If your marketing development funds (MDF) are burning a hole in your Partner’s proverbial marketing pockets, you’re not alone. Of course you don’t want anyone wasting time or money and you must ensure Partners maximize funds, so what do you do? It’s time to teach your Partners to graduate from golf events in favor of campaigns that will finally yield ROI with prospects and customers alike.
You need a solid plan, so let’s begin with the basics.
Goals and Roles
All good marketing plans begin with goal setting. Before you approve your Partner’s MDF request, sit down together to determine the objectives for the spend and the qualifying factors to ensure success. For example:
- What solutions or products will be promoted?
- How will the funds be used for demand generation or marketing development?
- Will the planned activities be used for approved activities, such as advertising, collateral, events, training, or lists?
- What are the KPIs or qualifiable metrics that will be tracked?
- How and who will track metrics?
- By when do Partners have to submit proof of performance to receive payouts?
Work with your Partners to understand if the campaign lends itself to typical performance metrics such as marketing qualified leads, or will they track metrics such as customer acquisition cost or conversion rates.
Like any good relationship, communication is key. Understanding your mutual roles and defining expectations will not only assure they feel supported but also ensure their buy-in to the process.
Have Their Back
There are many ways Partners can spend MDF that will result in strong ROI. Arm yourself with examples of best spend activities so you can coach them along the way and help them maximize their efforts and results.
Partner-hosted seminars and trainings on hot industry topics can give them the kind of visibility that generates leads. Guide them with tactics to foster meaningful relationships with their potential customers that position them as thought-leaders. Whether it be serving as a speaker, or providing targeted marketing materials, you are their resource, and the more you help them, the more brand loyalty you achieve.
Once the activity or campaign is complete, it’s critical for Partners to demonstrate proof of performance. For example, if they hosted a lunch and learn, how many attendants did they have and how many leads did they generate. If they executed advertising or a promotion, what was the reach, impressions, and click through rates, as well as the number of leads generated. If they shared collateral, how many downloads did they receive.
There is much to think about and we’ve just covered the tip of the iceberg. While we do not design MDF strategies, we’re more than happy to put you in touch with some of the great consultants and platforms that do. Don’t hesitate to reach out!