Word-of-Mouth Marketing: 3 Ways You Can Control the Conversation

5 Things Your Partners Wish You Knew

So you’ve invested in a marketing development fund (MDF) program. That’s smart. It makes good sense to help local resellers, distributors and MSPs market your product and build local brand awareness. But are you getting the biggest return on your MDF dollars? We went straight to the source and gathered the top five suggestions sure to optimize your MDF program return.

1. Make Your Program Structure Easy

People are busy, and time is precious. If you want partners to do business with you, make it easy. Step back, and evaluate your program from the standpoint of the end user.

“73% of partners say vendor channel programs are too complex.”

-360Insights 2112 Group: Ease of Doing Business Report, 2019

For example, complicated co-branding rules pose a common barrier for partners. Most vendors require MDF assets meet a long laundry list of marketing regulations. (Have you ever had to sift through a 50-page branding guideline looking for the right logo, the right logo placement and the right corresponding legal for your particular asset? It’s not easy.) Think about how you can make the process easier for partners while maintaining your brand consistency. Could you allow partners to focus less on your branding and more on theirs? After all, their success is your success.

2. Distribute More Dollars to Fewer Partners

Are you providing your partners with enough money to make a significant impact? Some vendors make the mistake of spreading out marketing dollars too thin. Could it be worth allocating more money to fewer partners?

Which brings us to another key question: Do you know what your ideal partner looks like? If you don’t have a partner profile, create one. Think about the characteristics of your best channel partners and build your profile from there. Work to attract and retain the kinds of partners with which you tend to form the most productive, lasting relationships.

3. Offer a Diverse Range of Options

Does your list of approved assets include a variety of materials from print to digital? For example, some partners simply don’t have the experience or the tools to utilize digital marketing assets. They may require printed one-sheets or PowerPoint presentations. Ultimately, you want to meet your partners where they are: Give them the kinds of materials they need to be successful.

“60% of market development funds (MDF) go unused.”

-Zinfi, Worldwide Channel Survey

4. Track Metrics

If you don’t already know, clearly define what success looks like for each asset and follow up. Only then can you see what’s really working and what’s falling short.

  • Give each marketing asset a measurable goal, like number of leads.
  • Track the goal, or number of leads, within a specific period of time.
  • Find out the close ratio for each asset. Reassess what isn’t giving you the return you want.

5. Show Your Partners You’re Vested in Their Success

Most partners’ experience with marketing is limited. They are comfortable making phone calls and walking through product demos. They don’t feel comfortable in the social media and digital marketing realm. Consider a pre-approved vendor who can provide marketing concierge services. Also think about channel marketing automation platforms. These tools are user-friendly and make it easy to download, co-brand, customize and execute.

Marketopia Can Help

When it comes to marketing, most partners think short-term and lack dedicated resources. And let’s face it: Effective marketing demands time and effort. Marketopia is a marketing and lead generation company specializing in the tech space. We’re experienced working with enterprises, vendors and partners, and we can help provide a wide range of support from custom content to paid and organic search services, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

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