Thursday, May 13, 2010

MDF Funds Underutilized? Pick up the phone!

These two, seemingly unrelated statistics gave me pause as I prepared for a webinar last week:

1. By some industry estimates, 50% or more of all potential MDF/Co-op funds go un-used.
2. Everything Channel research reported that after reaching a high of 250,000 in 2007, the number of solution provider businesses in the North American market dropped to 200,000 in 2009. Most of the solution providers that closed up shop generated less than $1 million in annual revenue.

In this difficult time of shrinking budgets and companies going out of business, one would think that struggling SMB’s would jump at the opportunity to get free money to do marketing.

So what are the top reasons partners give as to why MDF funds go unused?

• Unfamiliarity/unaware
• Complexities, administrative burden
• Long delays in approvals and payment

In addition, most partners are involved in more than one program and some in as many as a dozen; with each program, the administrative burden grows.

Because unused MDF Funds equal lost opportunities for additional business, try the following to increase utilization. Call partners that are not using funds and offer them a choice of several pre-packaged, pre-approved campaign that will utilize funds that you have already decided that the partner qualifies for.

Who couldn’t say yes?

Pitch here :) - hawkeye has recently added a service to its portfolio to enable vendors to increase utilization of funds thru a combination of direct awareness outreach and pre-packaged campaigns.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Measuring ROI in MDF Programs

The topic of measuring ROI on channel MDF/Coop programs is one that surfaces in almost every conversation with channel clients. Inevitably, when I discuss this subject with other solution provider's like hawkeye, we start discussing how to measure and then end up spending more time discussing how to improve MDF/Coop programs.

So, because on a blog I can focus, here are 3 practical ways to measure ROI:

1. Ask – establish the metrics based on the type of activities that will be funded and ask the partner to provide results after the project has been executed. Consideration: metrics are only as good as the partner provides, so reserve the right to audit periodically and reward good behavior.

2. Data Analytics – measure sales for partners over a period of time. Compare participating and non-participating partners to eliminate environmental factors and determine the net uplift in sales for participating partners (hopefully!). This process is both an art and a science ...

3. Offer Execution – Execute the project/campaign on behalf of the partner, and utilize one of many great tools to use to close the loop, track the lead, etc.

When MDF/Coop activities are measured against clear and established metrics, then improvements can be very specific based on real success/failure.

If you would like some MDF/Coop improvement suggestions based on best practices with Fortune 100 technology clients, we have published a white paper that outlines practical guidelines to improve the impact of MDF/co-op programs.

Get it here: