MDF Management

Managing an MDF program can be time-consuming and difficult, but Channeltivity’s software makes it easy.

MDFs, also known as marketing development funds, help channel partners promote and sell your product by paying for co-marketing activities and are often a core component of high-tech partner programs.

Our solution simplifies program administration by tracking requests and approvals, reimbursements, and fund expiration all in one place, fueling your co-marketing engine and driving partner-sourced revenue.

MDF Management

Complete Management of Your MDF Program

Channeltivity’s Marketing Development Funds management software facilitates and accelerates your co-marketing program. Covering the whole MDF lifecycle, our solution has everything you need for issuing funds, managing approvals and workflows, handling reimbursement, and tracking ROI.

Above all, our MDF software is flexible and can be easily configured to align with the specific requirements and workflows of your program.

Configurable MDF Workflows and Functionality 

MDF programs come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why Channeltivity can be easily configured to handle them all, including:

  • Traditional programs where each partner receives quarterly or annual funds based on program criteria
  • A shared pool of funds where partners’ marketing requests are approved on an ad hoc basis
  • Co-op fund programs where partners earn a percentage of their revenues to spend on marketing

Our MDF software’s intuitive and well-documented settings make it easy to set up fund management, workflows, fields, notifications, and taxonomy. For example, you can:

  • Customize MDF request form fields to gather all the required information from your channel partners. 
  • Use the out-of-the-box default approval workflow that follows best practices or customize it to fit your program.
  • Configure workflow steps so that MDF requests automatically expire if required documentation is not submitted. 
  • Specify who should receive-MDF related alerts.
  • Change the taxonomy of your MDF module to call it “Co-Op Funds”, “Marketing Requests” or whatever other name you choose.

Streamlined Partner Experience

Channeltivity ensures a highly positive partner experience by streamlining and simplifying marketing development funds. Besides viewing their fund allocation and submitting MDF requests, partners can effortlessly upload receipts for covered expenses and report on reimbursements. The user-friendly interface and helpful email reminders encourage partners to use their funds and contribute to your overall marketing strategy.

MDF Fund Management and Automatic Expiration

Simplify the complex process of issuing funds, tracking usage, and managing fund expiration. Issue marketing funds to partners either manually, via CSV import, or using our API or Zapier connector. If your program requires it, funds can be set with expiration dates, causing them to automatically expire and go away if they’re not used in the set timeframe. This automation facilitates managing marketing budgets and introduces a sense of urgency for partners to use their allotted spend.

Partners receive email notifications whenever they receive fresh funds from a vendor and reminders of available and expiring balances. The portal lets them see how much money is in their account and plan their MDF spend accordingly.

Customizable Program Eligibility

In some partner programs, only specific types of partners are eligible to request marketing development funds. Channeltivity’s permission structure allows admins to restrict who can see the MDF module, ensuring only the qualified partners submit MDF requests.

Admins can further refine their MDF evaluation by specifying the types of marketing activities that qualify for MDF use on the request form — such as tradeshow booths, ads, email sequences, or webinars. They can also require partners to fill out custom fields, and/or require partners to upload robust co-marketing plans or receipts for reimbursement before submission.

Notifications and Reminders

Channeltivity’s automated notifications and reminders keep MDF workflows running, notifying partners and vendors of:

  • Newly issued funds
  • Approved or rejected MDF requests
  • MDF requests that need more information or documentation 
  • MDF requests that haven’t been updated in a certain number of days
  • Expiring MDF balances to motivate partners to use them

Easy MDF Reporting & ROI Calculation

Channeltivity’s MDF management software automatically tracks multiple metrics and makes them reportable, ensuring both your budget and partner performance are in alignment at all times. Instantly pull up partner account balances and reimbursement statuses to show exactly how much funding partners have available for new MDF requests at any given time.

Channel managers can also report on which partners take advantage of MDFs more often and get results, helping refine partner recruitment efforts and optimizing program criteria.

Perhaps most importantly, Channeltivity monitors and demonstrates the true ROI of MDF activities. By linking MDF Requests with new deal registrations, you can determine how many deals (and what size of deals) originate from co-marketing efforts.

MDF Management Example: How Do Partners Request Marketing Development Funds with Channeltivity?

Requesting MDFs within the Channeltivity Partner Portal is a fast, convenient process. Here’s an example of a typical workflow:

  1. At the beginning of the quarter, the vendor deposits $10,000 worth of funds into a partner’s account. This triggers an email notification to the partner, letting them know they’ve received new funds.
  2. The partner signs into the partner portal and submits an MDF request form with:
    1. A name for the marketing activity they hope to get approved, such as “ACME Technology Expo Trade Show.”
    2. Details about the trade show event, anticipated results, etc.
    3. The estimated cost to execute it: $8,500.
    4. Answers to any other vendor-required fields.
  3. The vendor gets an email notification of the new request.
  4. The vendor reviews the request and approves it, allocating funds from the partner’s balance. 
  5. After the trade show, the partner uploads their receipts and proof of performance to the MDF request in Channeltivity.
  6. The vendor reviews the partner’s documentation and approves the reimbursement.
  7. Once the reimbursement has been processed, the vendor updates the status of the request, which debits the funds from the partner’s account balance.
  8. The partner’s sales team heads to the deal registration module to submit any new opportunities that resulted from their MDF-funded activity. 
  9. The vendor reviews the deal registrations, which indicate that they resulted from the trade show, allowing them to demonstrate how marketing spend directly affected channel revenues.

Unlock The Power of MDFs With Channeltivity’s PRM

Marketing development funds can be a powerful incentive for partners to promote your brand and reel in ideal customers — particularly when tackling new geographies, launching new products, or servicing new industries.

Boost Your Brand

Leverage funds for activities that boost brand visibility, such as trade show booth rentals, digital marketing campaigns, ads, and co-branded content. Getting your name and your partners’ names out there enhances your brand recognition and underscores your better-together stories.

Altogether, MDFs strengthen partnerships, drive joint sales, and maintain your competitive edge in the market.

Expand Your Market

Incentivize partners in new regions to register deals: “Register the deal, and you get MDFs.” Using the management capabilities of a partner relationship management solution like Channeltivity makes it easy to tie together and measure deal registration and MDF usage.

MDFs give partners the means to penetrate new markets and empower them to inform their network of your product’s unique capabilities. By supporting new partners, high-tech companies can more easily and effectively expand their market reach, exploring untapped segments and unlocking new revenue streams. 

Shared Marketing Insights

Engaging in co-marketing activities often uncovers new marketing insights that can drive better results in the future. MDFs present a new way to learn from your partners and ensure you’re making informed decisions about the way you position your partnership, the events you attend, and the co-marketing activities you participate in to maximize your return on investment.

Manage MDF to Optimize Sales and Revenue

With Channeltivity, you can identify and enable MDF-funded activities that attract prospects and convert them into paying customers. Built-in reports and dashboards help you refine your MDF structure over time, refining your MDF request criteria so that you invest in the marketing programs most beneficial to your bottom line. Funding targeted marketing initiatives with proven success helps partners generate leads and drive customer acquisition, ultimately increasing your total revenue.

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Additional MDF Management Resources & Best Practices

Learn more about MDF management best practices and how to use our software:

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