Get help from the experts
If your company doesn’t have the time or expertise, then get someone with experience to do it for you. Vendors are open to resellers using a third-party to create, run and manage the program as long as it results in one of the two motivators mentioned above, and the resulting sales outweigh the cost of the program.
Read the rules of the MDF program and find out what the legitimate activities are. Lead generation, targeting vertical markets, even training can sometimes be covered by MDF – as long as it increases revenue and market share. For example, last year we ran sales training courses for hundreds of partners using marketing funds. The resellers found it valuable, the vendors felt it was an effective use of the funds, and the result was an increase in revenue for partners and the vendors.
As markets mature and margins decline, the amount of marketing funds available is shrinking. Vendors are becoming more and more strict on the rules by which the money can be spent, and scrutinising the requests more closely. A request for MDF is the same as a proposal to a customer – you’re asking someone to give you money for delivering a service. Make sure your request is as well thought out as your proposals and you maximise the chance of the vendor approving it.
Moheb Moses is the director of Channel Dynamics. email@example.com