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Zappos RFP process comes untied


If you have ever dealt with you know they have great customer service with it seems like that treatment may not extend to their business partners. They recently launched an agency review which quickly drew tremendous interest since the brand has shown a willingness to embrace new ideas and digital media. By the end of the process they had open up the review to more than 100 agencies. If you have ever been involved in an RFP process you know how insane that number is handling more than 4 or 5 can be an all consuming process.

One of the agencies that submitted an RFP was Ignited who did something smart with their submission. They used Google Analytics to calculated that Zappos viewed only five pages of its 25-page submission with an average page-view time of 14 seconds. Beyond that it showed that they looked at pages like “What’s a campaign by another agency that you admire?” and not a testimonial from one of the agency’s current clients.

Mr. Wolfsohn made a good point in his blog by saying “The playing field is about to get a bit more level. If we reply to any RFPs in the future, we’ll be letting the prospective clients know that our submission will be online and that we’ll be measuring how much time is spent reviewing it. And we encourage other shops to do the same. If agencies are going to spend weeks preparing their response, the least any client can do is commit 30 minutes to look at it.”

I speak for someone who used to do a tremendous amount of new business work that I love this idea so that all the time and love that is invested into that work actually gets it’s day in the sun and agencies aren’t just treated like clearing houses and filters to help executives form opinions they can’t create on their own.


  1. David Kutcher

    July 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Some thoughts on RFP Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for Business Matchmaking

  2. Dreamented

    July 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    This is pure genius. Finally, agencies may have a way to fight back. Thanks for this Stephen. There is hope after all 😉

  3. Pingback: Why did Belgian ad agencies go on strike this week? | Stephen Gates Blog: Interactive Creative Director - Digital + Online Design, Advertising, Marketing and Branding

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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