The Webb We Weave: RFP Details

2013 Strategy for Frank Webb’s Bath Centers

Please read this post carefully to assure that you do not waste your time or mine in the proposal process. The specific instructions at the end of this post are designed to allow us to contact you efficiently and access/review your information easily. We get literally hundreds of proposals and the easier you make it to review and understand your proposal, the more efficient we all can be. We appreciate your effort in following these instructions.

The goal of all marketing activity for Frank Webb’s Bath Centers in 2013 is to increase the right showroom foot traffic for the 34 showrooms throughout the Northeast. Understanding that most consumers research online before they come in to physically shop, in many instances our call to action is to “visit to find a location near you.” We’ve seen a steady uptick in website traffic with the increased media exposure, much of it to the “Frank Webb’s Bath Centers Locations” page, which is always a good indicator that people are looking for a showroom in their area. With some exceptions, we have also seen an increase in showroom traffic and sales. We intend to keep our media mix similar to last year, tweaking media selection in those geographic areas where showrooms are facing challenges.

Research has shown that our top traffic driver is television. In the past year we successfully used a combination of local news and entertainment programming on broadcast stations, as well as cable networks geared specifically to our target. Both have been valuable to differing degrees, depending on the showroom location. We will continue to concentrate a significant part of our budget in television advertising.

We layered in radio in several markets in 2012 to expand our reach and boost awareness. All stations chosen were dominant in ratings for the target market. In order to be considered as a radio option, you will need to demonstrate through current rankings that you reach this target in a significant way vs. the competition and that your station will work creatively to drive showroom traffic. We will not be doing any ugly bath contests; they do not work to drive showroom traffic. We also will not purchase radio station online ad space. If you provide this as value-add, we will consider that, however we have not seen significant online traffic from any radio website referrals in 2012.

Print advertising will only be used in very rare cases where there is a specific goal for a particular showroom that can be best met through a print medium. If you are a print rep, you must show specifics about whether your publication is paid or free distribution, frequency of your publication, towns/states in distribution area, content that makes sense for a home-related showroom and demographics for readership.

Online advertising is being used in a strategic manner where the online environment is not cluttered and/or the website is unique in the geographic area. We have seen some success in this arena, but do not anticipate the budget for widespread use of online advertising. If you submit a proposal for online, it should thoroughly explain what is unique about your site that will drive traffic to and traffic to the showrooms. It will be key for you to recommend a spend level that you feel gives a reasonable share of voice, but is not overly cost intensive. We are open to reviewing different lengths of online campaigns to accomplish this goal.

A Word About Promotions: We are in discussions about creating our own chain-wide promotion in 2013, to build brand awareness and generate opt-in contacts to which we can market in the future. This would be a month-long promotion and we will need promotional support from you. This will require your supporting our concept with on-air and on-line awareness building. I would love to hear how you would support this promotion (probably in March). If that does not come to pass, we will revisit how to add value to the buy in another way.

RFP Requirements

  1. All proposals must be emailed to: by November 9th. You will be emailed a confirmation when we receive your proposal email. Please do not call.
  2. The McCoy Group will review each proposal and will get back to each rep with questions, clarifications and decisions on who will be included in the buy. If you do not hear back from us by Dec. 1, feel free to email, but again, please no calls.
  3. Please make it very clear whether your numbers are NET or GROSS. We do not take commission on these buys and will pass the NET figures on to the client.
  4. We may request several rounds of modifications before the buy is presented to the client. Some options will simply not fit into the plan and we will let you know that as soon as possible.
  5. Do not call the client. We have been asked to review all proposals and bring all that are true contenders (when all factors are weighed) to Webb’s marketing department for consideration. Calling the client directly will not work in your favor.
  6. We are not at liberty to share the budget at this time, but we do not expect an increase in budget over last year. We recommend that you follow these guidelines for budget considerations when crafting your proposal:
    Ideal TV schedule will be two weeks/mo for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May,  Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep and Oct – give us your best shot and we’ll modify from there depending on budget. Please show programming details, as well as reach and frequency for our target demographic for the schedule you are recommending.
    Ideal Radio schedule will be 12 weeks (depending on cost we may end up with a longer or shorter schedule, but let’s start with an apples-for-apples comparison of 12 weeks). Please give us your best shot at targeting our market and we’ll come back with questions and alternative schedule requests as we build the plan out. Let’s start with all spots being :30.
    Ideal Print schedule will depend on the publication. We want to hear your best thinking on how your publication can be utilized to accomplish our mission of driving showroom traffic and sales. Please include how your publication will reach our target demo and why you think your print should be considered, knowing that only a small portion of the budget will go to print in 2013.
    Ideal Online schedule must show how your platform is uniquely positioned to drive traffic to one or more showrooms. Please include metrics about daily visitors (demographics whenever possible), page views, where ads would appear on your site, any rich media opportunities and independent verification of where your web platform ranks among competition (i.e. most trafficked site in the state, town, in the bath supply industry, etc.)
  7. Please put your station/publication/website name in the email subject so we can easily reference your proposal. It is not enough to say ABC or Cumulus as there are several in the Northeast who represent these companies. Please reference as ABC Boston or Cumulus Worcester, MA Proposal in your email subject line.
  8. Please put all contact information in each of your emails to us. No matter how well we know you, it will make contacting you that much more efficient if your contact info is in each of the emails.
  9. In your proposal, please outline at the beginning of your proposal which Frank Webb’s Bath Center showroom locations will be covered by your company. This is of great importance for all of you, but particularly with radio stations as there can be huge overlap with radio stations. Also include coverage maps wherever possible. Obviously coverage of more than one showroom makes purchasing more economical, however, the reach needs to be realistic and not just a town in which you have 2 readers or an occasional listener when the wind blows that direction : )
  10. We will be providing creative produced and ready to go to keep brand consistency in tact.
  11. There will be an April Earth Month promotion, as we have done in the past two years. The creative for April will reflect this as opposed to our general branding creative that will run for the rest of the year.
  12. There will be no co-op on this buy. If Frank Webb’s Bath Centers partners with any vendors it will be arranged privately and will not require your having scripts for co-op or receiving any separate funds outside of this budget.
  13. If you do get the buy, all invoicing will be direct to the client at the NET rate. The McCoy Group handles creative and placement, however the client pays you directly. There have been mix-ups in the past, so please make sure you get this straight with your accounting departments from the beginning.
  14. And PLEASE remember, this buy is for Frank Webb’s Bath Centers, not F.W. Webb Company. Frank Webb’s Bath Centers are the showrooms of F.W. Webb, however, the Bath Centers serve a very different customer and we are working hard to keep brand identity in tact. If there are opportunities for the F.W. Webb Company, you will be notified separately. All materials you are submitting now should reference Frank Webb’s Bath Centers.

For those who know us already, you know we will be straight forward with you. We believe in smart, honest communication and understand that everyone needs to make a little money. We appreciate great relationships (we all spend a lot of time working, so why not make it fun along the way?) and ask that you follow these instructions to make this easier for all of us. We know your objective is to get a meeting to go over your ideas, however we will not be doing any meetings until we review all proposals and we will not take a meeting with every rep.

Thanks very much for your interest in Frank Webb’s Bath Centers and for joining us in our mission to make them even more visible and successful in 2013.

Kelly McCoy

The Webb We Weave….

We’re pleased to represent Frank Webb’s Bath Centers, showrooms for F.W.Webb. We thank all the great media reps we partnered with this year. Business has increased in most showroom locations and the Frank Webb’s Bath Center marketing team is pleased with the results. Planning for 2013 has started with a research phase, which will be completed in the next two weeks. At the completion of this research phase, which has included the marketing team’s review and brainstorming on what went well and what was challenging, as well as a showroom manager’s survey and phone interviews of various managers who have unique challenges, we will post in this blog the requirements for 2013 proposals. We anticipate the budget to be even with last year.

We are getting, as you can imagine, many calls and emails about this wonderful account and will be happy to review proposals ONCE OUR REQUIREMENTS ARE POSTED ON THIS BLOG in a week or two. All proposals will be reviewed as long as they follow the requirements that will be posted here.

A few preliminary things to think about on this buy…we are looking for hard-working media to raise brand awareness and attract showroom customers to Frank Webb’s Bath Centers, which now has more than 30 showrooms in MA, NH, VT, ME, CT, RI and Upstate New York. The primary target market is a woman 35-64, income over $75K, educated and a homeowner. If your radio station, television station, online medium or printed publication(s) does not target this market, this is not the client for you.

F.W. Webb is the contractor/industrial side of the business and targets a male demographic, but that is not the media buy we are focusing on here.

We will post strategy and objectives of the buy before the end of October. Please check back for specifics and know that we will not be returning calls until proposals are reviewed. We thank you for your interest in working with Frank Webb’s Bath Center to help increase awareness of this great company.

Kelly McCoy

Clarke and Frank Webb’s Bath Center Focus on Boston Magazine Design Home 2012

Rendering of Boston Design Home 2012

The kitchens and baths in the Boston Magazine Design Home are sure to be magnificent!

We are very pleased that two of our clients are adding their products and design expertise to Boston Magazine’s Design Home 2012 on Lot 2 of Cowings Cove in Norwell, MA. The home, built by Eugene Mattie, is a 4800-square-foot Greek Revival-style home and promises to be a stunning example of everything a home can be in New England. Clarke, New England’s exclusive distributor for high-performance appliances from Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Best and other fine brands, will provide all appliances for the main kitchen and outdoor kitchen. Frank Webb’s Bath Center, the showrooms of F.W. Webb, are providing all bath and kitchen plumbing products. In October 2012, the Design Home will open its doors to the public for six weeks of house tours – with all proceeds benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Watch for updates on this exciting project.

Yelp! I Need Somebody! Yelp!

It’s said that Yelp, an online hub of business reviews, attracts more than 66 million reviews a month. Guess it’s not bad that Molly (our social media/community manager daughter) found one bad review for our client Atlas Travel International today. Not a bad ratio, when they also have several great reviews online. The very interesting thing is that Atlas has a culture of individual customer service. It comes from the top down…straight from CEO Elaine Osgood who is never satisfied if a customer has a need, a question, a concern. Her motto has been for 26 years, “All feedback is good feedback.” That is a great way to be in business.

So, when Molly reached out to the corporate travel management staff at Atlas this afternoon to see if anyone knew this guy who had yelped, and to learn why he would have been dissatisfied, I watched a flurry of emails that were a testimony to the company’s dedication, integrity and pride. To the staff’s credit, Elaine doesn’t even have to be involved. They are all empowered and motivated to use all internal means to find out who “John” is in California. They want to find out why he isn’t satisfied. They want to make it right. Not because he complained publicly, although what professional business person wouldn’t be bothered by that? They’re even more bothered because they didn’t know that they have a customer who is unhappy enough to complain publicly.

The investigation continues. They are looking up records, talking to account managers, sifting through past surveys and making sure all negative comments to the staff have been followed up. They really pride themselves in this. Every Atlas survey (and they receive quite a few back) is read and every negative comment, concern or question is answered.

I’m disturbed if John (who is what I will call a “serial Yelper” with more than 20 reviews of everything from the Honda dealer he doesn’t like to the dentist he left) didn’t talk to Atlas Travel directly about his grievance. I understand the frustration of people who communicate their customer service woes to a company and still find no satisfaction (I’ve been there.) However, I have watched and listened to every level of team member at Atlas Travel communicate with customers for more than 25 years. Based on their track record, I can’t believe John could have reached out to Atlas to share his concerns…and that is the real tragedy. The business who doesn’t deliver for you always deserves to know you are unhappy before you go public. I’ve been known to go all the way to the president or CEO of large financial institutions to share my frustrations and it does make a difference. The customer has to take some responsibility to voice their points of pain if service is to improve.

I’m wondering when looking at online reviews like those that John posts, if this is the best way to judge a company (and so many people do today…either thumbs up or down.) While in the marketing world we tell clients that sites like Yelp are an extension of word of mouth (your best advertising)…you have to wonder if the serial Yelpers and their counterparts on other sites would say the things they post if actually faced with a hard-working representative of the company trying to address their concerns. I urge every dissatisfied customer to talk to the business in question first and post later. Anonymous public venting should not be our first option as customers, but rather our last resort. Perhaps there would be more happy customers in the world and more positive posts on the Internet if we talked by phone or in person more often.

So, I’m hoping the Atlas team can find John and talk to him so I can report back that a personal communication, a team that really cares, has inspired John to amend his Yelp review…he did that this month for the restaurant he slammed…there is hope!


The cobbler’s children never have new shoes.

Today, while I was in Massachusetts, at Atlas Travel for a photo shoot and meetings, Jim put a new face on our blog. Finally, our logo and a photo of the cove near our home office shows that sometimes the cobbler’s child (or his wife) does get new shoes.

Now, I finally feel that I can dig into this blog, spreading the word about great businesses and the interesting things they offer the world. Stay tuned for great news and views.


Happy New Year!

As the year 2011 comes to an end, The McCoy Group has started this blog to close the door not only on a calendar year, but also to signal the completion of our move to Maine. This past year has been a wild ride from the high school graduation of our younger daughter, Eliza, and her going off to NYU’s Tisch school for musical theater (all during Hurricane Irene!) Then there’s been the selling of our home of 20 years in Massachusetts, and moving both our home and office to Ogunquit, Maine. In between, our older daughter, Molly, has navigated the post-college waters by launching a freelance business, working for a weekly newspaper as copy editor, and now taking a wonderful position as a social media manager for one of our clients (Atlas Travel International) and she’s moving to Providence, RI to embrace the opportunity. We feel so very proud, lucky and quite tired : )

We are so grateful to have such wonderful clients. Your confidence in us for 25 years has made this adventure possible. We are working harder than ever, however being able to walk to the ocean, just blocks from our Maine home, makes life very special. There’s a sign posted on the highway as you enter Maine on I-95. It says, “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” We definitely agree.

We thank you all and look forward to working with you and spreading the word about your excellence in 2012!