Wisconsin Brand Strategy, Marketing, and Advertising RFP
Responses Due: February 29, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. CT
1.2 Introduction and Purpose
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Consolidated Agency Purchasing Services (CAPS) on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (Tourism), the state agency responsible for marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s travel opportunities to potential travel consumers under the brand name Travel Wisconsin, requests Proposals from advertising agencies for brand strategy, marketing, and advertising services and intends to use the results of this process to award a Contract to one (1) Responsive, Responsible Proposer.
Tourism does not guarantee it will purchase any specific quantity or dollar amount. Proposals that require a minimum number of commodities or services to be ordered will be rejected. There will be no guarantee to purchase any specific quantity or pay any minimum Contract cost during the term of the Contract.
The State reserves the right to cancel this RFP for any reason prior to the issuance of the Notice of Intent to Award.
1.3 Scope of Work
Tourism primarily conducts regional, national and some international marketing and advertising to attract visitors to Wisconsin and invests in meetings, conventions, sports, and international tourism marketing.
The budget is developed on a biennial basis but has not been established for the period of this Contract. Tourism’s current marketing and advertising base budget is $9 million for each fiscal year in 2024 and 2025. One-time funding allocations from fiscal year 2022 to present have increased the marketing budget and created a fluctuating budget. Fiscal year 2022 and 2023 provide an additional $9.7 million in one-time funds. An additional $12.5 million or more in one-time funds are allocated for fiscal year 2024. The Contractor shall be required to provide a high level of quality services which are normally associated with the handling of an account of this scope and size.
Collaboration is the key to a successful Contract, and it is the expectation that there will be daily phone and email contact between Tourism and the Contractor.
Tourism is seeking a Contractor for all brand strategy, marketing, and advertising services. At a minimum, the Contractor shall be capable of providing the following services.
1.3.1 Brand Strategy
To effectively develop and implement a comprehensive brand strategy for Travel Wisconsin, the Contractor must provide a range of services encompassing market research, competitive analysis, target audience identification and brand positioning. This includes conducting in-depth market research to understand the industry landscape, key trends, and consumer behavior patterns. Additionally, the Contractor needs to conduct a thorough competitive analysis to identify direct and indirect competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and their market positioning. This will provide valuable insights into how the Travel Wisconsin brand can differentiate itself and establish a unique position in the market. Furthermore, the Contractor must identify and understand the target audience, their demographics, psychographics, and media consumption habits. This will enable the development of targeted messaging and communication strategies that resonate with the Travel Wisconsin’s desired audience. Finally, the Contractor needs to develop a clear and consistent brand positioning statement. This positioning statement will serve as the foundation for all future marketing and advertising efforts.
1.3.2 Creative Services
To deliver impactful, engaging, and creative advertising campaigns, the contractor must provide a comprehensive suite of creative development services. This includes concept development, art direction, copywriting, graphic design, video production and interactive content creation. Concept development involves brainstorming and generating innovative ideas that align with Travel Wisconsin’s messaging and target audience. Art direction includes ensuring all content visuals are captivating, unique, and on brand.
Copywriting entails crafting compelling and persuasive copy that captures attention, conveys Travel Wisconsin’s message effectively and drives desired actions. Graphic design encompasses creating visually appealing and impactful designs that enhance Travel Wisconsin’s visual identity and communicates messages effectively. Video production involves producing high-quality videos that engage the audience, convey Travel Wisconsin’s story, and promote Wisconsin’s travel opportunities. Interactive content creation entails developing interactive experiences that engage users, increase brand awareness, and inspire potential travelers.
Media include, but are not limited to:
Out of Home
Digital (including rich media, video, banners, and social media)
1.3.3 Advertising – Media Planning and Buying
To effectively plan, negotiate and manage media purchases, the Contractor must provide a range of media planning and buying services. This includes media strategy development, media channel selection, media scheduling and media negotiation. Media strategy development involves creating a comprehensive plan that aligns with Travel Wisconsin’s approved KPIs, marketing objectives, target audience and budget constraints. Media channel selection entails identifying the most effective media channels to reach the target audience, considering factors such as audience demographics, media consumption habits and cost-efficiency. Media scheduling involves selecting specific media placements and placements that maximize ad exposure and reach the target audience at the right time. Media negotiation involves negotiating favorable rates with media publishers, procuring added-value opportunities, and securing the best possible value for Travel Wisconsin’s ad spend.
Advertising and media include, but are not limited to, the following creative and media purchasing activities: Television – Linear TV, Connected TV, social media reels and stories.
Print – National general interest and travel magazine titles and local, regional, national newspapers, and blog posts.
Online – All methods online, including programmatic display, native and rich media placements, content placements and paid search website landing pages.
Out of Home (OOH)
Radio – Streaming and Terrestrial Radio
Social media advertising buys
1.3.4 Content Marketing
To deliver effective digital marketing campaigns, the Contractor must provide a range of services that encompass social media marketing (SMM), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing and content marketing. SMM entails creating and managing engaging social media content, interacting with the target audience, and building a strong online community. PPC advertising involves creating and managing targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads, driving traffic to TravelWisconsin.com. Email marketing involves developing and executing email marketing campaigns that drive online subscriptions, engage consumers, promote Wisconsin’s travel opportunities, and drives engagement. Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, ultimately inspiring consumers to travel to and within Wisconsin.
Travel Wisconsin creates and distributes the following types of content:
episodic long-form content
social media reels and stories
short form video content
user generated content
website landing pages
print publications including our annual Travel Guide and Traveler magazine.
1.3.5 Video and Photography Production
To produce captivating and visually compelling multimedia content, the Contractor must provide a comprehensive range of video and photography production services encompassing pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production involves developing detailed production plans, including concept development, scriptwriting, storyboarding, shot list creation, location scouting, lighting setup, model casting, securing all usage rights, and equipment acquisition. Production entails capturing high-quality video footage and still images using professional cameras, lighting equipment, various props or backgrounds and adhering to the script, storyboards and shot list.
Post-production involves editing the raw footage and images, adding visual effects, incorporating music and sound effects, adjusting exposure, color correction, retouching and compositing to create final video and photography products. This process ensures that the multimedia content effectively conveys the Travel Wisconsin’s message, engages the target audience, and achieves the desired marketing objectives.