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Marketing Concierge: 4 ways to help resellers get more from your MDF

3 min read - by Alex Norbury - MD

$50 billion – that’s approximately how much marketing funding is left unspent annually by resellers in the US alone, according to recent insight by Google and IDC.

That’s almost 50% of the funds made available to resellers.

It also suggests that only 8% of funding is spent on digital marketing – because resellers rightly feel that events and telemarketing, where they can see and talk to prospects, are more direct.

So, just why are resellers leaving so much free cash on the table?

Just as you wouldn’t chuck a load of cash at your kids and then ignore them for the rest of the year, the same applies to your channel! A little attention and guidance is vital to helping them in the right direction and maintaining a strong relationship.

So, here are four ways to encourage your resellers to not only take up more of your MDF allocation (and grow more sales), but also to drive more digital marketing initiatives that drive presence all through the buying cycle:


1. The dreaded rules of MDF

It might be time to go back and review your MDF rules – are they too strict? While it’s understandable you will want control over your valuable funding, if you’re not providing campaigns that resellers want to use, then what’s the point? While your pre-approved campaigns should theoretically be easy pickings for your resellers, make sure that they’re not product-heavy (keep them solution-based and benefit-led where possible), and maintain a good balance of choice (3 to 6 at any one time is about right). If partners can quickly identify and execute the right campaign for them – they’re more likely to act.


2. No experience required

Resellers’ marketing experience and resource can vary greatly from firm to firm – so make sure you have plenty of free marketing training and tools on offer to help those who don’t have the in-house capabilities available. And make sure the training is easy to find and complete – if your using technology or a Learning Platform – a good user experience is as important with partners as it is with your customers! If you are running masterclasses, then use your agencies and utilise your wider network to get specialists in. If 3rd parties think there is additional marketing opportunities in it for them, they might give the training away for free!


3. Go digital. Get ROI.

Make marketing activities available that will generate predictable and tangible ROI. Events and telemarketing are good to drive face time and talk time – but success varies wildly, they are difficult to report on and difficult to prove value. Digital campaigns are easy to set up and trackable, plus they drive leads all through the buying journey – a big tick for resellers. If your channel is struggling to see this, it could require a training module or a marketing communication to help them understand.

Create more integrated email nurture campaigns, try Google AdWords, online webinars or even some focused Paid Social and programmatic advertising (learn more about programmatic media here) for your partners to make use of.


4. Do simple things more often.

Create simple, end-to-end campaigns that can be easily co-branded and distributed so that your partners feel they are getting even more value from the MDF available to them. And refresh the campaigns available on a regularly basis. Free cash is one thing, but if figuring out how to make the best use of it is leaving partners scratching their heads, it’ll continue to go unused.

And ultimately, the more your partners make use of your MDF, the more your sales will rise. And the more value partners will see in working with you, and not the competition.

So it’s win-win.

If you would like to talk to us about your own requirements, please get in touch!

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