Marketing development funds could make the difference between whether you surpass your sales goals or barely break even. However, funds often go unused due to VARs being unaware of the funds available to them, or due to long processes for approvals and payment as well as general administrative burdens. What VARs don’t know is that there are three very basic things they can do to ensure that they are getting the most out of their market development funds.
1. Focus sales with one vendor. If you’re trying to spread yourself too thin, that may be your problem. Since market development funds are often calculated as a result of the amount of sales done with a specific vendor, it might be a good idea to choose a primary vendor and a secondary vendor and try to channel most of your sales through them. While most VAR organizations want to have multiple offerings in a product category to protect their business, it does not make sense to divide the sales of a product line amongst three or more competing vendors. Select a primary line and a secondary line and focus your sales efforts to maximize market development fund accrual.
2. “You will never get what you don’t ask for” is a great turn of phrase that applies in nearly any situation. Applying for MDF dollars is one of them. Many VAR programs rely on VARs developing and submitting a marketing campaign plan to vendors to request market development funds. It’s important to take your time developing and submitting a marketing plan that matches the sales and marketing goals of your vendor partner. Make sure you have a good grasp on which marketing activities fit within market development fund guidelines and are most likely to garner your vendor’s approval. You’ll want to submit a formal proposal and set up a business call or meeting with the vendor partner in order to state a compelling case as to why your marketing campaign is MDF worthy.
3. Show your return on investment. Return on investment is critical for ensuring that you receive market development funding again. Sometimes that means having metrics in place to measure how the marketing campaign impacted vendor sales for your organization. It may also be as simple as showing how the marketing campaign raised awareness about your vendor partner within your sales team and, as a result, vendor sales with your organization have increased.
Before any marketing campaign is executed, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan to measure and communicate the success of the campaign in question. It is much easier to ask your vendor for more funds if you can clearly display evidence of your marketing campaign’s success. Additionally, vendors with formal marketing development fund systems in place will require you to input ROI information as a part of the approval process.
Focusing on one vendor, building a strong marketing campaign proposal, and ensuring that you have a solid method in place to measure your proposed campaign’s ROI are sure fire ways to ensure that you receive those all-important market development fund dollars.