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7 Strategic Steps for Writing a Winning Advertising Proposal

We all know that getting clients is never easy. Even people who aren’t experts in the business world are aware of that. Merely presenting yourself to a client, baring the brand of your advertising agency, isn’t going to cut it. You need to show something that proves your agency can fulfill their needs. That “something” we’re talking about is an advertising proposal. Yes, you may have presented ad proposals before. But when you made them, you might’ve missed some elements that could’ve been the X factors to earn clients successfully. Anyway, you should put that in the past and move forward. Here, we’ll walk you through the seven steps for writing a winning advertising proposal.

7 Strategic Steps for Writing a Winning Advertising Proposal

Do Your Homework About the Client

This step is pretty basic. And, of course, we know that you’re aware of it because you’re in the advertising field. But despite that, it’s still something worth reviewing. Plus, professionals like you also need to go back to the basics from time to time.

It’s impossible to write a winning ad proposal without doing your homework about the client. That’s why we listed it as the first step. Studying the client’s business, products, operations, target consumers, and market field will give you tons of ideas on how to help their advertising campaign. That enables you to hit the right notes through your proposal.

If you can imagine, writing a proposal without knowing the client is meaningless. In the first place, you won’t know where and how to start. But if you can do write one, it’ll hold little to no relevance to the client. So do your homework before plotting an ad proposal.

Provide a Bird’s Eye View

The bird’s eye view or overview of your ad proposal serves as its introduction. It outlines what the client will or should expect as he or she reads or listens to your proposal presentation. The overview must set the tone of your proposal and manifest a positive impression. You need to put a lot of thought into writing it. It’s through the overview that the client can judge if you truly understand the scope of his or her advertising needs.

Furthermore, the overview should be compelling and engaging to hook the client’s interest. It’s the part of the proposal where you have to establish a connection to the client. When you write the overview, your goal should be to let the client say, “Okay, I’m listening.”

Set the Objectives

The objectives you must set on your proposal should be that of the client’s. Take note that they want someone that can meet his or her advertising needs. So, if the client sees that your objectives match with his or her’s, you’ll have his or her attention.

By setting the right objectives, the client will notice that you did market research about his or her business. It’s also one way of showing an excellent first impression. Make sure to state clearly the objectives. Let the client know that you’re on the same page with him or her. To be specific, show the client how profitable his or her business will become when all is said and done.

Structure a Stand Out Strategy

This step could be the difference between a client accepting your proposition or rejecting it. So, see to it to create a convincing advertising plan or strategy. Our advice for this matter is to structure a strategy that’s distinctive or less of a cliché, at least. Why? That’s because your agency isn’t the only agency proposing to the client.

Other ad agencies are lining up to get the client you want as well. And their proposed strategies could be the same as yours more or less. That makes your proposition less appealing. In that case, the client will see your proposal as a dull, same old same old client onboarding process. But, with an innovative and unique strategy, your proposal’s value and impact will skyrocket. Differentiate your ad agency’s brand by structuring creative and original tactics.

We’ll show you an example in devising a stand out strategy. According to Think With Google, people aged between 18 to 49 in 2015 spent more time watching YouTube (74%) than watching television (4%). Even though that stat was a few years back, it proves that the majority of people today spend many hours online. That said, the best tactic would be to put the client’s ad campaign on social media platforms, such as YouTube. As you can see, it’s a strategy that presents an effective solution.

Exceed the Client’s Expectations

Exceed the client’s expectations is more of a tip instead of a step in writing ad proposals. We included this because it can add to the persuasive power of your proposition. How should to do it, you ask? Well, for instance, if the client wants to increase product revenue by 10%, tell him or her that you can amp it up between 15% to 20% or more.

In preparing a proposal, you need to consider thinking outside of the box. Try to push limits and boundaries. It’s one of the marketing strategies that put reputable agencies at the top. Their ability to go beyond what their clients asked gave them a sharp competitive edge. If you can do that, your ad agency could join their ranks.

Let the Client Have Options

Once you’ve structured a strategy, try to make more to give the client multiple options. Assume that the client might not find your first strategy effective enough. If that happens, at least you can present other alternatives. Don’t limit the scope of your proposal. Widen it as much as possible to increase your chances of winning.

Some ad agencies make their proposals too linear—with limited solutions to help the client’s business. If you’ve made the same mistake, now you know that you should avoid it.

Minimize Costs as Much as Possible

Cost is a big word in preparing ad campaigns. Of course, clients want to get the best deals at the lowest possible price. With that in mind, minimizing costs will make your proposal more appealing. If you can show an advertising quotation with lesser expenses and cheaper yet better alternatives, you could soon be sealing a contract with the client.

Writing an ad proposal is much like writing an advertising agency business plan. But the focus of an ad proposal is the client’s business, not your agency. By following these steps, you can create ad proposals that’ll ultimately increase your agency’s profitability. And yes, you’ll win the interest of your target clients.

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