Best Practices

Best Practices for Maximizing the Success of Market Development Funds (MDF)

While Market Development Funds can be a valuable resource, maximizing their success requires careful planning and execution.

Market Development Funds (MDF) are financial resources provided by a company to its partners or resellers to help them drive demand and promote the company’s products or services in a specific market.

These funds are typically used for marketing activities such as advertising, events, promotions, and training.

Market Development Funds, also known as MDF, are financial resources provided by a company to its partners or resellers to support marketing activities aimed at increasing sales and market share.

These funds are typically allocated based on a percentage of the partner’s sales or as a fixed amount agreed upon between the company and the partner.

MDF programs are commonly used in industries such as technology, consumer goods, and automotive, where companies rely on channel partners to reach customers and drive revenue. By providing financial support, companies can incentivize their partners to invest in marketing initiatives that align with the company’s overall business objectives.

Benefits of Market Development Funds

Utilizing Market Development Funds can bring several benefits to both the company and its partners:

  • Increased brand awareness: MDF can be used to fund advertising campaigns, sponsorships, and other promotional activities that help raise awareness of the company’s brand and products.
  • Expanded market reach: By supporting partners’ marketing efforts, companies can extend their reach into new markets or segments that they may not have been able to target effectively on their own.
  • Accelerated sales growth: MDF programs can drive demand and generate leads, leading to increased sales and revenue for both the company and its partners.
  • Enhanced partner relationships: Providing financial support through MDF can strengthen the relationship between a company and its partners, fostering collaboration and loyalty.
  • Shared marketing costs: By sharing the financial burden of marketing activities, both the company and its partners can maximize their marketing budgets and achieve better results.

PRM Showcase

PRM vendors offer functionality for organizing and managing MDF Business Planning.

Best Practices for Maximizing MDF Success

While Market Development Funds can be a valuable resource, maximizing their success requires careful planning and execution. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Clear program guidelines: Establish clear guidelines and criteria for accessing and utilizing MDF. This includes defining eligible activities, reimbursement processes, and reporting requirements.
  • Alignment with business objectives: Ensure that MDF activities align with the company’s overall business objectives and marketing strategy. This will help maximize the impact of the funds and drive desired outcomes.
  • Regular communication: Maintain open and regular communication with partners to keep them informed about available MDF funds, program updates, and any changes in guidelines or requirements.
  • Training and support: Provide partners with the necessary training and support to effectively utilize MDF funds. This can include marketing training, access to marketing resources, and assistance in developing marketing plans.
  • Performance tracking and measurement: Implement a system to track and measure the performance and effectiveness of MDF activities. This will help identify successful initiatives and areas for improvement.
  • Transparency and accountability: Ensure transparency in the allocation and usage of MDF funds. Regularly review partner reports and conduct audits to ensure compliance with program guidelines.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly review and evaluate the MDF program to identify areas for improvement. Solicit feedback from partners and make necessary adjustments to enhance the program’s effectiveness.

Market Development Funds (MDF) can be a powerful tool for companies to support their partners’ marketing efforts and drive business growth. By following best practices such as clear program guidelines, alignment with business objectives, regular communication, and performance tracking, companies can maximize the success of their MDF programs and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes with their partners.


Have you ever wondered why most partners don’t use market development funds? Our research shows as much as 60% of market development funds are not used each quarter. In this video, we look at a number of reasons for this phenomenon, including partners’ short-term focus, lack of digital marketing expertise, insufficient resources and vendors’ failure to provide tools and marketing concierge services. We also discuss four key steps vendors can take to drive usage rates up.

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