Marketing development funds are used in indirect sales channels, whereby funds are made available by vendors to help channel partners sell their products (Fox, 2018). Utilising MDFs helps manufacturers drive demand for their products and increase brand awareness. It gives channel partners a marketing budget and motivation to start promoting vendors’ products and services.
Our blog provides some top tips for applying for marketing development funds to assist channel partners and organisations in gaining maximum return on investment. A business that is able to maximise on returns, whilst minimising costs can boost its earnings and its profits. These two goals can be achieved through effective marketing and smart funding processes.
To start, you must know what sales and marketing activities are eligible for marketing development funding, and develop your strategy around these. Typically, campaign strategy, development and promotion are eligible for funding, but specific eligible marketing activities will differ between firms. One of the key tips for applying for marketing development funding is to focus on return-on-investment (ROI) – A company should be able to quantify the value of your relationship, so if you can demonstrate measurable ROI, you’re more likely to be provided funding for your efforts. Market surveys show that only about 15% of the businesses that are funded attain any kind of profit, so make sure you know your stuff when it comes to ROI.
The development of digital technologies means we are able to track the performance of almost any marketing campaign. Using marketing automation platforms, you can track the performance of your campaigns and report your success back to your vendor. As marketing increasingly becomes a science, professionals are being held accountable for the return on every pound spent. Without marketing automation systems in place, measuring the performance of your efforts can be difficult and time-consuming, so get on board with the best marketing automation software and make reporting and analytics as simple as possible. You’ll find your vendors appreciate this, as it suggests you will not be exploiting their funding.
If you feel that the funding you receive is not enough to cover your marketing strategy, consider reusing previous marketing content, or using existing vendor marketing material. This will lower costs associated with campaign creation and promotion. Working with your vendor to develop campaigns will also demonstrate your commitment and with an effective channel partner relationship, you’re more likely to be able to generate profit.
Openly communicate with your partners. By doing so, it means you can plan your strategy and set shared goals and objectives. Working together, but towards different goals, is not a recipe for success. Connect with your vendor and their marketing messages on some level- it’s important to understand your partners’ values and ensure they are aligned with your own. You are now working towards building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship and are therefore more likely to secure funding.
If you work with multiple vendors, you should focus on sales with one vendor at a time. Alternatively, you could choose a primary vendor and a secondary vendor, but you shouldn’t spread yourself too thinly or work with too many competing vendors. Rather, you should focus on maximising funds from your primary and secondary vendors.
It is necessary that the application form is prepared accurately. Every detail should be listed. If you intend to get hold of the fund after submission of the application form, then you are required to submit the application, along with the necessary documents in the stipulated time. Once the fund is approved, the amount deposited into the account is released to the business. At no stage should any fees be paid before release of the funds.
Tips for applying for marketing development funds clearly indicate that the applicant should conduct research before applying. You should also ensure that the market research conducted is comprehensive. The funding development firm often provides a team of consultants who help you to improve the efficiency of the company, so ensure you take advantage if this. When you have received the funding development, you can definitely enjoy the benefits of improving the management and efficiency of your chosen vendor’s company.