The Case for the MDF Marketplace

Channel Chiefs are actively reassessing business strategies, closely scrutinizing partner performance, and evaluating the efficacy of partner programs. While many report success, there’s a collective acknowledgment that improvements can be made. When it comes to Market Development Funds (MDF), channel leaders are examining how funds are spent, the return on investment, and the significant portion left untouched each quarter, half, and year.

For vendors who are finding that only major partners are utilizing MDF, particularly for traditional events and giveaways, or grappling with the challenge of measuring returns, the call for modernization is resounding. The numbers underscore the urgency—surveys indicate that a staggering 60% of MDF goes unused by partners, resulting in a whopping $25 billion in unutilized MDF and co-op funds annually, according to the Channel Marketer Report.

Enter the MDF Marketplace – a transformative trend in partner MDF management.

The rise of modern digital marketplaces, driven by their convenience and rapid growth, delivers a modern, compelling solution. Vendors can empower their partners with a seamless, frictionless experience by listing pre-approved, brand-compliant digital marketing services in an MDF Marketplace. While traditional event services remain relevant, the focus shifts to providing a wide range of modern, digital options that mutually benefit vendors and partners alike.

Effortless for Partners

  • Understanding that the majority of reseller partners, especially in the technology channel, are small to medium-sized businesses (approximately 90%), the MDF Marketplace introduces a number of new benefits:
  • Centrally Controlled Services: All services in the marketplace are centrally controlled, ensuring messaging, content, and deliverables consistently align with the vendor’s brand and company objectives.
  • Pre-Approved Services: Eliminating the need for upfront funds requests and approval, vendors can pre-approve services and streamline processes.
  • Fully Managed Services: Partners can select fully managed and touch-free services, simplifying their involvement. After a straightforward onboarding session, partners can sit back while the work is done for them.
  • Streamlined Reporting: At the end of each period, the claims process becomes obsolete. The centralized nature of services provides comprehensive data, analytics, and results by service, by partner, and by period.
  • Enhanced Control and Budget Management: The accumulated data empowers vendors to measure, report, and take control of their budget and results.

What Does an MDF Marketplace Cost?

Contrary to assumptions, implementing an MDF Marketplace doesn’t necessarily incur any additional costs. Partners are allocated a budget to spend directly within the marketplace, streamlining transactions and enhancing control.

Improving Your Channel Program

For those in the process of reviewing and modernizing their MDF programs, the MDF Marketplace emerges as a more strategic solution. Regardless of the budget level, it offers an array of benefits:

  • Increasing MDF utilization
  • Including more partners
  • Proactively driving growth with smaller or newer partners
  • Adding flexibility
  • Expanding modern digital marketing options for partners
  • Reducing complexity
  • Increasing control
  • Minimizing administrative burden
  • Enhancing partner satisfaction
  • Providing better analytics and visibility to results
  • Improving ROI

Get Started

To explore how an MDF Marketplace can work for your business, contact AscendX Digital, a pioneer in next-generation partner marketing services built on modern technology. With decades of experience in the technology sector, AscendX Digital can implement an MDF Marketplace tailored to your business in a matter of weeks. Contact us for a demo or a no-obligation consultation and unlock the full potential of your partner investments. Visit our website at ascendxdigital.com.

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