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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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Ask The Experts

February 23, 2024 |

What Does the MDF Process Entail and Is It Hard to Get Approval?

Amy Bailey demystifies the process of applying for market development funds.

Market development funds (MDF) is a topic both exciting and daunting for many in the channel community. Everyone wants free money, but is it really free? There is always a catch, so let’s demystify the process.

Understanding MDF: What is it?

MDFs are money provided by vendors to their channel partners to support marketing and sales activities. It’s a collaborative effort to boost brand awareness and drive sales.

What Can MDF be Used For?

MDFs are versatile but generally focused on activities like:

  • Marketing Campaigns: Digital advertising, website development, SEO, and social media campaigns
  • Events and Trade Shows: Hosting or participating in industry events
  • Training and Certifications: Enhancing team skills to sell better and support the vendor’s products

What’s the MDF Application Process Like?

Here are some simplified steps for the application process:

  • Research and Choose Vendors: Look for vendors whose products align with your business goals. Each vendor has unique MDF policies and criteria.
  • Develop a Proposal: This should include a clear marketing strategy, expected outcomes, and how it aligns with the vendor’s objectives.
  • Submit and Communicate: After submission, keep the lines of communication open. Be prepared for follow-up questions.

Getting Approval: Tips for Success

There are several things you can do to improve your chances for success, such as:

Amy Bailey of Unusually Unusual Consulting

Amy Bailey

  • Alignment with Vendor Goals: Show how your plan supports the vendor’s objectives.
  • ROI Focused: Illustrate the potential return on investment.
  • Clarity and Detail: Be clear about your goals, target audience, and execution plan.
  • Track Record: If you’ve successfully used MDF before, mention it. If you have examples of success, this could be a regular supplement to your marketing budget.

Post MDF Approval: Maximizing Impact

  • Execute as Planned: Stick to your proposal but be adaptable to changes.
  • Measure and Report: Continuously track your activities’ effectiveness and report back to the vendor.
  • Build Relationships: Use this as an opportunity to strengthen your ties with the vendor for future collaborations.

Applying for MDF might seem complex, but it can be a smooth process with a well thought-out strategy and clear objectives. It’s a valuable opportunity to grow your business while strengthening vendor partnerships. Remember, the key to success is to align with vendor goals, have a clear ROI focus, and effective execution.

I hope this sheds some light on the MDF journey and sets you on a path to success. Here’s to your business growth!

Amy Bailey is owner of Unusually Unusual Consulting. She’s a distinguished event planner and marketing consultant recognized for her expertise in organizing everything from intimate networking events to large corporate summits. Read more about Bailey’s background on channelWise.

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