AX-21-001 Marketing & Advertising Services - DEADLINE September 2, 2020

Agency: University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
State: Arkansas
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541613 - Marketing Consulting Services
  • 541810 - Advertising Agencies
Posted Date: Jul 31, 2020
Due Date: Sep 2, 2020
Solicitation No: AX-21-001
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AX-21-001 Marketing & Advertising Services - DEADLINE September 2, 2020 (PDFwill open in a new tab)

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Procurement Services
5210 Grand Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72904
RFP AX-21-001
Marketing & Advertising Services
Issue Date: July 31, 2020
Deadline: September 2, 2020
The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System, for and on behalf of, the University of Arkansas at
Fort Smith (UAFS) is seeking proposals from qualified firms to provide marketing and advertising services
focused on student recruitment and brand awareness. UAFS seeks to engage an agency who will collaborate
with the University’s Marketing & Communication Office to assist in raising the stature and reputation of the
University through media buying.
This Request for Proposals (RFP) outlines basic requirements for services to be provided. The University of
Arkansas at Fort Smith is the client and makes no guarantee as to the number and size of projects which may be
awarded under this proposal. The University’s Marketing and Communication Office will be the firm’s point of
contact throughout the resulting contract and will coordinate the professional services required of the firm.
Media placement, including outdoor advertising, digital, TV, and social media advertising are all part of this project
scope. In addition to the Marketing and Communication Office, other departments who will be utilizing the
resulting contract are, but not limited to, the Admissions Office, Adult Degree Completion Program, University
Box Office and Season of Entertainment.
The capabilities and attributes being sought include:
Media-buying expertise, including traditional and digital mediums.
Experience utilizing paid search and SEO to impact awareness of client.
A proven track record in developing and executing multi-media marketing campaigns, preferably including
experience at the higher education level.
Annual advertising expenditures may range between $150k - $300k.
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith was established in 1928 as a junior college extension of the public school
system. Most of its history is that of a two-year institution that has operated under several names including Fort
Smith Junior College, Westark Junior College, Westark Community College, and Westark College.
On December 15, 2000, the respective governing boards of Westark College and the University of Arkansas System
entered into an agreement to merge Westark with the System as a four-year, baccalaureate institution. UAFS
became a four-year university and joined the UA System on January 1, 2002.
In the fall of 2015, UAFS offered its first graduate degree, a Master of Science in healthcare administration. In
2019, it launched its second graduate degree, a Master of Education with emphasis areas of English and curriculum
and instruction.
UAFS is one campus with 922 total employees (575 full-time, 347 part-time). Today, UAFS is the third largest of
the five universities in the University of Arkansas System and the sixth largest of the state’s four-year
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith is grouped into the 101st market in terms of market size across the
United States.
Mission: UAFS prepares students to succeed in an ever-changing global world while advancing economic
development and quality of place.
Vision: UAFS will be a national model for preparing students for workforce mobility through education and
professional development while serving as the thought leader in the region for workforce training.
Fall 2017 – 6,626
Fall 2018 – 6,557
Fall 2019 – 6,264
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith has a dedicated in-house marketing and communications team and is
seeking the services of a firm to collaborate with the university in marketing strategy and placement of advertising.
UAFS will meet with firm representatives monthly to review KPI’s of current initiatives and plan future strategies.
Firms should have a successful track record in areas including (but not limited to):
Digital Media
Social Media Strategy
Web Marketing
Lead Generation
Traditional Media
Data Analysis
Strategic Planning
Market Research
Graphic Design
The successful firm must demonstrate:
An understanding of the market position of UAFS in public higher education within Arkansas and the
surrounding region
The ability and willingness to work seamlessly with UAFS’ branding agency and internal
marketing/communications team in the creation and implementation of marketing strategies and tactics
A strong track record of success in campaign management and data analysis
The University has set marketing and recruitment goals which have been focused specifically on recruiting high-
quality students through increasing enrollment in the following segments:
Traditional students
Transfer students
International students
Online students
Adult learners
UAFS will provide all design collateral that is supplied for media purposes. Any vendor-designed collateral must
be approved by UAFS before placement.
The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith will retain ownership rights of all materials developed during the
relationship. Additionally, the University has the right to utilize any creations developed as templates for
additional collateral.
The selected vendor will accept the UAFS logo, style-guide, and University-provided theme lines, and use as
An evaluation committee will evaluate the proposals received as a result of this RFP.
A firm will be selected on the basis of the proposal submitted which is, in the opinion of UAFS administration, to
be in the best interest of the university when all factors are considered. Factors considered will include, but are
not limited to:
Services Rendered
Quality of Product
It must be recognized by the interested parties submitting proposals that some of these factors are judgment
items and the decision of the administration as approved by the UA System Board of Trustees is final. The
University reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, or parts thereof, and to waive informalities in
proposals received. The University shall be free to accept whichever submittal(s) it deems most advantageous.
Vendors are asked to submit an introductory cover letter and include names and email addresses of all
personnel who will need to be contacted during this RFP process.
The remainder of the proposal should follow the guidelines below which also serve as the Proposal and
Selection Criteria.
1. General Company Overview (10 points)
Provide a company overview that outlines your key competencies and approach to media buying.
Include an overview on what sets you apart from other agencies.
List the experiences and role of staff members who will work on the account. Include titles, roles,
responsibilities and office location. Identify the expectations for interactions with the internal
UAFS team.
2. General Capabilities and Qualifications (25 points)
Include a statement of what can be expected during the on-boarding process of a new client.
Explain your process for meeting, reporting and sharing of updates during the advertising buy
Provide capabilities of the agency’s media department and practices used to ensure efficient and
effective media placement.
The University expects billing transparency and a clear delineation between media placement
costs and costs associated with professional services. Agency invoices should denote and detail media
placement costs versus agency fees and/or hourly fees.
3. Solution and Approach (25 points)
Provide a list and explanation of the digital strategies currently available through your firm.
The services available should include a wide array of tactics to include paid search, television
placement, print advertising, digital advertising offerings, and other suggested tactics.
Describe the methodology to justify media investments and describe how ROI is established and
measured. This should include a listing of Key Performance Indicators.
Describe the agency’s strategic process including research, placement, and analysis.
Indicate any work that is outsourced.
4. References and Case Studies (10 points)
Provide examples of at least one multi-platform campaign (digital, advertising, TV commercial,
etc.) completed within the past two years for a similar client.
Provide an example of how your agency’s approach to media planning and buying has benefited
a client’s ability to engage a large proportion of their target audience with minimal advertising
Provide at least three professional references from comparable clients.
5. Cost (30 points)
Provide an estimated fee structure of agency charges for placing media.
What services, if any, may the University expect at no charge?
Firms must supply a Price Proposal Sheet for all services offered, including agency mark-up for media buying,
If requested, firm must be willing to make an oral presentation to the University’s evaluation committee.
The award will be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined to be the most advantageous
to the University, taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth. No other factors or criteria shall be
used in the evaluation.
Once a selection is made, a contract will be negotiated subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of the UA
The initial term of the resulting Agreement from this RFP (“Term”) shall commence on January 1, 2021 (or the
earliest possible date based on Legislature review and approval) and shall continue through June 30, 2022, unless
otherwise terminated as provided per terms of the contract. At the end of the first contract term, the Agreement

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