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Prequalified Marketing Vendors

The CMO’s office maintains a list of Prequalified Marketing Vendors for marketing services, so that any state agency can quickly and easily find a vendor for their project. Prequalification is required for a vendor to bid and contract for marketing work with the State.

Prequalification of marketing vendors allows the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to ensure a consistent level of quality and provides a mechanism for the proper oversight of marketing expenditures. Approved vendors will be included on the list of Prequalified Marketing Vendors for marketing and creative services, which provides basic contact information and approved service categories for review by state agencies / departments and the general public. This summary of firms is updated monthly. A prequalified vendor is one who has been determined to be professionally competent to perform a type of work that is routinely put out to bid, as described in the Service Categories below.

Contact Us

If you have a question about the list of prequalified vendors, please contact the Chief Marketing Office.

Service categories are the types of marketing services that a vendor is determined to be qualified to bid and will be given for any one or combination of the following types of work:

Broadcast / Video Production

Capturing moving images and manipulating raw footage into a creative video product. Includes pre-production (conceptualizing the idea and writing a script), production (actual shooting or recording) and post-production (video editing, sound editing, adding titles, etc.). This category does NOT include media buying of air time or placement of broadcast spots.

Copywriting / Editing

Implementing the creative concept into headlines, scripts and body copy. Reviewing materials for accuracy (usually to a source document provided by client) and style (according to purpose and client industry norms, such as The Associated Press Stylebook).

Creative / Concept Development

Develop the strategic platform for campaign concepts, including creative execution. Develop overall look/feel/tone of overarching brand.

Digital Strategy

Develop the content and visual strategy for online communication channels such as websites, including information architecture, user experience, content audits, taxonomy, keyword analysis, search engine optimization, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. May include tactics such as paid search marketing, digital advertising, social media content strategy and email marketing.

Event / Sponsorship Marketing

Plan and execute sponsorships and on-site engagement activities at events, trade shows or other venues. Related tactics may include branding or naming opportunities, personality endorsements, contests and promotions, and on-site logistics and representation, as well as integrated on-air, digital and social media campaigns to support audience activation.

To be considered for the Event / Sponsorship Marketing category, representative samples should demonstrate tactics used to promote and sponsor specific events, including before, during, and after audience activation. This category is intended for applicants that demonstrate experience providing services such as sponsorship, coordination, promotion, and design.

Graphic Design

Implementation of a creative concept into all visual materials. May include layout and design of ads / collateral / visual materials, illustration, photo selection and supervising photo shoots.

Market Research

Conducting qualitative or quantitative research to inform the development of branding or marketing materials, and conducting the analysis of that data and recommendations/conclusions. May include public engagement planning, focus groups, polls or surveys.

To be considered for the Market Research category, representative samples should demonstrate specific market research tactics performed (i.e., information gathering techniques, data collected/reviewed, survey questions, results, outcomes, recommendations).

Market Strategy / Planning

Prepare marketing plans that define specific actions, budgets and timelines. May include identification of target audiences, strategic positioning, brand planning, competitive market assessments, prioritization of tactics, and development of performance metrics.

To be considered for the Market Strategy / Planning category, vendors should provide sample marketing plans.

Media Planning / Buying

Develop strategic plans for media purchases. May include research, use of in-house and outside research tools, competitive analysis, and post-buy analysis / reconciliation, as well as negotiating, placing and shepherding the media buys.

To be considered for the Media Planning / Buying category, vendors should provide sample media insertion plans.

Outreach / Public Relations

Develop and write public relations plans and strategies. May include generating targeted publicity, writing press releases, coordinating special events and media tours, and conducting communication audits.

Photography

Photography services / image processing to include set-up, arrangement, lighting, and necessary preparation for photo shoots or events and post-production processing of images.

The Photography category is reserved for vendors who have dedicated staff resources to provide this service. To be considered for this category, work samples should include a selection of images acquired from specific photo shoots or events (i.e., contact sheets).

If you’re interested in soliciting a bid from a vendor who is not on our list, feel free to refer them to our Become a Prequalified Marketing Vendor page and encourage them to submit a prequalification application to the CMO’s office. The Prequalification Application for Marketing Vendors is accepted at any time. 

Definition of Marketing

Marketing products and services will be defined by the function they serve and not by the content or type of message they convey. In other words, awareness, educational, or outreach content and messages in any of the formats listed below are included in the definition.

More specifically, products and services purchased that result in or directly support any of the following items will be defined as marketing:

Advertising: TV, radio, video, print, digital/web/online, sponsorships, etc.

Print materials (collateral): Brochures, posters, rack cards, fact sheets, post cards/mailers, flyers, etc. 

Trade shows and events

Websites: Visual layout or graphic design components of webpages.

Photography

Authority of the Chief Marketing Officer

It is the responsibility of the CMO to ensure consistency and efficiency in the use of state funds for marketing and promotional activities conducted by state agencies. More specifically, marketing and promotional funds allocated with agency budgets will be retained by the state agencies; however, expenditure of these funds must be approved by the CMO.

The primary means for approving marketing expenditures made by state agencies and departments is done through the approval of marketing contracts. 

Requirements for Requests for Proposals for Marketing Services

If you are preparing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for any marketing services with a contract value over $25,000 or other requests for bid resulting in a contract requiring marketing services, please make sure the Statement of Prequalification Requirement below is included in your RFP instructions. RFPs for a marketing contract shall contain a description of the work proposed and/or services and products needed and also indicate the necessary service category(ies) of prequalification that are required for the bid. All other state or agency/department requirements for formatting and issuing RFPs will apply.

Please allow ample time in your RFP timeline to allow Prequalification Application processing, and be sure to specify if your requirement is for vendors to apply for prequalification, or for vendors to be approved as prequalified, before the RFP deadline. The approval process can take 4-6 weeks at a minimum, so please prepare your RFP timeline accordingly. While prequalification must be approved before a contract can be executed, submission of a complete prequalification application is also an acceptable RFP requirement if a shorter timeline is desired.

Statement of Prequalification Requirement for Requests for Proposals

"All bidders on this project must be prequalified for marketing contracts in order to submit an eligible proposal and be considered for this work. Registering with the Vermont Business Registry and Bid System DOES NOT prequalify you. Vendors who wish to become prequalified for marketing contracts may submit an application to the Chief Marketing Office at any time. All requests for prequalification must be submitted at least three (3) business days prior to a scheduled RFP closing date for which a vendor wishes to submit a bid. Information regarding prequalification, can be found at cmo.vermont.gov.”

Notification

RFPs or other requests for bid, or estimate, may be sent to each entity currently on the list of prequalified vendors at the option of the agency/department. The process for notification of a bid request will follow the State of Vermont procedures as outlined in Bulletin No. 3.5 Procurement and Contracting Procedures (aoa.Vermont.gov/bulletins/3point5). 

Contract Awards

Contracts will be awarded to eligible prequalified vendors in accordance with State of Vermont and Agency processes for vendor selection. 

Contract Disputes

Contract disputes between prequalified marketing vendors and State of Vermont agencies/departments will be handled by the contracting agency/department. 

Contract Dates and Prequalification Status

Contract dates may be set beyond the expiration date of the prequalification status. The contract may not be executed or renewed with the vendor unless the vendor is prequalified at the time of contract renewal.