Getting the Most From Your Co-Op Funds Investment

Sep 17, 2014

Who doesn’t want to spend money wisely? When it comes to using co-op or market development funds (MDF), effective fund management at the local level is the key to success.

Let’s say you’re in charge of a distributed sales force, like in financial services, insurance or KandiBlog_9-17-14_noTypemanufacturing. You allocate co-op dollars for your local partners to promote brand awareness and drive sales. But these funds often go unused, or if they are used, you don’t know how they’re being spent or what marketing channels are working.

You can increase fund usage and help ensure local marketing dollars are spent wisely by using an MDF management tool. You’ll have a streamlined, big-picture view so you can track how co-op funds are used and which marketing channels are the most productive. And it all begins at the top by tracking spending and managing multiple budgets.

After all, you don’t want money and sales opportunities left on the table!

What’s critical to track when you’re managing MDF for a diverse network through a centralized resource? Here are our top attributes to track:

  • Use of co-op funds: Which partners are using MDF and which aren’t? And how much do they have left to use? You want to be able to easily monitor fund disbursement. Not only should you track the use of co-op dollars through your partners, but you also want to have the flexibility to track it to more specific levels, like how much each individual sales agent is spending and on what media channels. By engaging on a corporate level, your sales managers can help your distributed sales force be more successful at promoting your brand and increasing sales. With this information, you can even choose to award bonus co-op dollars for partners who use MDF really effectively.
  • Requests for co-op funds: Can you quickly and easily stay on top of requests for co-op reimbursement and authorize fund distribution? Or if your company approves fund expenditures prior to a partner’s marketing spend, can you monitor requests in real time and quickly OK co-op allocation? The faster and more actionable your information, the better for both your partners and your brand.
  • Effective marketing strategies: Track what works and what doesn’t work for your partners when it comes to marketing. How much goes to individual vendors or media channels for newspaper ads, direct mail, social media or radio commercials? Basically, how are co-op dollars spent in each market? Maybe newspaper ads work best in a certain size market. Perhaps social-media ads see better results for partners targeting a particular demographic. You’ll have all of this information at your fingertips and can share best practices with your partners so they make smart marketing decisions. Or you can reach out to partners who aren’t using their allocated co-op spend and share actionable tips.

Now that you know what to track, how do you do it? You and your distributed sales force can make intelligent, informed decisions on how to best use MDF dollars by using a highly flexible co-op fund management tool like Vya’s local marketing budget system,

By tracking the results of your co-op spend, you’ll continue to improve your brand-building and sales efforts while strengthening your partner relationships.


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Kandi O'Connor

Learn how Vya can help simplify local marketing through our marketing resource management systems, campaign execution services, and print expertise.

Tags: co-op marketing, manufacturing marketing, distributors, distributed sales, insurance, co-op funds, market distribution funds, dealers, MDF funds, channel partners, financial services marketing

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