Knowing how to answer the questions ad agencies ask in their RFPs will give you an advantage over your competition. But knowing how to respond is only half of the equation. The other half involves collecting and showcasing the right data consistently.

You wouldn’t wait until hours before a job interview to update your resume. And you shouldn’t wait until you receive an RFP to have data processes in place.

Here are a few best practices to ensure your organization is collecting the data necessary to craft the perfect RFP response.

Have a system in place

Demographics, data, and statistics are only as useful as your ability to communicate them to an agency, brand, or advertiser. When you have a system in place for collecting that data, you can ensure that you’re consistently collecting what you need to answer agencies’ questions with specific details — details that can spotlight you as the perfect partner for the job.

One way you can develop a system for data collection is by tasking your analytics team with providing an update on your metrics and demographic data on Tuesday of each week.

This is one way to create a system of internally sharing data. Your process might look different, but if you invest in developing a system, you’ll start to see useful results in no time.

Thinking through the freshness of your audience data and how long it will take you to get it will take time now, but will save you hours during crunch time.

Choose the right tools and collect the right data

The tools you use to collect your data also play a fundamental role in the overall effectiveness of your numbers.

While there are many resources to track your audience, Google Analytics, Quantcast Measure, comScore, and Krux being just a few. Choose the tools that make the most sense for your business rather than going for the most trendy.

Of course, we believe Quantcast Measure is the best tool providing a detailed overview of your demographics and traffic. But for your particular business, Google Analytics or another similar tracking tool might be more appropriate.

Make sure you get your hands on data like pageviews, unique visitors, geography, household income, offline shopping interests, author-level and content-level insights, and an understandable user interface.

Update continuously

Choosing the right tools and having a collection system place is only the beginning. Keeping your data relevant and up to date is a full-time job.

When responding to an ad sales RFP, give an up-to-date picture of your properties using accurate data but also include information specifically about the RFPs campaign goals. This will give the agency what it needs to make an informed decision.

The more tailored your data is to the campaign’s goals, the more lucrative your partnerships will be.

To succeed in the world of digital content, you must understand your audience as thoroughly as possible. Collecting the right data is the first step.

In our Guide to Winning Ad Sales RFPs, we share the best tools and resources for collecting the data that makes agencies say yes.