Unfortunately many marketers look at their MDF program this way. A history of less than optimal funds usage, the inability to quantify results, coupled that with the downturn in the economy and it’s no surprise that MDF has been challenging to fund for many organizations.
Part of the problem may be that that MDF has evolved in many organizations from its original business development purpose (the ‘M’ in MDF stands for ‘Market’ not ‘Marketing’) into just another marketing fund. Another part of the problem may be that may vendors are still relying on standard qualifications for partners to gain access to MDF dollars in a world where partners have become anything but standard.
Regardless, the good news is that we see the ‘original’ version MDF on the upswing again, but with more defined objectives focused on the Business Development side (we like to call these BDF programs). This, coupled with an openness to making BDF programs available to less traditional partners (i.e. influencers, those that never take title to vendor products/solutions), is driving better alignment – aggressive, growth-oriented, market-building partners with a program flexible enough to be leveraged for a variety of business development strategies.
As a former growth/market-building partner and an appreciator of those partners striving to be the best at what they do, this is great news indeed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven Kellam, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CCI
As a growth specialist, Steven is responsible for CCI’s sales and marketing strategy and vision for today’s goals and objectives as well as positioning the organization for continued, long-term success. Steven has experience in both the VAR space, having run a successful Managed Services IT business, and a background in Manufacturing where he built a channel of over 2,000 partners.