6 steps to MDF success

To many in the channel, the management of Marketing Development Funds (MDF) offered by vendors either directly or through distribution is considered a dark art, and a time consuming task.

  • 4th February

However, it is something worth investing some time and energy in to fully understand, certainly for your key focus vendors.

In our experience these funds are absolutely worth applying for but there is a balance to be struck between the value of unlocking MDF and ‘chasing the money’. With this in mind, it is essential to determine which vendors and technologies are the ones that you are most skilled in and will most likely enable your business to generate the revenues you need. When we deliver our strategic workshops this is exactly what we discuss, we do this for your core business but we also provide a vendor version, which gets to grips with your targets and goals for the chosen vendor, extracting the necessary information to compile a value proposition specific to your partnership. This helps you ensure that everything you do around that vendor is in line with the business goals. Importantly, it also demonstrates to the vendor that you are a serious contender for them to partner with and invest their time in.

If you’re new to MDF the following six step checklist should help focus your efforts in MDF creation:

  1. Make sure you consider if the campaign or activity you are planning to deliver is truly going to add value to your business. Goals and realistic timescales sometimes get forsaken in the interests of getting a submission in on time.  Sometimes it’s wiser to pass up submitting an activity in this case and waiting for the next planning cycle.
  2. Ensure you have the current MDF guidelines for the vendor and you’ve reviewed them to ensure your activity is compliant. It’s common for activities to be rejected by vendors further down the line, after you may already have incurred cost.
  3. Attend vendor marketing update sessions, such as webinars, calls etc either hosted/delivered by the vendor direct or your chosen distributor. This will ensure you understand the vendor directives for the quarter or relevant funding periods.
  4. Always keep your distributor updated with any direct discussions with vendors so they may provide support where necessary ensuring that nothing is missed, aiding a collaborative approach.
  5. Ensure you have the correct forms for submission along with the submission deadline date, to avoid rejection.
  6. Be realistic with your funding request, paying attention to the ROI.

Asgard Marketing provide marketing support to organisations in the IT channel. If you don’t have the in house resource to manage MDF, we can support you. Alternatively, if you have a question or want some impartial advice, get in touch.

Get in touch and see how we can help your business be a success