As Channel Chiefs review their business, they are closely evaluating their partners and partner programs, particularly Market Development Funds (MDF). Evaluating how MDF is utilized, measuring returns, and addressing unused funds are key for channel leaders aiming to optimize their strategies.
The challenge most are dealing with is the fact that a substantial percentage of MDF remains untouched, with surveys indicating that up to 60% of MDF goes unused by partners, amounting to a staggering $25 billion annually, according to the Channel Marketer Report.
Enter the MDF Marketplace – a transformative trend in partner marketing services
Digital marketplaces have become ubiquitous, driven by their convenience and efficiency. The concept is simple but powerful: instead of distributing funds and hoping for effective utilization, vendors can curate a marketplace of pre-approved, brand-compliant partner marketing services for partners to access seamlessly.
How the MDF Marketplace can transform the partner experience
· Streamlined Experience: Digital marketplaces offer partners a frictionless experience to easily navigate, select, and deploy marketing services.
· Modern Options: Beyond traditional event services, vendors can provide partners with a wide range of modern digital marketing options.
· Effortless Engagement: Partners can effortlessly enhance their local presence through services like SEO optimization, consistent email marketing aligned with corporate campaigns, monthly blogs, and social media management.
· Centralized Control: Unlike traditional MDF programs, marketplace services are centrally controlled, ensuring alignment with the vendor’s brand and objectives.
· Pre-Approval Process: Services in the marketplace are pre-approved, eliminating the need for a cumbersome upfront funds request and approval processes.
· Data-Driven Results: At the end of each period, comprehensive data, analytics, and results are readily available, simplifying the claims process and providing insights for better budget control.
· Increased Utilization: When it’s easy to access and administration is removed, partners are eager to participate and leverage their funding.
What Does an MDF Marketplace Cost?
Implementing an MDF Marketplace does not necessarily incur additional costs. Instead of reimbursing partners, vendors allocate budgets directly for partners to spend within the marketplace, resulting in fewer transactions and enhanced control.
How It Works
Partners access the vendor’s MDF marketplace, select their budget level, review service offerings, and choose the desired services. Progress is shared during service delivery, and at the end of the period, and results are presented to both vendors and partners. The ease of use and flexibility enables partners to renew their digital partner marketing services, or choose new options for the next period.
Each period, the aim is to continuously improve. Consolidated data gives you the ability to measure and report and take control of your budget and the results.
Why Choose an MDF Marketplace
Whether you’re aiming to increase utilization, include more partners, drive growth with smaller or newer partners, add flexibility, or enhance digital marketing options, an MDF Marketplace fits the bill.
Partner with AscendX Digital
If you’re considering a shift to a next-generation MDF strategy, AscendX Digital, with its extensive experience in partner marketing services, can implement an MDF Marketplace tailored to your business in a matter of weeks. Contact us for a demo or a no-obligation consultation, and let’s unlock the full potential of your partner investments together.