strong organizational skills and a strong ability to multi-task and                                                 juggle the needs of customers, contractors, and VICD co-workers.

                • Marketing Manager Musts

                                o It is imperative that the Marketing Manager be motivated, self-starting, and able to                                    work independently.

                                o Demonstrate a commitment to Excellence

                                                ▪ Accurate and immediate response to business needs of

                                                                • VICD Manager

                                                                • Brochure program customers

                                                                • VICD staff

                                                                • Brochure distribution contractor

                                o Communication is paramount

                                                ▪ The sales/marketing aspect of the position is critical to the success of the                                                          program.

                                                ▪ To maintain ongoing relationships with existing customers and establish                                                             relationship with new customers.

                                o The Marketing Manager must be able to prioritize each day’s work load to ensure the                                                continued success of the program.

                                o Communication with the VICD Manager

                                                ▪ Occurs daily as needed

                                                ▪ Supplemented by weekly meetings.

                                o The Marketing Manager must be able to

                                                ▪ Recognize and act on issues which he/she can solve within the scope of the job

                                                ▪ Understand when to involve VICD management.

                                                ▪ Provide the VICD Manager with annual fiscal reports in a professional and                                                         attractive format, suitable for reports to the legislature.

                                o Understanding of any State/Federal regulatory restraints

                • Marketing Manager Tasks Include

                                o Annually prepare documents and distribute to customers prior to each registration                                     period – Brochure registration year runs May through April.

                                o Distribute weekly order sheets to each VICD location in preparation for bi-weekly                                        delivery of brochures from the warehouse.

                                o Order sheets provide accurate, up-to-date information relative to active clients and                                    sites where brochures will be displayed.

                                o VICD employees at each VICD location run inventory and submit order to replenish                                     inventory.

                • Reporting

                                o Provide weekly reports

                                                ▪ Customer contacts and any related issues

                                                ▪ Visitor center visits

                                                ▪ Contacts with VICD staff and customers – email, phone, in person.

                                                ▪ VICD Manager to be copied on all email correspondence

                                o Provide monthly reports

                                                ▪ List of contacts

                                                                • New registered customers

                                                                • Current customers

                                                                • Potential customers

                                                ▪ Financial reports

                                                                • Revenue

                                                                • Expenditures

                                                                • Accounts Receivable

                                o Provide annual report

                                                • Number of brochure/publication customers

                                                • Number of brochures/publications distributed by location

Due Date:

February 8th, 2019. 

Address:

State of Vermont, Office of Purchasing & Contracting

109 State Street – Third Floor

Montpelier, VT 05609-3001

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