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t’s understandable that you’d
want to give a client a multi-
page proposal describing how
amazing your company and advertising
plan are but frankly people these days
don’t have the time or interest to read it.
Your client is starved for time and the best
thing you can do is keep it simple and
Don’t make it too complex for your cli-
ent to understand your proposal. A good
mantra is one proposal, one price, one
invoice. You want to show the client how
all the different elements of the proposal
come together to get them the results they
Here are four core elements of a one-
1. Marketing Needs Summary
Determine the one primary market-
ing goal that this client has. For example,
it could be promoting a new product,
service or location. Get the client to focus
on just one marketing goal. Define the
message that will be driven across the
Have a conversation about the market-
ing trends affecting the client’s business.
It could be about the seasonality of the
product, or how the economy is affecting
their sector of business. Maybe a trend
is affecting the advertising category that
should be addressed. Look for both the
opportunities and challenges and adjust
the plan accordingly. The primary goal of
the campaign may come from this conver-
sation of often-overlooked scenarios.
2. Structure of Marketing Solution
Determine the marketing mix. What
are all the different elements you want
to pull together? This is the opportunity
to show the client how all the different
elements of traditional and digital media
work together to create a successful
campaign. You want to lay out a unified,
integrated solution, not something that
is piecemeal and easy for them to pick a
What is the best digital call to action
suited to the marketing goal? Determine
if it is to be coupon redemption, an email,
a social follower, or maybe a conversion
on a special offer. Next, you really want to
understand what the best mix of digital
promotion to yield that digital call to ac-
tion is and the primary marketing goal
though the use of proper ad formats. You’ll
also want to address what is the best mix
of traditional promotion to offer in the
campaign. Look at how print, broadcast or
other traditional media will lend support
to the marketing goal and tie it in to the
Remember, you want one price for
each of the marketing mix elements. You
want to demonstrate that this is a unified
solution and that if you take out any of the
bricks in this wall it could crumble. Design
your campaign so that you can explain
how all this will work together so that your
client can’t pick out pieces and weaken
the overall campaign.
3. Campaign Management Summary
This is a good time to define the op-
timum marketing cycle. For example, if
your client’s business is a gardening center
and it is early spring then it makes sense
to point out that this is the most lucrative
time of the year to advertise. You are shift-
ing the pressure of closing the sale from
you to them by doing so. They know they
really have to pull the trigger in order to
get the most bang for their buck.
Clients want to be kept apprised of
the progression of the campaign. Be sure
to explain how you are going to report on
campaign activity throughout the cam-
paign including the kinds of reports that
will be supplied and the method of sup-
plying them. If you see that things aren’t
going well the reports will give you the
opportunity to make adjustments on the
fly. It demonstrates your commitment to
your client’s success.
Consult your clients on their sales
conversion plan. You can do all you can to
bring your client’s buyers to the threshold
but the conversion can be lost if the client
is not prepared on their end to convert.
You may want to talk about the salesforce
– are they educated on the campaign, do
they know about the special offers, etc.?
Have the conversation about what they
need to do in order to have all their ducks
in a row for the sales conversion.
4. Communication Preferences
Ask the client what is their preferred
method of communication. Do they like
phone calls, emails, text or in-person?
Likewise, let the client know how they
can get a hold of you immediately. It’s
important to discuss the communication
frequency. Find out how often they want
to hear from you and what the hot button
issues are that they want to hear about.
Define urgency. What is urgent to you may
not be urgent to your client and vice-versa.
This will establish a lot of expectations and
it helps you build up that relationship of
trust with your client.
When it comes to writing a proposal,
your purpose is to convince the reader to
make the choice you propose. Therefore,
you want your proposal to be concise
and persuasive. These four core elements
described can help you communicate the
actions necessary for a successful advertis-
ing campaign in a single brief proposal.
This column is based on a module
from the Advanced Digital Sales Certi-
fication Course. You can find out more
information about it and sample video
modules from the course online at lo-
calmedia.org under ‘Training.’
Get to the nitty-gritty with proven techniques
How to write a one-page digital advertising proposal
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By Peter Conti
Sales & Marketing Director, LMA
A good mantra is one proposal, one price, one invoice.
For more information contact Pete at email@example.com
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