Q1: What is the ultimate goal of the RFQ?
The goal is to select the most qualified organization to increase tourism and visitor spending in Stillwater while lengthening the duration of stay by visitors in Stillwater.
Q2: What else is there to promote in Stillwater other than Oklahoma State University?
We are looking for creative ideas. Stillwater has a lot going for it but we have had difficulty identifying our “brand” beyond OSU.
Q3: What is the budget for destination marketing?
We have not set a budget at this stage. Appropriate expenditure levels will be discussed with the selected organization. The source of funding for this program is the hotel room tax. Information about the hotel room tax can be found here: http://stillwater.org/files/sales-use-hotel-motel-tax-reports/Sales-Use-Hotel-Tax-Report--October-2018.pdf
Q4: Can companies from outside United States apply for this?
Q5: Do we need to come to Stillwater for meetings?
The RFQ selection process requires an in-person interview with the top organizations. We see it as difficult to provide acceptable service if an organization is unable to have a "presence" in Stillwater. While some communications can be achieved through the internet, we will expect occasional visits to Stillwater.
Q6: Can we perform the tasks outside USA?
Some tasks could conceivably be performed outside the USA.
Q7: Can we submit the proposals via email?
The RFQ response is required to be submitted by email.
Q8: How will success be measured? By whom? How often?
We are looking to the respondents to put forward ideas for consideration by Stillwater.
Q9: Do you believe you need a refresh on the brand? If so, why?
See response to question 8.
Q10: What has changed in Stillwater that you are seeking to move away from the CVB running the tourism program?
We are not moving away from anything at this point. We are looking for new ideas and a fresh perspective, regardless of the source.
Q11: Do you have any existing research?
Stillwater has contracted with Oklahoma State University to complete a visitor profile. The results of the study can be provided to the selected organization.
Q12: Knowing you don't need any help filling up hotel rooms on game day, where are the biggest opportunities?
We are looking to the respondents to put forward ideas and suggestions for consideration by Stillwater.
Q13: Where are visitors coming from (when there are no home games)? How long do they stay? Where do they go? How much money do they spend in market (on average)?
At this point, we don’t know. Stillwater has contracted with Oklahoma State University to complete a visitor profile. The results of the study can be provided to the selected organization.
Q14: Are you looking for a scope of work and estimates at this time?
No, we are only seeking qualifications to select the best organization.
Q15: On a scale of 1-5, how interested are you in non-traditional thinking (5 being most aggressive)?
Q16: Is Stillwater currently working with an agency?
Stillwater is currently under contract with Visit Stillwater through June 30, 2019.
Q17: Are you able to share who you invited to respond to the RFQ?
The list changes as additional organizations show interest in responding or additional organizations are brought to the City’s attention to include in the RFQ invitation. Currently, we have had contact with 17 destination marketing organizations, and 16 general advertising/public relations/marketing organizations both U.S. based and international.
Q18: Do you currently work with the University alumni association?
We work with the University and the alumni association on a great number of issues, events, and programs.
Q19: How are you currently measuring your marketing efforts?
The data-based measures we have are the hotel tax and sales tax receipts, neither of which is indicating any clear results.
Q20: What needs improvement?
We need a reliable measure of return on investment.
Q21: What kind of advertising and marketing has been done to date?
Local mass media, print (rack cards, visitors guide), social media (emphasis on Facebook and Instagram), and occasional pitch to travel bloggers.
Q22: What is the current composition of the internal marketing team?
Here is the link to the Office of Marketing and Public Relations.
Q23: Will agencies need to register as a vendor with the city?
Registration as a vendor is not required to respond to the RFQ.
Q24: Who will be the key point of contact and responsible for executing the proposed strategy of the agency?
The City of Stillwater will be the key point of contact. Specifics will be determined during contract negotiations.
Q25: Do you anticipate hiring one firm for research, developing brand ID, strategic marketing plan, and implementing marketing strategies & tactics?
At this point, we anticipate only receipt and evaluation of the RFQ responses. It would be premature to anticipate the result of contract negotiations.
Q26: Please expand & clarify the statement under "What do you do?" which says: Manage a destination to achieve goals and enhance and promote the brand?
The RFQ was intentionally written to leave room for creativity in the responses. We want responding organizations to expand and clarify based on experience and expertise.
Q27: Are you opposed to using an agency without specific "university town" branding experience but has a wide array of community & destination branding projects throughout the US?
University town experience will be one factor of many that are used in evaluating the responses. Lack of university town experience will not automatically disqualify any response.