Request for Proposals for Marketing Services - Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control - Minnesota Department of Health
3/22/2022: An addendum has been added to the Request for Proposals for Marketing Services for the Youth E-cigarette Prevention and Cessation Initiative. This addendum is part of the RFP and should be returned with, or acknowledged in, the response to the RFP.

Youth E-cigarette Prevention and Cessation Initiative
Request for Proposals for Marketing Services

The Minnesota Department of Health is responsible for administering a new initiative to address youth e-cigarette and other commercial tobacco product use and cessation. The initiative includes coordinated counter-marketing communications, community grants, technical assistance and training, and surveillance and evaluation.

Learn more: Youth E-cigarette Prevention and Cessation Initiative

Commercial tobacco products are tobacco products manufactured and sold by the tobacco industry and include products like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and chew. Commercial tobacco is different from traditional or sacred tobacco, also known as Cansasa, Asemaa, or Kinnikinnick, and which are used by American Indian communities for sacred purposes.

The Department requests proposals to design and implement a statewide counter-marketing campaign that engages youth as essential partners to raise awareness and change social norms around e-cigarette and commercial tobacco use in their communities. This campaign will be a seamless part of the aforementioned youth initiative.

Key Dates

Monday, February 28, 2022 RFP posted
Monday, March 7, 2022 Notice of Intent due
Strongly encouraged but not required.
Friday, March 25, 2022 Last day to submit questions
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 Proposals due
Week of May 2, 2022 Anticipated awardee selection
Monday, May 16, 2022 Anticipated contract start date

Submit Your Proposal

Proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m., Central Time, March 29, 2022. Late responses will not be considered.

Submit Your Proposal

Remember: To complete your submission, you must send required forms and work samples by email to tobacco@state.mn.us with the subject “Marketing RFP Submission Documents”.

Documents and Forms

To complete and submit:

For reference:

Questions and Answers

Responders are encouraged to reach out with questions. Questions and answers will be posted on this page each Tuesday until proposals are due. The last day to submit questions is Friday, March 25, 2022, at 4 p.m. Central Time.

Submit a Question

Background Information

Posted 3/28/2022

Are there reports available that detail some of the existing data as it relates to the Indigenous population, and any other important sub-segments?

Yes. See data and reports at Tobacco NUMBRS.

Posted 3/22/2022

How does the State define a “Quit Attempt”? What metric is being used to inform the 63.5% that is currently being listed in the RFP?

A quit attempt is defined in the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. In 2020, 63.4% of students who were current commercial tobacco users reported having stopped using all tobacco for one day or longer in the past year because they were trying to quit for good.

See Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2020 Youth Tobacco Survey (PDF) to learn more.

Is there a seasonality to using vaping products in Minnesota? For example, is it more prevalent during the summer months when teens may have less supervision because they are not in school? Is there data to support this?

Currently no data exist that would indicate seasonality in e-cigarette by use by Minnesota youth.

On page 5, you refer to the MYTS – can we get the methodology, any results presentations, and data collection method for that survey?

See Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2020 Youth Tobacco Survey (PDF).

How has the State been promoting My Life, My Quit services to date? How much media spend has been put towards promoting quitline services for My Life, My Quit?

My Life, My Quit is promoted via several channels under a separate marketing contract. The coordination of future My Life, My Quit promotion activities as related to the new MDH youth e-cigarette prevention and cessation efforts will be determined during campaign planning.

Can the State please provide previous media spend for vaping prevention efforts over the past 2 years?

Funding for marketing services for the Youth E-cigarette Prevention and Cessation Initiative was newly appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature in July 2021. MDH does not have an existing media spend for youth e-cigarette use prevention.

What activities or campaigns have been active on behalf of the Department of Health in vaping prevention, menthol reduction, and/or retail communications since 2019?

MDH engages in activities for e-cigarette use prevention and menthol use reduction through multiple grant programs and partnerships.

Visit Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control Initiatives to learn more.

Eligibility

Posted 3/15/2022

Are you expecting to hire an agency that has media buying and planning in-house?

While media buying and planning is a deliverable for this work, the selected contractor may hire a subcontractor(s) to plan and buy media.

Responders may provide subcontractor details in proposals.

Funding

Posted 3/15/2022

Will the budget be split evenly between year one and year two? Would there be a potential to front load dollars in year one in order to complete bigger tasks like a website redesign, GTM strategy, and building out creative campaign assets?

Total funding available must be spent within the two-year contract period. The funding does not need to be split evenly between the two years.

Proposal Content

Posted 3/28/2022

Page 9 refers to community engagement inclusion – are there existing relationships and/or community groups available to tap into, or do those need to be created from the ground up?

Some relationships already exist, and new relationships will be considered during campaign planning.

Posted 3/22/2022

Can the State please clarify how community stakeholders should be defined? Can the State provide clarity on who these stakeholders are?

Youth are essential stakeholders. Youth and other stakeholders will be identified during campaign planning and in partnership with MDH.

The RFP states for the contractor to provide background and expertise on “The importance of diverse youth engagement and leadership in commercial tobacco prevention and cessation.” Is the State hoping to have a youth engagement and leadership plan recommended within the proposed plan?

Deliverables include staying current with emerging commercial tobacco-related topics, emerging commercial tobacco use trends, and new tobacco use data. This includes being knowledgeable about the importance of diverse youth engagement and leadership in commercial tobacco prevention and cessation. See pages 7-8 of the RFP.

A youth engagement and leadership plan will be developed in partnership with MDH and key stakeholders during campaign planning.

While we know an assignment is part of the next phase of your process, are you open to any original thought leadership as part of this first step as demonstration of our capabilities and expertise?

While all proposals need to meet the requirements as described in the RFP, MDH is open to all ideas that fit within the scope of the RFP.

Posted 3/15/2022

Will Tier 2 materials be due on or before 3/29 along with Tier 1 materials? Or will Tier 2 tasks including: interview, strategic assignment, and cost proposal only be necessary if we have been informed that we have been selected to progress beyond Tier 1?

Only proposal finalists from Tier 1 will move on to Tier 2 and complete the interview and strategic assignment. We will notify those who have been selected to progress to Tier 2.

Please note, Attachment C: Cost Proposal is a requirement for Tier 1 and will be evaluated in both Tiers.

Proposal Evaluation

Posted 3/28/2022

When will finalists for Phase 2 be notified?

It is anticipated that finalists will be notified on or after April 20, 2022.

Posted 3/15/2022

Tiers 1 and 2 both award points based on a Cost Proposal (pages 14 and 15 of the RFP). Are these points based on one Cost Proposal or two separate Cost Proposals?

These points are awarded based on Attachment C: Cost Proposal submitted in Tier 1. In other words, there is one Cost Proposal that is evaluated in both Tiers 1 and 2. This Cost Proposal should correspond to the work outlined in the Work Plan submitted in Tier 1.

Proposal Instructions

Posted 3/22/2022

On page 2 of the RFP, the VPAT form is not cited as a required document; however, on page 13 it is listed there. Can you tell me if this is indeed a required document for submission to be considered for Tier 1?

Yes, responder should complete, in an accessible format, the Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) sections in a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT®) for all software, hardware, and websites (as applicable) as proposed in response to the solicitation.

Posted 3/22/2022

The RFP states that Responders are encouraged to propose additional tasks, activities, or goods above and beyond the scope of what is requested in this solicitation if they will substantially improve the results of this procurement. Any costs associated with these additional tasks, activities, or goods should be clearly marked and separated from costs associated with the tasks, activities, or goods specifically requested under this solicitation. Can a Contractor submit multiple budget options to demonstrate how the total budget can encompass additional activities within the $2,980,000 budget total?

Responders should submit only one budget option. As stated in the RFP, responders who propose additional tasks, activities, or goods should clearly mark and separate those costs from the rest of the budget. MDH may consider these additional tasks in negotiations with the successful responder. The total cost of the resulting contract, including additional tasks, must not exceed $2,980,000.

Posted 3/15/2022

Is there a preference for how you'd like the RFP response submitted? Keynote vs. Word Doc? Subsequently, are there any formatting requirements?

Responses must be submitted online via the proposal submission application. See the “Submit Your Proposal” section above.

Send required forms and work samples by email to tobacco@state.mn.us with the subject “Marketing RFP Submission Documents”. Forms and work samples should be submitted in either .docx or .pdf formats.

See page 4 of the RFP for information on proposal submission.

Posted 3/8/2022

Is the expectation to fill out the cost proposal document (Attachment C) and the work plan question based on the example assignment in the scoping doc (Attachment F)?

A work plan, as well as Attachment C: Cost Proposal, must be submitted as part of your response to the RFP. Responders may also use the Attachment C: Cost Proposal template to break down costs for the strategic assignment.

Deliverables for the strategic assignment include:

  • A youth engagement plan
  • A creative strategy
  • A media strategy, including proposed tactics
  • A budget showing total costs and costs broken down by agency staffing/costs, out-of-pocket production costs, and out-of-pocket media costs

See page 11-13 of the RFP for detailed information on proposal content. See pages 14-15 of the RFP for detailed information on proposal evaluation.

Scope of Work

Posted 3/15/2022

How much research does MDH currently have that would be shared with the agency and is the research broken down by geography?

MDH conducts the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. The Minnesota Student Survey is conducted in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education and other state agencies. To obtain current data, go to:

MSS data is broken down by Statewide, Regional and County tables.

What are the titles of the MDH team members who will be working on this project, and how many team members need to review and approve concepts, measurements, plans, etc. throughout the duration of the contract?

The funded contractor will meet MDH team members and community partners who will be engaged in the effort. A review and approval process will be discussed during contract negotiations.

Are there other measurements (i.e. the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey) that MDH will conduct and share during the campaign that would help determine success in addition to campaign measurements provided by the agency?

The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey is conducted by MDH and is the primary youth surveillance tool for the agency. MDH partners with other state agencies on the Minnesota Student Survey. To obtain current data, go to:

Posted 3/22/2022

The State has a goal to reduce menthol use prevalence among cigarette, cigar, and smokeless tobacco users from 30.6 to 23%. Is the State expecting menthol to be a component of counter-marketing efforts within the proposed plan?

The primary goal of this campaign is to help reduce overall youth e-cigarette use by 25% by 2026.

See page 5 of the RFP for more information and subgoals.

Can the State share the vendor that is currently responsible for campaign evaluations? Should the proposed budget incorporate evaluation consultation and/or specific deliverables related to measuring campaign impact and evaluation, outside of media spend?

The Youth E-cigarette Prevention and Cessation Initiative does not have a contractor who will be responsible for evaluating the youth campaign. Proposals should include how campaigns will be evaluated and their impact measured.

Is there a specific reach or frequency goal for this campaign?

Reach and frequency goals will be determined in partnership with key stakeholders during campaign planning.

Will the MDH staff be directly managing any marketing channels directly - such as community management, organic social and/or public relations - or should the cost plan account for agency support of these areas?

MDH staff will manage MDH- and State-branded channels. The contractor is expected to manage and maintain any new marketing and communications channels created and implemented, as well as associated media buys and public relations, as part of the new statewide commercial tobacco counter-marketing campaign targeting youth.

Is there a specific age range you would like us to focus on when engaging Minnesota youth (both for the contracted work and the strategic assignment), or is there a priority between middle-school and high-school students?

This work must focus on both high school and middle school students.

See page 5 of the RFP.

The RFP alludes to multiple tobacco prevention strategies (outside of cessation support), including "counter-marketing communications," which is often aimed at exposing the practices of the tobacco/vaping industry, notably used by Truth. Is this your intention when stating "counter-marketing communications" as a deliverable in the contracted scope of work?

While deliverables include staying current with tobacco industry marketing practices targeting youth, campaign messaging will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders and MDH.

See pages 7-8 of the RFP.

The contracted scope of work calls for both prevention and cessation efforts. While the lines can sometimes blur, many states have executed those two components with separate programs/campaigns. Do you see this initiative potentially having two separate campaigns or as one program/campaign that addresses both? Either way, is there a priority when it comes to prevention versus driving current vapers to cessation services?

Messaging around prevention vs. cessation will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders and MDH.

For the contracted scope of work for the youth e-cigarette prevention and cessation initiative, should our work plan account for the development of a new brand including logo and identity?

MDH defers to the expertise of the responders to this RFP.

Is there a desired in market date for the campaign?

A launch date will be determined in partnership with key stakeholder and MDH. MDH anticipates this new campaign will be in market within the first contract year.

Posted 3/15/2022

Do you have a media partner already established?

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has several established marketing contracts for different public health promotion efforts, including a contract for promotion of statewide tobacco cessation services. MDH and its contractors have worked with a variety of media outlets.

Strategic Assignment

Posted 3/15/2022

Are we expected to complete document C (cost proposal), based on the sample assignment in document F (scoping doc)?

Attachment C: Cost Proposal must be submitted as part of the Tier 1 response to the RFP, based on the work you are proposing in your Work Plan.

Proposal finalists are not required to use Attachment C: Cost Proposal for the strategic assignment in Tier 2.

For the strategic assignment, does the State seek unique messaging strategist for the two audiences?

We defer to the applicant’s recommendation as part of the creative strategy developed for this assignment.

For the strategic assignment, is there an assumed media budget?

We defer to the applicant’s recommendation as part of the media strategy developed for this assignment.

For the strategic assignment, are there any specific deliverables the State believes is critical or do they just want recommendation at this point?

Deliverables should include (but are not limited to) the following components:

  • A youth engagement plan
  • A creative strategy
  • A media strategy, including proposed tactics
  • A budget showing total costs and costs broken down by agency staffing/costs, out-of-pocket production costs, and out-of-pocket media costs

See page 2 of Attachment F: Strategic Assignment Scoping Document. Also see page 12 of the RFP for more details about the strategic assignment presentation.

For the strategic assignment, what is a successful ROI percentage to the State?

We defer to the applicant’s recommendation.

For the strategic assignment, are there preferred partners or DEI metrics to consider with production (director/photographer, talent, other production partners)?

We defer to the applicant’s recommendation.

For the strategic assignment, can you describe the standard approval process for strategic development and creative ideation?

For the strategic assignment, no approval process is needed.

The deliverables say this is a strategic assignment - which would mean no creative concepting or production. But for costs it says to include OOP production. Can you clarify if deliverables should include concepting and production?

Deliverables should include (but are not limited to) the following components:

  • A youth engagement plan
  • A creative strategy
  • A media strategy, including proposed tactics
  • A budget showing total costs and costs broken down by agency staffing/costs, out-of-pocket production costs, and out-of-pocket media costs

See page 2 of Attachment F: Strategic Assignment Scoping Document. Also see page 12 of the RFP for more details about the strategic assignment presentation.

Does the assignment include the ideation of a new name and logo for the Youth Cessation Initiative, or is the new campaign expected to live within the existing Quit Partner (or My Life, My Quit) brand style?

Deliverables should include (but are not limited to) the following components:

  • A youth engagement plan
  • A creative strategy
  • A media strategy, including proposed tactics
  • A budget showing total costs and costs broken down by agency staffing/costs, out-of-pocket production costs, and out-of-pocket media costs

See page 2 of Attachment F: Strategic Assignment Scoping Document. Also see page 12 of the RFP for more details about the strategic assignment presentation.

Learn More

Updated Friday, 06-May-2022 10:02:43 CDT