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Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing Master Contracts

Can I set up a vendor (sub-) contract with these marketing firms even if I don’t have any specific work or project needs now?

Yes, up to a $75,000 limit. Departments may execute a Statement of Work Agreement for general services with a marketing firm that does not reference a specific project or deliverables. In these cases, one or more marketing plans should be part of the project scope documents to specify anticipated projects, and agreed-upon details once particular projects are identified. The general services Statement of Work Agreement cannot exceed $75,000 and must specify which services the marketing firm may provide.  

Do I need multiple VISION vendor contracts for each marketing project?

If you are using the same marketing firm to complete different projects, you only need one VISION vendor contract per marketing firm, specific to their Master Contract. You can use the line numbers to separate projects within a vendor contract. Each project will need a line number specific to that project, as each will have a separate Statement of Work Agreement.  

While multiple VISION vendor contracts are not required, some departments do prefer to set up separate vendor contracts for each project, to make tracking of grant funding easier. This is always an option. However, please make sure to reference the appropriate Master Contract(s) in every case. 

What is a vendor contract, and why can’t I use the Master Contract?

A vendor contract is like the “child” in a parent-child relationship where the Master Contract acts as the “parent.” The vendor contract is used by VISION to track and make payments on invoices for departmental work (the “child”) and to track transactions under the Master Contracts. 

The vendor contract is like a sub-contract and is a signed agreement between the parties that specify the deliverables and timing of work. The CMO recommends the use of our Statement of Work Agreement as the signing document, but an AA-14 (“Contract Summary and Certification”) form can also be used with the correct documentation. 

Can I submit a Work Request Form to multiple marketing firms even if my project is below $50,000?

Yes. In fact, the CMO’s office always encourages departments to solicit multiple proposals for a project. You’ll likely get a broader range of ideas and budget levels, and perhaps a fresh approach you didn’t think to ask about, if you ask multiple firms to submit proposals for your project. And, due to the streamlined contracting process available to you under the Master Contract system, this level of “due diligence” needn’t add much additional time to your project. 

What if I don’t know what the project budget or cost is, will be, or should be?

If you don’t have a project budget or cost and can’t provide a reasonable estimate, you are encouraged to discuss your project with the Chief Marketing Office or request time with one or more of the marketing firms to discuss your needs. These discussions ahead of time will help you avoid spending more than you need to and avoid project delays due to underestimating the resources needed to accomplish your objectives. Be prepared to discuss the project’s key objectives, requirements or anticipated obstacles, and timeline for completion. Be clear with the marketing firm that you are trying to define the project budget.  

The Work Request Form also gives you the option of specifying various budget levels. This option can be a particularly helpful tool in comparing service value among the different marketing firms. It could also help you itemize the costs of various desired deliverables, and in some cases, can help you make the decision that the additional version of the brochure, for example, isn’t worth the added cost. 

The Chief Marketing Office is always available as a resource and sounding-board for project definition and budgeting. 

What if I don’t know what I need for specific marketing services? For example, I am not sure if I need print collateral or radio ads?

If you know you have a marketing need but are not sure how to execute a specific task or objective, you are encouraged to contact the Chief Marketing Office or request time with one or more of the marketing firms to discuss your project. It is best to have a clear scope or focus on your project before requesting proposals from the marketing firms. Be prepared to discuss the project’s key objectives, requirements or anticipated obstacles, and timeline for completion. If you choose to meet with one or more of the contracted marketing firms, be clear what your intent for the meeting is. While this time may have a small cost associated with it, the time spent up front with the marketing professionals will mean less time spent later during the work and implementation phases.  

The Chief Marketing Office is always available as a resource for project definition, planning, and budgeting. 

Does the CMO need to sign, or approve, Statements of Work Agreements?

No. The CMO does not need to sign or approve Statement of Work Agreements under the Marketing Master Contracts. However, the CMO should receive copies of your SOWs and project scope documents (Work Requests or agency proposals) for general information and record-keeping.  

But I thought that the CMO needed to sign off on all marketing contracts?

In accordance with Bulletin 3.5, only marketing contracts valued at more than $25,000 executed outside of the Marketing Master Contracts must have prior approval from the CMO.