- On July 21, 2020
Remember a time when only the largest tech giants created vast partner ecosystems? Nowadays, everyone and their mother has one. We all know why – a great partner ecosystem has the power to effectively increase market reach whilst creating a knowledgeable community based around your solutions.
Vendors are then able to push partner effectiveness even further through the use of marketing development funds.
What are Marketing Development Funds?
Marketing Development Funds come in many arrangements – they are essentially a resource that a vendor grants to its indirect channel partners. This is typically straight-up funding but can also take the form of extra partner training or software upgrades.
How are Marketing Development Funds Used?
Channel partners primarily use marketing development funds to increase awareness of their brands. They may use them to fund webinars, purchase booth space at events, or provide extra training to sales personnel, to name a few classic examples.
Now everyone’s up to speed, let’s get our teeth into the most effective ways vendors and partners alike can assign and utilize their marketing development funds.
Vendors – Focus on Long Term
As a vendor, it’s not uncommon to want, or even expect, instantaneous results. You’ve provided your partners with an MDF investment – where then, is your return?!
By demanding quick ROI from your partners, you’re leaving them with their hands tied. In order to achieve fast returns, they’re fundamentally limited to two main options:
- Cold Telemarketing (ineffective)
- Events (Intensive)
Whilst both of these methods can provide quick turnover, it’s utterly inefficient and often comes at the detriment of your partners.
Instead? Align your investments to encourage a more long-term approach. Not only will this reduce the strain on your partners, it will also help them develop a pipeline of relationships instead of temporary revenue. Here’s a few examples of effective long-term investment through marketing development funds:
- Help them secure a relationship-based pipeline. US companies alone lose over $135.8 billion per year due to highly avoidable customer switching. Relationship-based pipelines help partners secure buyer trust and keep them coming back. What does this mean? You guessed it – greater customer satisfaction, leading to increased word-of-mouth marketing, ultimately leading to a vast increase in ROI.
- Shift partner processes towards a more data-driven approach. This allows them to track conversion rates, evaluate market influence and gather detailed pipeline information. Better than simple clicks and impressions, no?
- Encourage partner-based thought leadership. Content based around thought leadership is proven to deliver more conversions. By offering partners the funding to conduct their own thought leadership, you’re creating an ever-compacting source of brand awareness that can only scale up.
Partners – Spend Wisely
It can often feel like new sales and marketing best practices are put in place every other day. Which would be funny, if it wasn’t somewhat true.
In a digital age, you’re able to track, alter and fine-tune marketing efforts in real time. You can create hyper-personalized campaigns that cater to individual buying needs. Through AI programs, you’re even able to track hot leads long before they request a quote.
By continuing to invest MDF into isolated cold calling campaigns, list buying and unstructured sales events, partners will carry on shunning long-term revenue and success. You might not see immediate outcomes, but has cold calling ever worked well enough for you to care?
Build a long-term plan and invest your MDF budget into campaigns that drive real growth – like those mentioned at the start of this paragraph. Your buyers, your vendors, and ultimately your wallet will thank you later.
Gorilla works with B2B organizations of all shapes and sizes by mobilizing and enhancing their partner programs. From implementing lead-loaded ABM funnels to moving partners to the cloud (and everything in-between!) Gorilla has you covered. Click here if it sounds like we can help you grow your channel to the next level.