Invitation to Tender – Radio Advertising Campaign for Access to Finance

Client: Oxford Innovation Services – Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Programmes

Date: 4th March 2020

  1. Introduction, background and business context

Oxford Innovation Services (OIS) is the UK’s leading specialist coaching company. We work with businesses at all stages of development to maximise their growth potential, benefiting both the enterprise and its people through uniquely tailored coaching programmes.

OIS has recently been awarded a three-year extension to our project to deliver financial readiness support in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly.

The Access to Finance Project (A2F) is financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) portfolio 2015 to 2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the fund, which was established by the European Commission to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs by increasing their capacity and capability and promoting entrepreneurship to strengthen the pipeline of high growth businesses across England. This promotional activity will be funded by the A2F programme.

A2F supports enterprises throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The extension to the original contract period will run from January 2020 – December 2022. This is a flagship business support project for the region and continues to attract significant attention from all stakeholders.

In each project, OIS’s team of highly experienced mentors works with eligible* businesses seeking to achieve growth and thus drive forward economic success. Support will be delivered to 1,100 businesses through workshops, masterclasses and 1:1 mentoring in the development of compelling funding applications and raises. The source of these funds will be traditional debt, grant, angels and VCs plus emerging sources including the Crowd.

*Please see Annex 1 for an overview of ERDF eligibility.

An ability to innovate underpins OIS’s blend of coaching and mentoring, giving clients access to a broad range of practical expertise and knowledge. Our business coaches have all held specialist executive positions and bring first-hand experience of the challenges of raising investment capital. This approach and experience add real value to the beneficiaries of A2F.

Building strong relationships with clients, we support and facilitate change, challenge thinking, push boundaries and bring a fresh perspective. Our approach ensures we embed learning at an individual level, which brings sustainable and enduring results for the client organisation. We consistently deliver strong results for all stakeholders – individuals, client businesses, sponsors, funders and partners.

In order to build its reputation amongst ambitious businesses which are eligible for the A2F project, we are seeking to promote its differentiated proposition, build profile in current target markets and generate new interest.

  1. Organisational structure

Oxford Innovation is part of the SQW Group which comprises:

  • Oxford Innovation Services Cornwall (the focus for this brief)
  • Oxford Innovation (providing managed Innovation Centres and office space)
  • Oxford Innovation Services
  1. Key objectives of this brief
  • Quote for the production and broadcast of radio advertisements relating to the promotion and delivery of the A2F project – this will include:
  • Promotion of our various grants
  • Recruitment of businesses to the programme
  • Providers must demonstrate value for money and the ability to deliver substantial coverage of our local target audience
  1. Market insights

The market for business support services in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly is well developed with the region having been a beneficiary of significant investment in various initiatives over the last 20 years.

  1. Target audience

The target audience is wide-ranging and includes current and new contacts in the following categories:

  • Businesses – SMEs, pre-starts, start-ups and sole traders in Cornwall and IoS
  • Not for Profit / Charities in Cornwall and IoS

A2F has the potential to benefit clients when any one or more of the following triggers exist –

  • a desire to fund a new venture
  • a desire to grow
  • an imperative for innovation e.g. in response to competition or new market opportunities
  • grants to support:
    • Due diligence work related to funding raises
    • Video and marketing related to crowdfunding
    • The recruitment of senior finance personnel
    • The appointment of NEDs
  1. Value proposition

For client businesses / SMEs –

Oxford Innovation works with businesses at all stages of development, from start-up to fully established, to facilitate their ability to grow successfully.

OIS’s approach comprises a unique blend of mentoring and coaching that ensures clients achieve high levels of self-development which translate into tangible improvements in themselves and measurable performance improvements for their enterprises.

An ability to innovate underpins our blend of coaching and mentoring, giving clients access to a broad range of practical expertise and knowledge. Our business coaches have first-hand experience of the challenges facing growing businesses and can facilitate access to an extensive range of networks across any sector.

Building strong relationships with clients, we support and facilitate change, challenge thinking, push boundaries and bring a fresh perspective. Our approach ensures we embed learning at an individual level, which brings sustainable and enduring results for the client organisation. Oxford Innovation consistently delivers above expectation results for all stakeholders.

The A2F programme is targeted to provide 1,100 Cornwall & IoS SMEs with a structured, tailored programme delivered by OIS mentors. A client’s experience of the programme will vary depending on their individual needs and funding requirements. The client relationship will be managed by a lead mentor with the availability of specialist mentors from the team as required.

For sponsors and funders –
We are successful in winning and delivering business support programmes and achieving above expectation results for sponsors and funders.

Oxford Innovation’s specialised and differentiated approach, with coaching excellence and innovation at its core, is a trusted partner. With an excellent track record and reputation amongst its diverse stakeholders and clients, supported by a network of respected coaches, the brand is regarded as a thought leader in its market. Our delivery of business support programmes has enabled us to build an intimate knowledge of SMEs and we achieve very strong onward referrals.

We have practical experience of creating value from low margin contracts and developing an innovative approach for risk adverse funders. Proven systems and data management underpin our success. We understand the challenges of managing EU contracts and achieve zero defects at audit.

Part of the SQW Group, we have the financial stability to manage cash flow variances and can draw on a range of resources to ensure the best possible outputs for all stakeholders. We work with carefully selected delivery partners who share our values and ambition and these trusted relationships enable a willingness to experiment. We are committed to ongoing product/service innovation and development and have a growing team with an impressive breadth and depth of experience and skills.

Whilst having the strength of a major Group behind us, we have the ability to be flexible and responsive, offering bespoke solutions and a fresh perspective to meet the specific needs of our sponsors – from individual projects to large scale, novel business support programmes, in the UK and internationally. We have been successful in securing repeat contracts in Cornwall for three successive programmes.

Our sponsors and funders have confidence in our ability to consistently achieve targets and provide effective outcomes.

  1. Deliverables required

Budget guide up to a maximum of £55,000 (ex. VAT)

An extensive campaign of radio advertisements to start in March 2020 through to December 2022, with the exception of mid-July to mid-September and December in each year.

The advertisements should be designed to reach audiences for both our grants and the Access to Finance services provided by our mentors.

Proposals are expected to include:

  • 3 x 30 second ads per day in prime-time slots
  • Production of up to 5 commercials per year

We reserve the right to appoint more than one supplier. Tenders should state firm costs for the items above. The tender may be awarded on a call off basis with smaller lots/individual campaigns commissioned as required. Please be aware that you may be required to work alongside additional suppliers.

  1. Account management and review process

The supplier relationship will be managed by the Marketing Manager – Tom Bailey. Campaigns will be monitored for cost effectiveness and this may affect the total value of budget committed to each supplier. Contract values stated in this tender are optimal and we reserve the right to reduce budgets allocated to any supplier(s) at our sole discretion.

  1. How to respond to this brief

Please provide, on no more than 8 sides of A4 per application, an outline of:

  • how you would help us achieve our objectives
  • your credentials and past experience including any experience of ERDF funded projects
  • a breakdown of your fees and pricing structure
  • relevant B2B case studies
  • a clear response to each of the evaluation criteria (see table in section 11).
  • a timeline including review stages for delivery – we would like to launch by the end of March 2020.
  1. Assessment Criteria

Proposals for radio advertising will be evaluated according to the following assessment criteria following the submission of the response to this tender:

Scoring: 0 (very poor) – 5 (excellent)

  1. Assessment Criteria

Proposals for radio advertising will be evaluated according to the following assessment criteria following the submission of the response to this tender:

Scoring: 0 (very poor) – 5 (excellent)

Evaluation criteria

 

Score

0-5

Category

total

Audience 50%

  • Do they understand the objectives?
  • Do they understand my target markets?
  • Do they demonstrate strong, audited coverage and penetration of the market being served by the programme?

 

Pricing 50%

  • Are fees clear and reasonable?
  • Does the proposal represent good value?

 

Total

 

  1. Timing and selection process

The schedule below outlines key timings.

Action Date
Brief published 4th March 2020
Deadline for response to brief 17:00hrs 16th March 2020
Notification of successful tenders w/c 16th March 2020
Delivery Launch – asap end of March 2020

Oxford Innovation contact details
Any queries regarding this brief must be sent (preferable in writing) by e-mail to:

E-mail: b.norton@oxin.co.uk

Ben Norton – Project Operations Manager

Address: Unit 1A (Ground Floor) Gateway Business Centre, Barncoose Gateway Park, Redruth TR15 3RQ

Telephone: 01872 300386

Annexe 1
ERDF Eligibility

To be eligible for the A2F programme a business must:

  • Be based in the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Employ less than 250 FTE employees
  • Have a turnover not exceeding €50M and/or an annual balance sheet of not more than €43M
  • Not be operating in sectors directly relating to agriculture, fisheries, finance and insurance, synthetic textiles and retail