• Crawl – Walk – Run to ROI

    We often get asked the question of how to derive better ROI from MDF/Co-op programs. ROI – the understanding of whether you have it or not and being able to increase it – is of course is all based on the metrics you gather and track and what you do with them. For those of you who are new to understanding ROI for your MDF/Co-op program, I suggest a three step approach:

    1)    CRAWL – Begin by gathering tactical metrics. These will be the metrics driven by your eligible activities (seminars, email marketing, etc.) and will include things like the # of qualified leads, # of attendees, # of demos, etc. Tactical metrics are key because they will not only enable you to make ROI comparisons between activities (eg. whether seminars or email marketing drive more qualified leads per $ spent), but they are key to understanding the “why” when programs are not hitting their business and program-level goals.

    2)    WALK – Once you are gathering tactical metrics at both the “expected” and “actual” stages of the marketing lifecycle, it’s time to add in the business metrics. Business outcome metrics ($ revenue, # new logos/customers, $ new solution sold, % growth, etc) are those that represent the result of numerous tactical activities being combined, and are transactional result-oriented. For example, it might be the quarter-long integrated marketing plan that results in a 30% increase in sales. Business metrics need to be linked to tactical metrics, and roll up to the overall program goals. Tools like CCI’s joint marketing planner are helpful in automating this.

    3)      RUN – Once business outcomes are being captured, there are a couple “run” opportunities that will help you attain a better understanding of how you are maximizing ROI. First, fine-tune your program by eliminating and reducing use of lower ROI activities, and promoting use of higher ROI activities. Second, gather and leverage partner-level best practices by comparing business outcomes across the partner base. Third, overlay your MDF/Co-op spend data with POS sell-through data to provide 360 degree insights as to how your MDF/Co-op investments are tied to sales.

    Ready to sprint? Then it’s time for a deeper dive into optimizing partner marketing execution.

    Dale Taormino is Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Alliances for CCI: Channel Management Solutions. Among her primary responsibilities is managing CCI’s consulting practice, which helps clients design, evaluate, and optimize their channel sales and marketing programs.

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