• Getting Back to Business Development

    How crazy is it to spend money on something you cannot measure, qualify, or defend?  Most would agree that it’s not for the weak of heart, or worse, the gainfully employed.

    Unfortunately many marketers look at their MDF program this way. A history of less than optimal funds usage, the inability to quantify results, coupled that with the downturn in the economy and it’s no surprise that MDF has been challenging to fund for many organizations.

    Part of the problem may be that that MDF has evolved in many organizations from its original  business development purpose (the ‘M’ in MDF stands for ‘Market’ not ‘Marketing’) into just another marketing fund. Another part of the problem may be that may vendors are still relying on standard qualifications for partners  to gain access to MDF dollars in a world where partners have become anything but standard.

    Regardless, the good news is that we see the ‘original’ version MDF on the upswing again, but with more defined objectives focused on the Business Development side (we like to call these BDF programs). This, coupled with an openness to making BDF programs available to less traditional partners (i.e. influencers, those that never take title to vendor products/solutions), is driving better alignment – aggressive, growth-oriented, market-building partners with a program flexible enough to be leveraged for a variety of business development strategies.

    As a former growth/market-building partner and an appreciator of those partners striving to be the best at what they do, this is great news indeed.

    Steve Kellam is VP of Sales & Marketing for CCI: Channel Management Solutions. Since joining the company in 1998 as co-owner, Debra has been a strong leader and a critical factor in the company’s growth and success.  To view all company blogs go to CCI’s blog site.

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