Big Idea: Dan Moriarty, Hyatt Hotels

Dan Moriarty, director of digital at Hyatt Hotels, details how its Bake Off idea can revamp the RFP process and produce groundbreaking ideas.

In a world where technology constantly evolves, consumer behaviors change in the blink of an eye, and no two campaigns are the same, how is it that the RFP model has barely changed in two decades?

The Hyatt social team believes this standard approach is now outdated. With consumers being subjected to more noise than ever, it is imperative to be fresh and hungry at the start of the planning process.

The right recipe
This is where our idea, The Bake Off, comes in. Here's how it works: Build a roster of trusted agencies with a variety of strengths. When a campaign arises, assess which three of these firms is the best unit to work with. Brief them, give them two weeks to plan, and pay for the time invested.

After two weeks, the agencies present their pitch. The best idea is selected, and the team starts bringing it to life.

A simple, yet powerful, concept. We've been working with this model since spring, giving us time to assess the pros and cons. Let's start with the cons.

New agencies mean a lot of ramp-up time. Legal review, invoice details, introductions, and more add up to some serious time invested. The ideas you see on pitch day are just that - ideas. They haven't been fully baked, which means the agency and client have to be more flexible and collaborative than ever to deliver on the idea's original intention.

New ideas emerge
Yes, those are serious considerations, but they can be worth it. With each new brief, we are seeing unique ideas. AORs get repetitive after a while, as they understandably learn what clients like and will approve. This reduces the chances of doing something breakthrough. The Bake Off addresses that as the ideas range from safe to extremely out there.

This model offers a chance to see drastically different approaches, usually clarifying internal thinking in ways that working with one partner would not have done.

Also, because each campaign is effectively a pitch, you get strong agency players on the team, leading to great results. Finally, since we pay for the planning, agencies generally embrace the model. Their work is valued even if they don't win, helping maintain strong relationships with those firms.

This approach is not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. If you're seeing repetitive thinking from a social AOR and have an appetite to see something different - I recommend giving The Bake Off approach a try.

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