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CMCB Seeks Proposals for Marketing Services

DEADLINE EXTENDED: To ensure there is adequate time and opportunity for all those who would like to submit proposals, we have extended the submission deadline for the Concrete Masonry Checkoff (CMC) Board’s marketing RFP. The deadline for submissions is now Friday, October 6, 2023.

OVERVIEW

The CEO and the Marketing Committee of the Concrete Masonry Checkoff Board (“CMCB”) are seeking a marketing partner that will handle tasks associated with getting our “story” out to decision makers across the country. The Concrete Masonry Checkoff (“Checkoff”) is an entity created by the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2018 which required a referendum for approval by more than fifty percent of block producers registered to vote, representing more than fifty percent of the machine cavities of those registered to vote. The successful referendum vote established the Checkoff, meaning every CMU block sold is assessed one penny at the first point of sale (and only the first point of sale).

The Checkoff was created by concrete masonry producers frustrated with the continual loss of market share to competitive products such as softwood lumber, steels and others. That frustration was compounded as program ideas surfaced that could drive demand, there was no way to fund multi-year, well-funded programs that would change outdated perceptions of concrete masonry products (“block”).

Checkoff investments are overseen by a group of block producers, nominated by their peers and appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. While all Checkoff investments are decided upon by the Board, there are five regional advisory committees (RACs) who are responsible for identifying funding opportunities unique to their region that are then submitted to the board for consideration. At least half of Checkoff program dollars are required to fund regional programs, with the remaining program dollars going to work at the national level.

The Checkoff is soliciting firms to work in partnership with the Board on developing a national brand and marketing strategy. Given the local nature of the industry and its producer members, there have been many efforts taken at the company and regional level but never anything nationally. The Checkoff wants to create a message that resonates with architects, engineers, institutional decision makers, commercial building owners and homeowners about the enduring and aesthetic qualities of its products.

CHECKOFF FUNDING PRIORITIES

In addition to marketing, Checkoff leaders have identified five additional focus areas for funding with national and regional program investments.  These focus areas should be considered in the proposal as to how the firm would drive success in marketing these initiatives.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

  • Understand the thought-process of the decision makers in our industry (‘target audience”) – architects, engineers, residential and commercial building owners, institutional builders, and homeowners.
  • Develop a brand and market strategy that resonates with the target audience.
  • Grow market share for concrete masonry units in commercial, institutional, and residential construction.
  • Make block recognized as a high quality, durable product across the entire target audience

SCOPE OF WORK

The Checkoff currently has a staff of one, our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”).   The CEO and the Marketing Committee of the Concrete Masonry Checkoff Board (“CMCB”) are seeking a marketing partner that will handle tasks associated with getting our “story” out to decision makers across the country. Here are the key tasks that we require from our marketing partner:

  • Market Research & Insights: Primary and secondary research to inform the development of an overarching brand, focusing on key decision makers: architects to engineers to institutional decision makers to commercial building owners and homeowners to determine what themes best resonate with them will be a key component of the brand development. We anticipate this activity will include an assessment of existing marketing efforts by other groups, including regional masonry associations and competitors.
  • Brand Creation & Strategy: The Checkoff currently has a logo and an interim website to communicate information to internal stakeholders. For the purposes of this RFP, the selected firm will be tasked with developing a customer-centric brand for outward facing marketing, and the supporting brand platform and strategy.
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign + Lead Generation: Develop and execute a multi-channel marketing campaign designed to maximize audience exposure and engagement and drive interest in concrete masonry block products. This likely will include a combination of paid, earned and owned channels, including development of a dynamic website with a password-protected portal for producer-investors. Website content will include demos of building performance, construction simulations and potentially a connection to a virtual design center (being developed as a separate scope). The selected firm will also be tasked with creating and maintaining social channels, including content creation and community management. In addition, the selected firm will develop an overarching digital lead generation strategy and supporting CRM, including vetting and identifying tools and developing a customer database.
  • Reputation Strategy: It is likely that market research will demonstrate that many of our target audiences have an outdated perception of concrete block particularly when compared to other building products. A comprehensive reputation strategy will be critical to evolving that perception.
  • Investor Relations: It is critically important that the producers who contribute to the checkoff and other industry stakeholders have consistent awareness and understanding of where and how checkoff dollars are invested on their behalf and over time, the ROI. The selected firm will be tasked with developing and executing an investor relations communications campaign, focused heavily on digital marketing, direct and earned media.

ANTICIPATED TIMELINE

Task Deadline
RFP Distribution September 8, 2023
RFP Submissions Due Friday, October 6, 2023.
Top Agencies Notified October 13, 2023
Top Agency Presentations October 16 – October 31, 2023
Agency Selection November 3, 2023
Introduction to Board November 14, 2023

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Responses should be provided electronically here Marketing RFP Submission Form. Once received, a confirmation message will appear on your screen and the option to email that submission to yourself. Please respond by Friday, October 6, 2023.

Please answer the following points in your response.

  1. Please describe your agency’s experience in developing brands and market activation.
  2. Please identify your team leader and the relevant experience to the Checkoff’s efforts.  Please list any other key personnel who will be integral to the marketing efforts of the Checkoff, as well as subcontractors you anticipate would work on our business.
  3. How do you believe the Checkoff will best achieve its strategic objectives? Outline the strategic approach you recommend using, including target audiences, timelines, and expected results. If recommending a phased approach, please outline the necessary phases to accomplish the Checkoff’s objectives.
  4. What key performance indicators (KPIs) do you recommend that the Checkoff use to determine the ROI on their marketing efforts?
  5. Based on the strategies outlined in your response, please provide your high-level thinking for how you would approach the following budget scenarios over the course of 12 months: $500,000 / $1, 000,000
  6. Based on your recommendations for #5, how would you recommend allocating a year two budget of $500,000?

SELECTION CRITERIA

The agency will be selected based on the following criteria listed in the order of importance:

  • Trust
  • Interpersonal Fit
  • Experience and skills of agency members
  • Creative Prowess
  • Pricing

Download these Requirements Submit an RFP

ABOUT THE CONCRETE MASONRY CHECKOFF:

The Concrete Masonry Checkoff represents block producers from around the U.S. with a vision of creating a future where concrete block is preferred among engineers, builders, architects and designers; block products are regularly specified to build more resilient communities around the country; and manufacturers are regularly increasing production to meet expanding demand.