Writing a good ad proposal is a key factor for success (KFS) in ad agency merchandising. A proposal is of different kinds, depending on “whether we are talking of proposals in what we can call (a) the world of learning, and (b) the world of work. In the world of learning, proposals are known as research proposals “while those in the world of work are simply called contract (project) proposals. My focus here is on contract proposals.
A contract or project proposal can be defined as “a written offer to solve an identified technical problem, for a specified sum of money, usually giving minute details of the design, methodology, equipment and management plan, and presented in a way calculated to persuade the client or funding authority that the proposer is competent and better qualified to supply the desired technical solution than any other competing supplier.”
Guidelines in Writing a Winning Advertising Proposal
From the above definition, we can simply say that an ad proposal is a written offer by an ad agency showing how the agency can solve an identified advertising problem, for a specified sum of money. For the fact that such a proposal has to do with the client spending some money, it has to be so packaged as to convince the client that such spending is worth its weight in gold.
Taking the Winning Step
The first thing to take cognizance of in writing a winning a proposal is the demand of the world of work. Please go through the following carefully and think as you do so:
The world of work, commerce and industry has become a veritable network of firms, organizations and companies seeking different goods and services from other supply firms, organizations and companies with which they exist in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Naturally, no modern day firm or organization can produce all the products or provide all the services it requires for its operations. But, for any given product or service desired by a company, there are usually many firms or organizations willing and desirous of supplying the product or providing the service.
The potential suppliers of the product or service compete for the business by each striving to demonstrate that it is qualified and equipped to satisfy the buyer’s needs. This competition for the business takes the form of a proposal submitted to the client company.
As we can see, the world of work is the world of competition, and in such one’s success depends on how well one can furnish one’s client with proposal.
In order to write a must win advertising proposal, you must take note the following:
1) A proposal is a communicating instrument so it must be clear and specific.
2) It is a selling document meant to convince the client of the ability of the proposer to carry out the plan.
3) It must inform the client accurately in as few words as possible.
4) It must be presented in a courteous manner.
5) It must address the advertising problem and show in clear terms how the problem can be solved:
Checklist for a Winning Ad Proposal
The following questions will help you to check whether your proposal is on course:
- Is the advertising problem well articulated in the problem statement?
- Are there unnecessary appendages in the proposal like unwieldy preamble, apology, a statement of interest and such other digressions that may confuse or put off the client?
- Is the problem statement focused on one advertising problem or is diffused into several related problems?
- Is the problem statement too general as not to communicate the advantage of the proposal in unambiguous terms?
- Has your strategic concept addressed the advertising problem as articulated in the problem statement?
- Is your advertising solution to the advertising problem clearly stated?
- Is this solution on strategy vis-à-vis the advertising problem?
Elements of a Winning Ad Proposal
Have you noticed that the Advertising campaigns you see on on your television set, prints (newspapers and magazines), static and electronic billboards, blogs and everything else all have one characteristic ‘CATCHY and FLASHY LOOKING’. This is not a coincidence, they all have been carefully planned, researched and designed. A good proposal is not a slipshod thing. Rather, it is a product of good thinking sound “imagineering”. A good proposal must therefore portray the following.
1. A study of the product
What is it?’ A detailed research and study of the product or brand as the case may be shall form the foundation of your proposal. How are you supposed to advertise something you have no knowledge about?
2. Industry Knowledge
‘Where is our current position?’ It’s not just about the product after all, rather, about how the product is together with all the other products. What is the current situation? What are its strengths and where do you think are the good opportunities for the product considered as competition/threat?
3. Why Are We There?
What were the previous steps taken? Were the steps any good?
4. ‘Where Are We Going?‘
Identify the goal of the campaign; your vision. Who is your target audience? How are you able to get a key response (it’s basically the reaction you want the product to receive) from them? How do you reach out?
5. ‘Are We There Yet?‘
Is it even probable? definitely it has to be because there wouldn’t had been any need coming up with a campaign if you think it is not achievable? Present your visual aids. Do you think an audio visual commercial fits in the type of campaign? Come up with a storyboard. A print ad? Why don’t you show them a rough draft? Let your client know that with this campaign, their goal will be achieved. You must be able to demonstrate in clear terms to your client how you intend achieving it.
Metaphorically speaking, writing an ad proposal could be likened to a lady’s dinner dress: not too long, not too short, just long enough to cover the vital statistics.
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