Marketing Campaigns 2022 RFP Issued

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1.1 Scope of Work

Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority (Kitsap Transit / KT) is seeking the services of an experienced consultant to audit/review Kitsap Transit past marketing campaigns, define an analyze the key problems and gaps, and then prepare, create, and implement multiple advertising campaigns beginning in or around October 2022.

These campaigns are:

A) BI Ride: An on-demand bus service on Bainbridge Island. Kitsap Transit is looking to boost ridership and percentage of total trips booked through a mobile app.

B) Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry Service: Three routed, passenger only fast ferries connecting Kitsap County to downtown Seattle. Kitsap Transit is looking to boost ridership, particularly on low-performing routes or sailings.

C) Bus Operator Recruitment: Kitsap Transit is looking to dramatically increase its bus operator applications and ultimately hire numerous bus operators for both its fixed-route (Routed) and paratransit (ACCESS) services.

1.2 Proposal Documents

Plans, specifications and addenda for this project are available on-line on Kitsap Transit’s website www.kitsaptransit.com. Proposers must email Michael Ricketts at michaelri@kitsaptransit.com to be placed on the Plan Holder’s List in order to receive automatic email notifications of future addenda and additional project information through the proposal phase

1.3 Pre-Proposal Meeting

A Pre-Proposal meeting is not being offered for this project

1.4 Questions and Request for Clarifications

All questions, requests for information, and Pre-Proposal material substitutions, must be submitted in writing and received by MAY 26, 2022 at: Kitsap Transit, Attn: Michael Ricketts, 60 Washington Ave., Ste. 200, Bremerton, WA 98337; or e-mail: michaelri@kitsaptransit.com

1.5 Time for Completion

It is anticipated that the Contractor shall work diligently on the completion of the scope of work. Proposals should reflect a start date of Mid July, 2022. No work shall begin on this Contract until a receipt of the Notice to Proceed. Contractors beginning Work before the Notice is received, do so at their own risk.

1.6 Proposal Due Date

Proposals shall be emailed to: michaelri@kitsaptransit.com. All Proposals must be received before 2:00 PM June 6th, 2022. Late Proposals will not be considered. Proposers will receive a confirmation of receipt when Proposal is received.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND GENERAL BACKGROUND: Kitsap Transit (KT) will be looking for a firm/individual to review past KT marketing campaigns, research the regional area, prepare, create, and implement multiple marketing campaigns. These campaigns include:

1. BI Ride

A. KT, in collaboration with the City of Bainbridge Island, re-launched BI Ride in June of 2021 as a fully on-demand service powered by Pingo, an app developed by The Routing Company. KT and the City of Bainbridge Island are looking to dramatically increase ridership and support Bainbridge Island’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

B. KT anticipates the amount of effort for this part of the contract to fall between $75,000 to $100,000 including media buys.

C. KT expects delivery of marketing and community engagement plan by late September/early October and execution of the approved plan between October 2022 and July 2023

2. Fast Ferry Ridership

A. KT is looking to increase awareness and ridership on its multiple cross-sound passenger only fast ferry routes including Bremerton to Seattle, Southworth to Seattle, and Kingston to Seattle. KT has seen a ridership downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic and while some fast ferry routes have seen a return to normal ridership levels, routes such as Kingston and Southworth (opened in 2018) have not seen the ridership levels KT expects.

B. KT anticipates the amount of effort for this part of the contract to fall between $60,000 – $85,000 including media buys

C. KT expects delivery of marketing and community engagement plan by about late September 2022 and execution of the approved plan between October 22 and May 2023

3. Bus Operator Recruitment

A. KT is looking to hire numerous bus operators for its Routed and ACCESS routes. Before the start of the pandemic, KT had unfiled openings and the pandemic has exasperated the situation. In the last few years, KT has launched several recruitment campaigns but is not seeing the same response numbers KT’s typical advertisement campaign have in the post-COVID environment. KT is looking to hire at least 75 new drivers.

i. KT would like the Proposer to focus and review job-seekers experience with KT’s brand when they see our advertising and go through our application, interview, and on-boarding processes? How do our eligibility, requirements and training compare to those of competing employers? Why do some bus operators stay for decades while others leave? How do we sell the benefits of working as a KT bus operator to job seekers in a way that is authentic and effective in the current labor market? What recruitment best practices should KT adopt?

B. KT anticipates the amount of effort for this part of the contract to fall between $100,000 and $150,000 not including media buys

C. KT expects internal and external research phases of the project to be completed by October for 2022 and for a marketing plan and components to be delivered by December. Marketing campaign will run from January through December 2023.

KT anticipates the level of effort for this entire contract to fall between $235k and $335k for the Proposer’s services. Media buy amounts have not been taken into account for the Bus Operator Recruitment campaign

GENERAL BACKGROUD:

Kitsap Transit is a public transit agency serving Kitsap County, Washington, part of the Seattle metropolitan area. KT has over 40 fixed routes, a vanpool system (Access), worker-driver services, dial-a-ride services, and multiple ferry and fast ferry services. KT is looking to increase ridership and number of bus drivers it hires to sustain the current level of service and to expand KT’s service. While KT has seen ridership marketing advertisements efforts succeed in the past, efforts in the post-COVID environment have had limited impact.

Additionally, despite KT making adjustments in its hiring practices such as, no experience required and compelling financial packages, KT is finding recruiting for bus operators a struggle in the post-COVID environment. Compounding factors include stiff competition from other employers such as Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, a significant share of KT’s current operator workforce eligible to retire, and low unemployment. KT is looking for a fresh perspective on its marketing approach to recruitment and retention funnel.

This project represents an opportunity for Kitsap Transit to re-evaluate its marketing strategies and messaging; incorporate innovative and potentially more effective approaches; rethink the customer/user journey and leverage high-impact moments; and develop seasonal and annual plans for year-round marketing of Kitsap Transit services in this contract (BI Ride, Fast Ferries and Bus Operator Positions).

The Contractor will work closely with staff and be expected to gain firsthand knowledge of KT operations relevant to each service and the target audience to identify problems and opportunities.

Scope of Services

Kitsap Transit invites interested consulting firms and/or individuals to develop marketing strategies to increase ridership on Fast Ferries and BI Ride. Additionally, a separate campaign will be developed for increased applications for our bus operator positions. Lastly, the firm/individuals will, upon KT approval, implement the developed plan with assistance of KT.

Goal of the overall project strives to address the following Phases for each campaign:

1. Analysis and development of brand positioning, customer targeting/segmentation, benefits articulation, and original insights for both riders and possible Bus operator applicants. Gap analysis and review of past marketing strategies, creative and campaigns should be completed in this phase as well

2. Creation of comprehensive marketing/recruitment strategies informed by the analysis that will be most effective in connecting with target audiences and meeting each campaign’s objectives and key performance indicators.

3. Implementation of the plans in most cost-effective, sustainable way, with ongoing monitoring, optimization and adjustments.

The consultant/project manager is charged with keeping the consultant project team on schedule, within budget and on scope. This will require constant communication with all parties and ongoing coordination with team members. The project manager will be responsible for assigning tasks to members of the consultant team, keeping meeting minutes, distributing consultant team documents and presentations, and providing a single point of contact between Kitsap Transit and the consultant team.

The consultant team will draft, for approval, a detailed project schedule including milestones for each task and subtask involved in completing the project and the specified due dates for the Tasks and Deliverables. Kitsap Transit’s Project Manager will approve this schedule within 15 days of Notice to Proceed (NTP). A major deliverables list (MDL) will also be compiled and be updated on a monthly basis.

Proposers are advised that the awarded Contractor will be required to attend, via Zoom or teleconference, a bi-weekly stakeholder meeting in which the Contractor will be covering all three projects and providing a status report and give staff an opportunity to give direction and feedback to the consultant team. In addition, Kitsap Transit staff envisions update meetings to its Leadership Team as necessary and may be required to present reports and information to the Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners, jurisdiction partners, or other key stakeholder groups.

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