Running a Successful MDF or Co-op Program

Best Practices and Checklist

(scroll to begin)

What is the problem?

Most channel marketers do not believe they are getting optimal return on their MDF/Co-op investment. Too often, MDF/Co-op programs have a vague or completely undefined end goal.

Did you know?

Companies that generate most of their revenue (>60 percent) in the channel typically spend anywhere from 1 percent to 5 percent of revenue on channel marketing.*


Aligning MDF/Co-op Program Objectives with Your Business Goals and Initiatives:

Create Clear Measurements for Success.

Align each campaign objective with an overall business goal. Then each activity assigned to that objective also has metrics that identify how those activities contribute to the business goals.


Consider your product go-to-market strategies and the role of your partners. Take into account your channel segments and how your MDF program will enable your partners’ go-to-market strategy.

Asset 1CircleOnly Recommendation

Structure MDF/Co-op programs to deliver a wide range of go-to-market objectives such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Marketing Enablement
  • Up Sell/ Cross Sell
  • New Target Penetration
  • Branding
  • Sales Increases

A One-size Fits all Program Approach May Not be Mutually Beneficial

Align your eligible activity types, and other key variables, with the go-to-market needs of your various partner types.

It’s not just about tier 2 and 3, its about aligning the program to a partner’s GTM strategy - box movers like DMR’s need a different program structure and marketing support than a Cloud Solution provider.

Asset 1CircleOnly Recommendation

Regulations and best practices dictate that programs should be available to all partners as long as they can demonstrate qualification criteria such as minimal sales thresholds or related service and support capabilities.

Integrate Marketing Planning

Did you know?

A partner marketing scorecard can help determine a partner’s eligibility for MDF programs and their ability to meet lead, pipeline, and ROI success metrics.

Many MDF/Co-op programs require channel partners to provide metrics upon claiming for reimbursement.

While these metrics are useful, they don’t reflect the overall business outcome, because they lack the ability to relate one or more activity to overall strategic goals.

Joint planning will help you and your partners calculate a marketing budget, forecast, and ROI. Your MDF expenditures can be tied to plan attainment.

Did you know?

A recent survey conducted by Forrester Research indicates that 65% of partners consider marketing enablement to be the number one deliverable that they want from vendors.

The reality is that most partners don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to plan and execute marketing campaigns.

Partner Marketing Enablement is vital to program success and in our new digital age, it is much more than providing partners with logos and branding guidelines.

Partner Marketing Certification, Marketing Automation, and Campaign Marketplaces are now critical to successful Marketing Enablement programs, all funded through the use of MDF and Co-op programs.

Checklist for a Successful MDF Program

Ready to implement a successful MDF or Co-op program? Use the following checklist as a framework. Have questions or want to know more? Contact us today. We are happy to discuss making your MDF or Co-op program a success!

  • 1.

    Align the objectives of your MDF/Co-op program with the business goals of both your organization and for your channel programs.

  • 2.

    Develop the measurements that will be used to judge success, at both the corporate and the channel level.

  • 3.

    Align you eligible activities with the go-to-market needs of your partner communities.

  • 4.

    Develop a joint marketing planning process and use the findings to determine partner eligibility to MDF funds.

  • 5.

    Assess how Marketing Certification programs, Marketing Automation tools, and Campaign Marketplaces can help your partners be more successful.

Perks WW Channel is a leading incentive and loyalty marketing company that provides services and software to help our clients engage with their indirect channel and ensure channel partner and customer effectiveness. With a listing on the salesforce appexchange and a global user base exceeding 5 million users, Perks WW Channel takes the guesswork out of channel incentives and loyalty programs.

Contact us today about our MDF solution