It can be easy to fall into the trap of sending the same long form statement of work to each potential prospect. In many cases this may make sense. We tend to have a strong base of elements that comprise the meat of all of our projects. Services, platforms, technology, reporting, analytics, and more – we are successful marketers because we have a solid roadmap we use to drive program results.
We can also agree that the B2B PPC space is getting smarter, faster, and more demanding. Marketers and brands are bombarded with potential advertising and technology partnerships. For B2B marketing decision makers, it can be a time-consuming (and often frustrating) experience to sift through multiple contracts and determine the best fit for their organization.
To make a proposal stand out, reinforce the key value concepts and core strengths of your organization. The more effort we take to customize our proposal to a potential client’s brand and goals, the better and more informative our statement of work tends to be.
I’m going to lay out some ideas on what are the keystone elements of an excellent statement of work. Ultimately, you know what your business excels at and every proposal should be tailored not only to your strengths but also to the objectives of the program. Here are some starting points:
Goals & Objectives
Start with identifying the goals of the program and how your firm’s unique strengths fit into making those goals achievable. Key questions include:
- What are the program objectives? Is it to generate awareness for a brand or specific initiative. Is it to generate qualified leads?
- By what metrics will success be defined? Is it a cost per lead metric? Is it net number of marketing qualified leads? Is it through program ROI?
Program goals help you create a good faith agreement that frames program success. I recognize there are often times instances where the client does not or can not accurately pinpoint this information, but in any case your proposal should be as clear and concise about program goals and objectives as possible.
Preliminary Campaign Audit & Program Roll-out
In B2B PPC management, the team is usually taking custody of several crucial advertising channels from a client. It’s extremely important to convey some of the activities and steps that you will undergo immediately to ensure a seamless transition. The proposal should also reflect a clear and deep insight of the client’s target audience.
Detail Transition Process for Advertising Accounts
Clearly list the advertising accounts and platforms you will become custodian for. For example, if the program calls for day-to-day management of a Google AdWords account, the proposal should detail the steps of transferring the account into your client center, as well as set timeframe expectations of how long the process will take, and specifically, when or how long after transition you will be responsible for overseeing account activities.
Demonstrate Knowledge of Client’s Business
A great proposal is more than just a contract – it is a tool that assists your company’s sales funnel and gives you an opportunity to further highlight your firm’s strengths and attention to detail. Take the opportunity here to begin to show knowledge of the keyword space and the type of audience you will be looking to engage with.
Consider including some of these data points:
- Keyword search estimates (Google Keyword Planner is helpful here) for all major keyword themes. Include competitiveness, cost, and volume.
- Industry benchmark data or any industry specific data points that influence strategic decision making.
- Target audience details demonstrate a strong understanding of the client’s key buyer personas. Describe the key audience you seek to engage, the types of tools or strategies you have to access that audience, and what (if any) experience you’ve had in engaging similar personas.
This last point is crucial. Not only does this succinctly convey your depth of knowledge of the client’s business, it will ultimately allow you to better target the audience through keyword selection, content channels, and advertising copy.
Moreover, it’s an opportunity to differentiate yourself from potential competitors by sharing all the ways you’ve engaged with a particular audience previously. This shows that not only are you familiar with the particular audience, but you already have a strong jumping off point and that you’re ready to explore this plan further.
Ongoing Program Initiatives
As the program continues, there are a number of initiatives that should be put in motion. Here are a few things to consider:
- What advertising channels will you utilize? What is the launch or roll-out schedule? Do you expect to have a slow burn and continue to explore new channels and platforms or will you begin day one with multiple platforms?
- What does the feedback loop look like? Do you require client sign-off on ad creative changes?
- How often will you have review meetings?
- What deliverable items can the client expect to receive from you and at what frequency?
Reporting and Analysis
Defining and setting clear expectations on reporting and analysis within the proposal helps both you and the potential client. Offer direct and easy to comprehend timeframe expectations of reports and ongoing analysis. Key details to include:
- How often will you provide reporting? Is it available via real-time dashboard or delivered at a specific frequency?
- What is your main source of truth for reporting? Do you integrate into back-end or CRM for lead quality analysis?
- What are the KPIs you will report regularly?
- What type of quarterly or monthly executive reports will you provide?
Though not directly attached to the proposal, it can be a real boon to showcase some example dashboard or executive reports you’ve built out for other programs.
A B2B PPC proposal helps differentiate your firm from the dozens of other potential suitors that your prospective client could engage with. It should leave the client with an extremely clear understanding of what your team will be doing, what they are trying to accomplish, and a short list of tactics that they will employ to achieve this goal.