Behind Successful MDF Programs
1. Program Eligibility
2. Program Period
3. How Funds Are Earned
Use scorecarding to create specific requirements your channel partners must meet to be eligible for funds.
The clock is ticking. Establish how long partners have to use allotted funds.
It’s all proposal based, but which is right for you: discretionary or accrual?
Tip: Determine time period based on partner’s planning cycle, seasonality, and/or key promotional periods.
Tip: Use discretionary MDF to focus on BizDev activities.
Tip: Shorter program periods give you more flexibility and control.
Tip: Try hybrid approach—combine accrual- and discretionary-based.
4. Eligible Products
5. Eligible Activities
6. Reimbursement %
What products are you focusing your efforts on?
Establish which sales and marketing activities will qualify for funding or reimbursement.
Set rates of reimbursement for activity costs.
Tip: Set minimum sales threshold, required technical certifications, demonstrated customer communication skills. Tip: Make promotional allowances available to all partners—start small with small partners, increase with growth.
Tip: Consider accrual for smaller partners or as transition from co-op.
Tip: Focus on BizDev and marketing skills—emphasize social media.
Tip: Use funds to drive partners to sell the products you want them focused on. Tip: Be flexible—make funding changes based on product cycles and seasonality. Tip: Promote bundled solutions to increase your sales close rate.
Tip: Encourage activities that support your partners’ go-to-market strategies and the new buyer’s journey. Tip: Adjust eligibility to emphasize BizDev and online marketing skills, social media activities. Tip: Help partners with digital marketing—build a support plan.
Tip: Partners will always follow the money. Tip: Teach partners to do more effective marketing by offering higher reimbursements for those activities. Tip: Discourage waning marketing activities by offering lower reimbursements.
7. Marketing Execution
How do you enable and measure success?
Get money into your partners’ hands.
Tip: Make creative requirements concise and easy to understand, with online access to assets.
Tip: Pay your partners quickly—best practice is 21 days or less.
Tip: Leverage third-party marketing automation platforms, include behavioral modification incentives to drive adoption.
Tip: Consider program vs. partner centric—partner centric is more partner friendly but harder on your finance department.
Tip: Measure everything—connecting the dots benefits everyone.
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