Eight Foundational Elements of MDF Program Design
MDF/Co-Op programs are built around eight constructs.
Consider the individuality of each element and how the eight can work together as you design
states which channel partners qualify to receive funds.
Provide program availability to all channel partners who demonstrate qualification criteria. The benefits of the program can scale as an individual channel partner grows.
Design unique programs for specific geographies and segments. Tailor the remaining seven variables for mutually beneficial activities.
is the timespan during which funds must be used before they expire.
Select the correct program period by considering the length of the partner's planning cycle and your desire to focus fund investment during key promotion periods.
Focus funds on key selling periods, or align with the sales cycle. Expiring funds provide financial controls and limit liability.
is determined by whether a program is Co-Op-based or MDF-based.
Align your programs with the needs of the industry and the associated channel practices.
Offer funds, either accrual or proposal-based, on a proportionately equal basis to all competing channel partners regardless of program.
include those that qualify for accrual as well as reimbursement.
Consistent advertising policies across all products ensure your program is easier to administer and more attractive to your partners.
If you are running an accrual program, you can bias earnings and spending on specific products to gain disproportionate focus on the solutions you want to support.
focus on the sales and marketing activities that mutually drive sales.
Align these activities with the go-to-market strategy for each of your channel partners. Correlate activities with each phase of the buyer's journey.
There is increasing emphasis on online marketing activities and business development activities such as training and certification, SPIF programs, demo equipment, product specialist, and others - especially for business to business marketers or for supporting products with long or complex selling cycles.
refers to the portion of any activity that is paid or reimbursed by the sponsoring marketer.
Apply lower reimbursement percentages to less desirable activities while applying higher reimbursement rates to more desirable activities.
Production or set up costs are also reimbursed (even at a lower percentage) unless the marketer provides templates or tools for partner use in supporting that activity (for example, ad templates or similar).
define branding guidelines including use of logo, graphics, and trademarks.
Make creative requirements easy to follow and easily accessible online. Ensure branding guidelines allow subordinate use of your brand. Partners will want to focus on their brand and messaging first.
Limitations on the relative size of the marketer’s trademark as represented on a reimbursable activity are disappearing as it is accepted that the channel partner’s own branding should be the dominant brand within any co-marketing efforts.
refers to the form of reimbursement the channel partner will realize.
Whether using a “cash” reimbursement or credit, prompt reimbursement is key to happy partners.
Major retailers usually expect a credit, as the cost of a co-marketing campaign is often deducted from the manufacturer’s invoice in advance by the retailer. Other channels, including independent retailers, typically expect some form of cash reimbursement.
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