How to help your partners drive ROI from MDF

Posted by Dan Kelly

When working with channel partners, you might utilise a marketing development fund, otherwise known as MDF. These are funds that are made available to help your channel partners carry out activities that increase sales of your products.

How MDF can be used

MDF is often held by a third party who oversees the channel partner’s use of it, and assures the funds are spent appropriately with approved vendors, on activities that are going to generate positive results.

The fund is often used to help the partner create and send email campaigns or advertising to build brand awareness, or to create internal sales drivers like incentives – essentially, it can be used on any activity that can be seen to drive sales for a business.

To maximise the effectiveness of your MDF, you should consider activities that can be quickly and easily implemented.

See our channel incentive schemes

The nature of MDF means that all funded activities are trackable, allowing you to understand what budget is being spent. Any activity needs to be agreed upon by both sides of your channel partnership, which provides accountability and confidence, as well as giving both sides of the channel partnership visibility. This maintains trust whilst helping businesses that might be more risk averse to better understand how their MDF is being utilised.

How to get the most from MDF

To maximise the effectiveness of your MDF, you should consider activities that can be quickly and easily implemented.

Often, the quickest wins are pre-approved marketing activities and packages, containing multiple routes to market, that are proven to drive increased sales.

Alternatively, you might reach an agreement between your business and your channel partner that your MDF spend should be mutually beneficial, instead of an activity geared purely towards one side of the partnership. You might choose to enlist an e-learning platform provider to help increase skills in the channel team, while driving sales of the partners’ products by increasing product knowledge and confidence.

Getting this activity in place quickly is key to making sure it generates results as efficiently as possible.

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How does MDF drive ROI?

MDF can drive a visible return on investment by providing proper sales conversion tracking.

By charting what has been spent and what the projected returns would be, you can prove ROI in its purest from. Because the activities you undertake are tied to your MDF spend and pre-approved, there’s no need to shop around or deal with pitching processes. As it acts as an ‘off the shelf’ service it’s quick to deploy and easy for you to start seeing results. For example, a ready to deploy channel incentive program can be used to help drive performance.

You will also have a general idea of what the results of each activity would stand to be. This could be hard ROI, like from an increase in sales and revenue, or softer ROI, such as building skills or improving employee motivation.

The right programs to drive ROI

Deploying your MDF in a way that generates effective results across your channel partnership requires careful planning and mutual agreement.

Using incentives as a service to quickly motivate and engage your channel teams is a useful way to deploy MDF spend that is highly effective.

At CR Worldwide, we quickly design, launch and optimise powerful incentive programmes that drive increased sales in your business, engage teams and motivate staff. Our channel sales incentives are:

Easy to implement — Our turnkey MyRewards platform can be tailored to suit your requirements, meaning you can be ready to implement incentive schemes quickly.

Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be quick to launch and easy to understand. This means your sales channel teams can meet their targets, view potential rewards, and chart their progress towards winning them.

Easy to manage — Our programmes offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This makes managing, organising, tracking performance and assessing the value of your incentive schemes simple.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our Channel Incentive schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.