Digital Signage RFP Guide: Create Winning Proposals

Craft winning digital signage RFPs with our comprehensive guide. Improve your proposal skills for success in the industry.

When we start talking about crafting a Digital Signage Request for Proposal (RFP), you’re calling out to those minds and companies ready to transform your digital signage dreams into tangible, impactful realities.

Let's be clear, this isn't your average wish list. It's your project's blueprint; a meticulously crafted document that not only outlines the grand vision of what you're aiming to achieve, and serves as your first step towards making this a reality.

It allows you to lay out your digital signage needs, objectives, and the specific outcomes you're chasing, with precision. It ensures that you're not just attracting any vendors, but the right partners who grasp the essence of your project and are as committed to your success as you are.

Understanding Digital Signage RFPs

When we talk about a Digital Signage RFP, or Request for Proposal, imagine it's like sending out a detailed wish list for your digital signage project to potential partners. These folks can make your vision a reality. 

This isn't just any list, though. It's your roadmap and your pitch, all rolled into one. It is designed to outline exactly what you're dreaming of achieving with your digital signage. It's going to be turning heads with an ultra-modern digital billboard, your RFP is the first step to bringing this goal to life.

Now, why is it such a big deal, especially for those grand-scale projects? Well, think of your RFP as the ultimate matchmaking tool. It serves to communicate not just what you want to do, but also why you want to do it. It will also explain what you expect from your partners, and how you envision everything coming together, timeline and all. By laying out your needs, goals, and expectations crystal clear, you set the stage for finding the right vendor who doesn't just get the job but gets you and your project's unique needs.

Remember, this is more than just a formality. It's your project's first impression, its handshake, and its pitch, all wrapped into one. And with digital signage, where the possibilities are as vast as your imagination, a well-crafted RFP is your first step toward turning those digital dreams into a reality

The Triple Win of Crafting a Digital Signage RFP

There are three big wins here that truly make it worthwhile. Crafting a digital signage RFP sets a clear, structured path for your project. It aligns vendor proposals with your needs, attracts the right partners, and safeguards your project against delays and budget overruns. These benefits underscore the importance of the RFP in ensuring the success and efficiency of your digital signage initiative.

Standardizing Requests

An RFP provides a uniform framework for all your proposals. This means each vendor is responding to the same set of requirements, which makes it easier for you to compare their proposals side by side. It’s about clarity and comparability; when each proposal addresses the same points, you can more easily identify the best fit for your project.

Imagine, for example, that you’re planning to revamp the digital displays across multiple locations of your retail chain. Without a standardized RFP, you might receive wildly different proposals: one vendor suggests high-end 4K displays for all locations, another recommends varying screen sizes based on store traffic, and a third proposes something even more odd. 

By standardizing your request, you specify that you need exactly 4K displays that support the Display NOW Digital Signage Player app, plus they must be suitable for both high-traffic and smaller locations. This way, every proposal you get back is aimed at meeting these specific criteria. It makes it straightforward to compare and decide which vendor truly understands and can meet your digital signage needs.


Next up is the benefit of enabling suppliers to self-select. By clearly stating your project's requirements, goals, and expectations, you help suppliers understand exactly what you're looking for. This transparency allows vendors who are confident in meeting your needs to put forward their proposals, while those who aren’t a good fit can opt-out. This process ensures that the responses you receive are from vendors genuinely capable and interested in fulfilling your project requirements.

Let’s say, for example,  your project involves installing outdoor digital signage in areas with extreme weather conditions. In your RFP, you detail the need for durable, weather-resistant screens that can operate in both high and low temperatures.

This specificity allows vendors with relevant experience and technology to step forward, while those without the capability to meet these conditions might opt out. For instance, a vendor specializing in indoor display technology might decide not to submit a proposal, knowing their products aren’t a fit. Meanwhile, a supplier with a robust lineup of outdoor digital signage solutions sees your RFP and thinks, “This is exactly what we excel at,” and sends in a proposal that ticks all the boxes.

Saving Time

Lastly, there’s the advantage of saving time in the long run. A detailed RFP helps avoid the potential mismatch of services or products down the line. By specifying your needs upfront, you reduce the likelihood of discovering that a chosen solution doesn’t meet your expectations or requirements after you’ve already invested time and resources. This foresight minimizes the need for changes and revisions, keeping your project on track and within budget.

Without a detailed RFP, you might end up selecting a vendor only to realize later that their software lacks key features that are a must-have for your project. This oversight could lead to delays as you scramble to find a workaround or even start the vendor selection process anew. However, by outlining your need for specific interactive features and real-time integration capabilities in the RFP, you attract proposals from vendors who can deliver exactly what you’re looking for from the get-go. This foresight prevents backtracking and ensures your project stays on schedule.

Keeping It Concise: The Art of Streamlined RFPs

When it comes to crafting your digital signage RFP, there's a fine line between being thorough and being, well, a bit too much. It's like telling a story; you want to keep your audience engaged without wandering off into every little detail of the landscape. This is where conciseness in your RFP truly shines. It's all about hitting that sweet spot—providing just enough information to paint a clear picture of your needs without turning the document into a novel.

Think about it from the perspective of the vendors. They're eager to understand your project and propose a solution that's a perfect fit. However, if they're met with an RFP that feels like deciphering The Silmarillion, it's not just their time that's getting tied up; it's yours too. Each overly complex or lengthy question adds layers of complexity to the review process, making it harder for you to sift through the responses.

Simplicity is your ally. By keeping your RFP questions clear, concise, and to the point, you encourage more focused and relevant proposals. This doesn't mean you have to skimp on the details that matter. Instead, it's about being selective with your words, ensuring that each question serves a purpose and directly contributes to understanding the vendors' capabilities and how they align with your project goals.

Sharing Your Story and Organizational Overview

Diving into the heart of your RFP doesn’t just mean getting down to brass tacks about what you need from your digital signage. It’s also your chance to open the floor, share a bit about who you are, and let your company's personality shine through. This is where an organizational overview steps into the spotlight. It’s not just filler; it’s the backdrop against which your entire project will be painted, offering potential partners a glimpse into your world.

Think of this section as the “Meet the Team” page of your website. Just as you’d introduce your squad with a mix of professionalism and personality, your organizational overview should echo the same vibe. This is your opportunity to talk about your company's journey, the values that steer your ship, what makes you stand out in a sea of competitors, and where you aim to sail in the future. It's about giving a 360-degree view of your ethos, ambitions, and the mark you want to leave on the world.

Digital signage isn’t just a technical project; it’s an extension of your brand's voice and vision. By sharing your story, you’re not just looking for a vendor; you’re looking for a partner who gets you. Someone who understands not just the technical specs of what you’re asking for but the spirit behind it. This connection is what transforms a standard vendor-client relationship into a dynamic partnership,

Painting the Big Picture

When you're putting together the RFP for your digital signage project, think of the project overview as the heart of your story. It's where you lay out the journey you're inviting vendors to join. It's about setting the scene with a clear depiction of the core problem you're looking to solve, the outcome you're envisioning, and the kind of solution you believe will get you there. But here's where it gets really interesting: this is also your chance to open the floor for creativity.

You're not just listing specifications; you're sharing a challenge, outlining your ultimate goal, and then saying, "How would you tackle this?" It's an invitation for vendors to put on their thinking caps and surprise you with their ingenuity.

The project overview is your storytelling canvas. It's where you get to be both specific about your needs and open-minded about the solutions. By clearly communicating the problem, the desired outcome, and your openness to unique approaches, you set the stage for proposals that are not just responsive but potentially groundbreaking. This section is about sparking a collaborative spirit and encouraging vendors to think outside the box.

Crafting Your RFP

When you're piecing together your digital signage RFP, think of it as crafting a guidebook for your journey ahead. What does this roadmap look like? Let's walk through the typical sections you'd include, making sure we cover all the essential stops along the way.

The Introduction

Kick things off with a warm welcome. This is where you introduce your company, and share a bit about your culture, values, and what makes you stand out. It's the first handshake with potential partners.

Project Overview

Here's where you lay out the vision. Describe the core problem you're aiming to solve, the outcomes you're dreaming of, and the kind of innovative solutions you're hoping to see.

Scope of Work and Specifications

This section is the heart of your technical requirements. Detail the specifics of what you're looking for in terms of hardware, software, content management, and any other technical needs. 

Schedule and Milestones

Timing is everything. Outline your project timeline, including key milestones, deadlines for proposals, project start dates, and any critical delivery dates.

Evaluation Criteria

Guide your vendors on how you'll be choosing the right partner. Detail the criteria you'll use to evaluate proposals, whether it's creativity, cost, technical capability, or experience.

Submission Guidelines

Provide clear instructions on how they should submit their proposals, the format you'd like them to use, and any other submission requirements. It ensures that all proposals come in a consistent format.

Questions and Answers: Communication Channels

Open up the lines of communication. Let vendors know how they can reach out with questions, whether there’s a pre-submission meeting, and how you'll communicate updates. It’s about ensuring a two-way conversation throughout this process.

Final Thoughts

Here at Display NOW, we're on a mission to transform how content comes to life on screens everywhere with our Digital Signage Manager. It's crafted for simplicity, making it a breeze to display anything from images and videos to PowerPoint slides, PDFs, and beyond. With the Display NOW Manager, you're getting an experience that's not just intuitive but downright friendly. A single click is all it takes to update your screens, allowing you to switch up your content as easily as you change your mind.

We're so excited about making our services widely available that we're inviting you to try it out with a 14-day free trial—absolutely no strings attached. We believe in the transformative potential of our digital signage solutions and want businesses of every size to see just how easy and impactful they can be. So be sure to explore what we have to offer today!


Author - Chris Dukich

Chris Dukich is a visionary problem solver and expert leader who is dedicated to guiding individuals and organizations towards achieving their goals. With a deep understanding of business needs, processes, and cutting-edge technologies, Chris possesses the ability to identify, communicate, and unite all relevant parties in order to transform ambitious ideas into tangible realities. As the driving force behind Display NOW, a user-friendly digital signage platform, Chris empowers small business owners to unlock their full potential by equipping them with the necessary tools to attract, inform, and engage with their audience effortlessly.