Evaluating Database Marketing Vendors — 10 Questions That Might Not Be In The RFP

I see a lot of RFPs for database marketing assistance. While most go into lots of detail about the requirements the firm has, I’m often struck by what’s not included. Here are 10 questions that should be asked:

1. Operational efficiency. “Can you provide us with specific examples of how you’ve helped firms achieve ongoing marketing cost reductions and operational efficiency gains?”

2. Service levels. “We know you’ll commit to meet the service levels prescribed in the RFP, but can you show us scorecards you’ve delivered to clients that prove you’ve maintained high performance against SLAs?”

3. Data quality. “How do you create unique keys and prevent duplicates?”

4. Scalability. “How have you helped your clients scale beyond current volume — both from a processing as well as from an analytical perspective (i.e., scaling analytical data marts)?”

5. Analytical data marts. “Speaking of data marts, how have you improved extract time and reduced redundant processes involved with the design, development, and management of data marts?”

6. Modeling.
“We’re sure you have excellent capabilities for developing models, but tell us how you’ve improved your client’s models?”

7. Promotion history. “How well have you been able to track, manage, and analyze promotion history?”

8. Cross-channel capability. “What experience do you have in evaluating and incorporating Web analytics data in your work?”

9. Account team structure.
“Are your account team members dedicated to clients or shared across clients — and, if shared, how will that work?”

10. Management stability. “We know your financials are stable, but what’s the tenure at your firm of your senior and account management teams?”

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