Encourage vendor participation with solid MDF, co-op program
Market development funds (MDF) and co-op funds are one way to effectively reach local audiences. Managed correctly, these tools can motivate and incentivize affiliates, channel partners, resellers, distributors, or other third party sellers to put your brand’s message in the local marketplace with company-approved campaigns.
However, by some estimates, nearly half of all co-op and MDF dollars are left unused. Why does that matter? Because those unspent dollars represent missed sales opportunities for your company. Leaving dollars on the table leaves customers out in the cold.
Fortunately, there are a few simple key principles to ensure your partners take advantage of co-op and MDF resources, and share your message with local audiences.
Cornerstones of an active, and effective, co-op and MDF program include:
- Make it simple. The first step to get partners to take better advantage of MDF and co-op dollars is to make sure those resources are accessible. Partners should be able to easily navigate the software you use to manage money for third-party campaigns. Be sure your programs are easy-to-use and simple to understand so they can quickly request funds and select which campaigns they want to run in local markets.
- Reimburse quickly and professionally. Many third-party vendors are small to medium businesses that don’t have access to cash to pay upfront for local marketing campaigns. They simply can’t afford to wait months for brands to reimburse them. With the right co-op and MDF management tools, you should be able to easily track and quickly reimburse partners.
- Give them options. Your partners know what will work best in their markets. By empowering them to choose from several different branded campaigns, you can help increase participation and sales in local markets.
- Share actionable data. Track what’s happening in markets through your MDF and co-op management tools, and share best practices with partners. Let them know what’s working well for other dealers or resellers, and offer tips and advice on best practices for implementing campaigns.
These four principles are the cornerstones of solid and effective MDF and co-op programs. Your partners need to be able to easily navigate your MDF and co-op management tools, implement campaigns easily, receive reimbursement quickly, and most importantly, see first-hand ROI through increased leads and incremental sales.
By working with partners, where possible, and utilizing effective co-op and MDF management tools and software, turn those dollars into real sales that boost your brand’s bottom line.