RFP Marketing Strategist


Request for Proposal RTO12 Marketing Strategist


The Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture created 13 Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) in the province to identify and implement regional priorities, allowing for more consistent marketing of Ontario’s tourism regions. The RTO12 area includes Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound.

RTO12 is a not-for-profit agency that is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The mandate for RTO12 includes: providing industry leadership and strategic planning, developing strong, collaborative partnerships and packages, marketing, developing the workforce and skills training.

RTO12 is the administrative name for the region that is known in the consumer marketplace as Explorers’ Edge www.explorersedge.ca.

Explorers’ Edge programs will fuel the new brand with meaning, create awareness, and have measurable components while driving retails sales to our stakeholders.

For more information on Ontario’s 13 Regional Tourism Organizations, visit http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/regions/regions.shtml.

The RFP Process

  1. The RFP process will take place as follows:
  2. Potential bidders will be e-mailed a copy of the RFP.
  3. Upon receiving the document and reading its content, potential bidders are requested to send an email to james@explorersedge.ca to acknowledge their intent to provide information about their solutions. This step will guarantee that the bidder name is entered in the bidder list.
  4. The bidders prepare their formal response and send their document in an electronic format to Explorers’ Edge by the specified RFP close date.

Project Timetable

Request for Proposal Issued                       Friday April 11, 2014 RFP Due                                                               Friday April 25, 2014
Notice of intent to award contract           Tuesday April 29, 2014

Proposal Submission Guidelines

Restrictions on Communications with Staff

If you wish to seek clarification on any of the information presented here, please contact James Murphy, Executive Director, by email to james@explorersedge.ca until the due date.

Information Submission Format

All responses to the questions in this document must be submitted in a Microsoft Office Windows compatible format or PDF format.

Submit Information to:

  • Explorers’ Edge
  • 3 Taylor Road Bracebridge, ON
  • Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 1R1
  • Attention: James Murphy, Executive Director

Number of Copies Required / Format of Copies

  • Electronic copy by e-mail


During the RFP process, the bidder may obtain confidential information in regards to Explorers’ Edge businesses and / or its members and employees. The Bidder agrees to keep such information strictly confidential at all times. The bidder may disclose confidential information only when necessary for the submission of a response to the RFP. This does not apply to information known and available to the public.

The Bidder acknowledges that Explorers’ Edge will receive many responses to the RFP that might contain information considered confidential by the bidder. The bidder will allow Explorers’ Edge to use such information for the purpose of the RFP process.

All information and the responses provided to Explorers’ Edge about the RFP will become property of Explorers’ Edge and will not be returned to the Bidder.

Executive Summary

Explorers’ Edge is seeking the expertise of a seasoned Marketing Strategist to oversee the development, monitoring and reporting of a one-year Marketing Plan.   The Marketing Strategist will have a thorough understanding of tourism in Ontario and will develop a plan to increase tourism receipts in the region using competitive knowledge and innovative ideas, while building on recent successes and strategies of RTO12.  This Marketing Plan developed by the Marketing Strategist for the 2014-20105 fiscal year will ultimately differentiate the Explorers’ Edge region in the province of Ontario, in order to increase visits to the region.

The Opportunity

The Marketing Strategist will work closely with the RTO’s Director of Communications and the Marketing Project Coordinator to develop an innovative one-year Marketing Plan for RTO12.


The successful candidate will develop the following:

  1. Competitive Landscape Report
  2. Consumer Insights Report based on current research
  3. Overall Marketing Strategy
  4. Media Buy Recommendations
  5. Marketing Tactics Recommendations
  6. Interim Program Reports & Ongoing Plan Monitoring
  7. Final Report

Your proposal will form an integral part of the contract and will be considered the Scope of Work for the Initial Term.


The Marketing Strategist will have significant input into the development of the RTO’s Marketing Plan for 2014-2015. After the Marketing Plan is approved for implementation, the Marketing Strategist is responsible for monitoring the ongoing results to recommend tweaks, and for providing updates at quarterly Marketing Committee meetings.

Specific Duties Include:

  • Meets regularly with Director of Communications to develop marketing plan development and execution
  • Effectively presents, sells and defends all RTO work/proposals to client and industry stakeholders
  • Keeps apprised of the competitive tourism landscape other RTOs, provinces, etc., relevant to branding/products/services/marketing, and advises the Director of Communications of any developments
  • Identifies optimal media and negotiates significant and valuable media buys
  • Assists in preparing RTO12, proposals, marketing/media/public relations planning.
  • Makes recommendations for optimal tracking, measurements and ROI.
  • Regularly checks for and responds promptly to all RTO12 communications, including calls and emails.
  • Coordinates with media on interactive opportunities to ensure traditional/interactive synthesis of marketing efforts.
  • Checks creative/production materials, copy, layouts, and production art, and coordinates client approval of same in order to ensure alignment of strategy.
  • Coordinates project timing and budgets with all relevant RTO personnel.
  • Keeps apprised of progress of client’s projects through production and traffic managers or other relevant personnel.

Reports to:

Director of Communications