Request for Proposals: CTA22038 Tahoe License Plate Marketing Services

April 12, 2023 Update: The Conservancy has announced an intention to award this contract to S. Groner Associates.

March 15, 2023 updates: The Conservancy has issued an addendum to the request for proposals (RFP) to clarify scoring for the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) incentive. Read the addendum [PDF].

See below for questions the Conservancy has received and the Conservancy’s answers. 

The California Tahoe Conservancy seeks a contractor to develop and implement a marketing campaign for the Lake Tahoe special interest license plate (Tahoe plate). Funds from the sale and renewal of Tahoe plates support the Conservancy’s work toward its mission, which is to lead California’s efforts to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. 

Read the full Request for Proposals. [PDF]  Addendum [PDF]

Key Action Dates

RFP available to prospective proposers: February 27, 2023
Question submittal deadline: 3:00 p.m. on March 9, 2023
Responses to questions posted: 3:00 p.m. on March 15, 2023
Final Date for Proposal Submission: March 22, 2023

Questions Regarding CTA22038 Tahoe License Plate Marketing Services

1. In the scope of work listed, obstacles to purchase plates are mentioned. Can the CTA please share these obstacles for our reference?
The Conservancy will share information on historical plates sales with the contractor, but expects the contractor to assess the state of license plate sales, including any obstacles the contractor may identify.

2. Is the media advertisement budget included in the $140k budget or are additional funds set aside?
Yes, the media advertisement budget is included in the maximum budget of $140,000.

3. Will the recipient of the project be expected to design content to support the marketing plan?

4. Does the CTA have active accounts on social media which can be leveraged or will the recipient of the project be expected to set up and run these accounts?
The Conservancy has social media accounts that can be leveraged.

5. Will you consider independent contractors, sole proprietorship for this project?
We consider any contractor who is approved to do business in the State of California.

6. Are there any learnings (studies, metrics, even anecdotal evidence) related to the decline in plate sales over the past five years that can be provided at the start of the engagement?
Yes. The Conservancy can provide the contractor data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) showing the trends in plate sales and renewal.

7. What platform is the current site built on? (i.e. WordPress, Drupl)

8. Are there any anticipated changes in the plate offerings in the next 2-5 years? (New designs, new incentives, changes in cost, etc.)

9. Can you please share the reason for going to RFP? We see there was an RFP issued in 2020 and the agency was awarded the contract through April 2023. Are you looking for a new agency or is the RFP a standard requirement?
The existing contract you reference ends this spring. The Conservancy needs further contracted marketing support. As a State of California agency, such contracts must be competitively bid.

10. For this marketing proposal, are you looking for the contracted agency to design and produce communication materials such as posters and/or rack cards as part of the scope? Would the distribution of these materials be included in the budget or would the Tahoe Conversancy handle distribution?
All design, production, and distribution of marketing materials must be included within the budget.

11. Under Scope of Work Item 2: “Implementing the Marketing Plan”: PR activities and website management are listed. Are you looking for the contracted agency to provide PR activities and website management as part of the $70k annual budget?

12. On, one of the questions on the form is “how did you hear about us”. Could you please share the responses to this question and in addition include the city they are from for 2022 and 2021?

Responses included: By seeing others’ plates around and googling it, Commercial, Common knowledge, Coworker, DMV, Facebook, Family member, Friends, Google, Had them before, I have followed your organization for years, Instagram ad, Internet, News media, Online Advertisement, Other, Prior experience, Radio, Ritz Carlton, Save Lake Tahoe site, SnowBrains, Social Media, and the Tahoe Fund.

Cities Include: Albany, Altadena, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Benicia, Buena Park, Burlingame, Cameron Park, Canyon Lake, Citrus Heights, Cool, Coronado, Danville, Davis, El Cerrito, El Dorado Hills, El Granada, El Segundo, Esparto, Folsom, Fremont, Gilroy, Greenbrae, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Hemet, Jassy, Kentfield, Kings Beach, La Honda, Lake Forest, Lincoln, Livermore, Long Beach, Loomis, Los Alamitos, Meadow Vista, Mill Valley, Montara, Monterey, Morgan Hill, Mullerside, Oakland, Oceanside, OJAI, Olympic Valley, Petaluma, Pinegrove, Pinole, Placerville, Playa Del Rey, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redding, Redlands, Redwood City, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, San Carlos, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, Scotts Valley, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Sonora, South Lake Tahoe, Sunnyvale, Tahoe City, Tahoma, Temecula, Tiburon, Truckee, Union City, Vacaville, Valencia, Watsonville, West Hollywood, and West Menlo Park.

13. Is the Marketing Plan and Implementation to focus only on the sale of California plates or does it include both California and Nevada sales since both are on If it is a California only focus, should media campaigns run only in Northern California or can we include media vendors located in the Reno market that reach into the Lake Tahoe, California area?
All marketing should focus on promoting the California Tahoe license plate. The contractor may propose to include advertising in media markets based outside the State of California if evidence indicates that it is a cost-effective marketing opportunity to promote the California Tahoe plate.

When promoting the Plates for Powder campaign, as a courtesy we do mention the Nevada Tahoe license plate on the website and in press releases. Also, the Conservancy’s private partners for the Plates for Powder campaign include promotion of the Nevada plate in their work on behalf of both states, but that work is outside the scope and budget of this contract.

14. Can you share history of sales, including:

  • Annual sales (dollar amount)
    In 2022, sales and renewal of California Tahoe license plates resulted in $789,933 being added to the Lake Tahoe License Plate Account for the Conservancy. In 2021, the amount was $802,624. In 2020, the amount was $907,481.
  • Nevada vs California sales
    The Conservancy does not have data on Nevada sales.
  • Percent of plate purchases that were redeemed for lift tickets
    Approximately 5 percent.
  • Car purchase location vs registration location
    The Conservancy does not have this information.
  • New car license plate vs exchanges
    The Conservancy does not have this information.

15. What is the expected percentage of budget that should be allocated for media spend per year?
The Conservancy has not set an expected percentage.

16. Will all marketing efforts direct people to
All marketing should aim to increase sale and renewal of plates. Recent marketing has used the website, but the Conservancy is open to creative approaches to market the plates.

17. Does the site include Google Analytics and will GA4 be set up for campaign tracking performance?
The site includes Google Analytics. It will need to be set up for GA4.
Will it track sales revenue?
No. The California DMV provides sales revenue data.
Will the contracted agency receive access to GA to analyze traffic and report on campaign performance?

18. We see the goal is to increase annual sales of the California Lake Tahoe specialty plates by 20 percent. At this point, do you have any goals for California Lake Tahoe specialty plate renewals?
The Conservancy would like to see renewals increase but has not set a numerical goal for this contract.

19. Can you share any previously executed campaigns and results?
Yes, we will share prior campaign information with the contractor.

20. Can you share any target audience demographic or psychographic research for the campaign requested?
Yes, we can share this information with the chosen contractor.
– Is there an incumbent? Yes
If there is an incumbent, could you share which firm that is? S. Groner Associates

21. Will there be a geographic focus to this campaign? For instance, is this campaign solely for California residents? Or will Nevada residents be included for sales of Nevada Tahoe License Plates?
See answer to question 13 above.

22. We noticed there’s a Twitter account called @laketahoeplates. Is this controlled by your agency and, if so, will it be available for use during the campaign?
The Conservancy does not control that account.

23. Will there be an opportunity to get tracking pixels and/or conversion events set-up to measure campaign metrics?

24. Does the Conservancy use a PR agency or internal staff to distribute any press releases and conduct external media outreach?
Internal staff.

25. Do you have a preferred font type and font size for the responses?

26. Does the scope of work include development of digital assets including video production?
The Conservancy does not require video production as part of this contract, but neither does it preclude it.

27. Is there a library of previously created video or other digital assets that can be used for promotion?

28. Is it required for the company to be based locally or in state? Will preference be given to an in state company?
A company may bid on this proposal if the company meets all the requirements to do business in California, along with the other requirements listed in the request for proposals.

29. What is the place of performance / location? Can work be done remotely?
This work may be done remotely.

30. Is there an incumbent for this project?

If so, who?
S. Groner Associates.

And how long have they been in place?
Since January 1, 2021

31. Is there a contractor (incumbent) already or are you searching for the first time?
There is an incumbent. Also see answers to questions 20 and 30.

32. Does the Conservancy already have or will they create images and videos for the project? If not, what kind of video and image needs do they have? For example, if a video needs to be created, will it be voice-over, does the script need to be developed, will animated graphics work, or does a real life videos need to create created?
The Conservancy owns some images and videos that can be made available for marketing materials. The Contractor may elect to supplement the Conservancy’s content. The Conservancy is open to proposals that involve any or all of the content types listed in question.

33. Will past initiatives performance and any existing analytics from past ad campaigns be provided to help assess what worked in the past and what didn’t?

34. Will the subcontractor work directly with us (the contractor) or the Conservancy, or both?
A subcontractor is not mandated by this RFP. If one or more subcontractors participate, working arrangements among the parties may be devised after the contract is awarded.

35. Will there be an Ad spend budget on top of the contract amount or will ad budget costs need to be included within the $70,000 per year contract?
Advertising expenses are to be included with the $70,000 per year contract.

Questions about Preference Programs

Note that the Conservancy has issued an addendum to the RFP to clarify scoring for the DVBE incentive.

36. Is this RFP a set aside for DVBE businesses? We have a DVBE subcontractor and are confused if the percentages listed are referring to ownership or just the amount of funds we’d need to budget for the DVBE subcontractor? Is it a requirement to have a DVBA team member or is it just being incentivized?
DVBE participation is required for this contract. The requirement is satisfied if the proposer is a California-certified DVBE, or if the proposer commits to using an active DVBE subcontractor to perform a minimum of 3 percent of the contract bid amount. Proposers that exceed the 3 percent minimum requirement for DVB participation will receive incentives in the amounts described in the RFP.

37. Just to clarify, are you only considering DVBE proposers? Is a DVBE required for consideration or just highly recommended?
We will consider both DVBE proposers and non-DVBE proposers. See the answer to Question 36 above for more information.

38. Is DVBE participation a requirement for consideration? (Understanding that it awards incentive points if the company does participate in DVBE.)
See answers to questions 36 and 37 above.

39. For clarity, maximum points for small business preference is 105 points and does not include DVBE participation?
Yes, the maximum points available with the small business preference is 105 points. This does not include the DVBE incentive for exceeding the minimum requirement of 3 percent DVBE participation.

40. Can you explain total points with both small business preference and full DVBE participation? What is the max points for small business preference and DVBE participation combined?
The maximum number of points with the Small Business participation is 105. This does not include the DVBE incentive. There is a minimum DVBE participation of 3 percent and there are no extra points given for meeting this requirement. The extra points are given for exceeding the minimum DVBE participation requirement in a following manner:

The incentive shall be between 3 percent and 5 percent of the total possible available points, not including points for socioeconomic incentives or preferences. The incentive points are included in the sum of non-cost points.

For example: If a proposal scores 70 of 70 non-cost points and is entitled to an added DVBE incentive of 5 percent (for DVBE participation of more than 5 percent), the total score of non-cost points would be 73.5 (70 x 5%=3.5, 70+3.5=73.5).

The highest potential Small Business Preference Points equals 5 percent of highest
responsible proposal’s total score.

Total combined points, with maximum DVBE incentive and Small Business Preference Points, equals 108.5.

The Conservancy has posted an addendum clarifying this total.


My Tahoe Plate