There are many factors that go into the decison-making process when large companies are looking into the possibility of changing ESPs. Nobody goes into this lightly. These companies know how important email and cross-channel messaging is to the health of their business, so they approach the process with the intention of coming out the other side with the best possible solution.
A big part of doing that, in many cases, is the RFP. When done well, it can be extremely effective in helping to focus the process, and in getting the vendors competing for the coveted win to discuss the job on the company’s terms.
But are there flaws in this approach? In our latest research, we wanted to dig deep into how Marketing teams are handling RFPs, and find out how well they’re doing the job they’re set up to do. In many cases, what we found was interesting and somewhat surprising, no areas more so than in how different these RFPs are viewed as you climb the decision-making chain.
For Super Senders looking to switch ESPs, the RFP — executed well — is a valuable tool for maintaining an efficient and objective process with a result that greatly improves a company’s cross-channel messaging operation. But our new research suggests that many marketers are making crucial mistakes that are undercutting the effectiveness of their RFP process. And that’s leading to negative misconceptions about ESPs and decisions that cause immense frustration for the marketing and I.T. teams.
In our recent webinar, MessageGears CEO Roger Barnette and Marketing Democracy President Chris Marriott discussed the research, and offered expert advice from both the ESP and consultant perspective on how you can make your next RFP more efficient and successful.
For Super Sender companies looking for a new ESP, the RFP is often a key component, helping to streamline and simplify what can be an arduous process. But is it working in the way it should? Our new research report dives into that question, asking 100 Marketing and I.T. professionals their views on the RFP process, and how it works for ESP selection. If you’ve been part of an RFP at a large company, the numbers may not be all that surprising. ESP technology is advancing faster than most companies outside the industry can fully appreciate, and that’s causing their RFPs to come up short.
Our new whitepaper (Free download; no strings attached) dives into the full details of the survey, including plenty of commentary from Marketing Democracy founder Chris Marriott.
While email is a highly efficient and profitable messaging channel for Super Senders who put the resources into doing it well, there’s no doubt that push messaging and SMS have plenty of potential for companies who want to maximize their customer reach. If you’re a marketing or martech leader who’s trying to evaluate providers, though, the terminology and options can be confusing. When a vendor calls themselves “multi channel,” what does that mean? And how is “cross channel” different?
Similar as they may sound, there’s actually an important difference in how email service providers use them. Multi-channel providers can enable marketers to create campaigns in multiple channels — push and SMS being the most common — but doing so typically means building the campaign for one channel at a time, often using very different UIs for each. With cross-channel messaging, though, you’re building one campaign and choosing the channels within that campaign, on the same screen.
Think back to your latest RFP process when your company was picking a new email service provider. Why did you make the selection you did? Ideally, it was because this particular vendor described in detail why they were the best fit for your particular needs, and how they could help you meet your specific email-related goals.
But, quite often, that’s not the case. At the end of a long, exhausting RFP process, a company might choose an ESP for a variety of reasons. Maybe their sales team had a key connection at your company. Perhaps they had the broadest set of features, or you had an existing relationship via other tools. Or maybe they merely offered the lowest price, and the higher-ups said that was the bottom line.