How to make the most out of Marketing Development Funds as a channel partner?
Market development funds (MDF) are the funds that a vendor or an OEM gives to its sales channel partners to help them market their products. This collaboration may look like a perfect win-win situation for both parties, but not many partners are making the most out of it. According to a survey carried out by Zinfi, only 30% of the partners are effectively using the MDF allocated to them by the vendors. This is a huge missed opportunity. MDFs are not just for the benefit of the vendors but it is also a potent mean to establish the partner’s authority. Being showcased as a preferred partner in the vendor’s campaigns can do wonders for increasing the credibility of the partner. And this increase in credibility can directly cause an increase in sales revenue.
If you are a partner, here are few ways to effectively utilize the MDF allocated to you by the vendor –
1. Create better content – A good portion of your MDF should be allocated to creating quality content to be used in the vendor’s marketing program. As a channel partner, you are not just another marketer for your vendor, but also its spokesperson. Think beyond creating flyers, EDMs, or catalogs and put your expertise into creating case studies, white papers, eBooks, etc. to increase your vendor’s credibility in your audience’s eyes and to establish yourself as an expert solution provider.
2. Optimize your website – Most of the marketing pieces you create will eventually lead the buyer to your website. So it’s apparent that your website should be well optimized to cater to the visitors’ needs effectively. It should be fast, responsive, and clutter-free. Creating multiple landing pages, based on visitor’s categories, can be a great technique for fast conversion. Funds spent on website optimization will eventually translate to more sales for both the partner and the vendor.
3. Organize live events – Reach out to your buyers with live events and seminars. You can even sponsor a local networking event to find interested buyers. In the online sphere, webinars and podcasts can do the same. A short webinar on vendor’s products, specially arranged for the CIO’s or CTOs of companies, can bring in the top customers and big deals. Although organizing events can take a big chunk out of the MDF, it has the potential to bring in the biggest of the clients.
4. Work with a good marketing agency – A marketing campaign’s success depends on the expertise of the marketer. It’s hard to manage everything on your own. Working along with a professional marketing company that knows the ins and outs of the marketing world will supercharge your marketing campaign. Choose an agency that has a proven track record in the same industry as yours to get the maximum benefit. Besides the conventional means of marketing, digital marketing should be an integral, if not the major, part of your campaigns. Without a doubt, digital marketing is the most effective way for inbound lead generation. So, an agency that is adept in both conventional and digital marketing is an ideal choice.
5. Don’t forget the outbound marketing – It’s a wide, wide world and your future buyers can come from anywhere. While inbound marketing can draw in the right kind of buyers, outbound marketing has its own merits because it casts a wider net. Through direct calling, print ads, email outreach, you can reach out to a much wider audience and some of them will eventually turn into buyers. Hence, outbound marketing should be an essential part of your MDF allocation strategy.