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  • Writer's picturePatriot Data Graphics

Bridging the Gap: Tailoring RFPs to Different Evaluator Generations


a there person team evaluating a proposal around a desk. the team is multi-generational

In the competitive landscape of government contracting, understanding your audience is crucial—especially when that audience includes evaluators from different generations. Each generation brings its own set of values, preferences, and experiences to the table, influencing how they perceive and prioritize information in an RFP. Here’s a guide on how to tailor your RFP responses to resonate with diverse evaluator generations, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z.


1. Understanding Generational Differences


Baby Boomers (Born 1946–1964): Value detailed, comprehensive narratives and are likely to appreciate thorough explanations and proven track records.


Generation X (Born 1965–1980): Prefers direct, straightforward communication. They value efficiency, so get to the point quickly without sacrificing detail.


Millennials (Born 1981–1996): Engage well with digital media and visual content. They appreciate innovation and sustainability in the solutions presented.


Generation Z (Born 1997–2012): The newest generation in the workforce values authenticity and social responsibility. They respond well to interactive and multimedia elements that can be engaged with digitally.


2. Tailoring RFPs to Different Evaluator Generations


Narrative Style: For Baby Boomers, ensure that the proposal is narrative-rich and reassures stability and credibility. For Gen X, strip back the narrative to focus on succinct, outcome-based content. Millennials and Gen Z, however, might appreciate a blend of narrative that integrates storytelling with visuals and data analytics.


Visual and Digital Content: While traditional text-heavy documents may appeal to older generations, younger evaluators might prefer interactive content. Consider incorporating videos, infographics, or interactive links for Millennials and Gen Z, while maintaining comprehensive data and text for Baby Boomers and Gen X.


3. Presentation and Format


Document Design: Ensure that the RFP is not only visually appealing but also organized in a way that allows each generation to access information in their preferred manner. Use a clear structure with headers, bullet points, and well-defined sections. This also translates into your graphics as well: use common iconography, text, and color to help guide your audience's eyes through your document.


Technological Integration: Utilize QR codes or embedded links for additional digital resources to appeal to younger evaluators, while ensuring that the core proposal remains fully accessible in a more traditional format that resonates with older generations.


Multimedia Integration: Leverage the power of visual communication by incorporating infographics, interactive elements, and videos into your RFP. Infographics can quickly illustrate complex data or processes, making them instantly more comprehensible. Interactive elements like clickable charts or expandable sections can engage evaluators, particularly those from younger generations who appreciate dynamic content. Videos can be especially effective for explaining processes, showcasing testimonials, or giving a virtual tour of facilities, providing a multi-sensory experience that text alone cannot match. Integrating these multimedia elements not only captures attention but also caters to different learning styles and preferences, making your proposal more inclusive and impactful.


4. Highlighting Key Values


Sustainability and Innovation: Especially important to Millennials and Gen Z. Showcase any sustainable practices or innovative processes your company uses. Most RFPs now require your speaking to this topic.


Stability and Experience: More likely to influence Baby Boomers and Gen X, who may prioritize the security and reliability of working with a well-established provider. Past performance is something they greatly respond to.


5. Anticipating Generational Shifts

As Baby Boomers retire, there's a significant generational shift towards younger evaluators who digest information differently. It's crucial to adapt to these changes, recognizing that digital and visually engaging content may become even more critical. Staying ahead of these trends ensures your RFPs continue to resonate effectively across all generational divides.


6. Feedback and Adaptation

After submitting an RFP, gather feedback to understand which aspects resonated most with different generational groups. This can guide future proposals and help refine the approach to meet the evolving expectations of a diverse evaluator panel.


Pro Tip: When it comes to your internal document reviews, try to find people from different generations to give you feedback on how they understood your proposal.

Conclusion

By tailoring your RFP to meet the diverse expectations of different generational evaluators, you not only enhance the readability and appeal of your proposal but also significantly increase your chances of winning contracts. It’s not just about changing the design or the platform of your proposal; it’s about thoughtfully addressing the generational needs and preferences that shape how information is perceived and valued.

Engaging with a data storytelling firm like ours early in the RFP process ensures your proposal is crafted with these generational insights in mind, blending data-driven storytelling with strategic presentation to make your bid stand out across all age groups. Contact us today to get started on securing you more funding through data storytelling!

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