Also known as “Channel Partner Marketing Funds” or “Marketing Development Funds”, a Joint Marketing Fund (JMF) is a special market development fund granted by vendors to support their partners’ marketing activities and, ultimately, to increase sales.

Every year, companies allocate thousands to help their channel partners promote their products and services. And every year, nearly half of these funds go unspent.

Why aren’t partners utilising their JMF? 

Often, partners will fail to make the most of their allocated funds because of a few reasons. First and foremost is that they simply don’t know where to start.

Email? Direct mail? Seminars? Webinars? Roadshows? Telemarketing? Tradeshows?

Social media? And if so, which platforms?

Without insider marketing knowledge or extensive consumer research, it can be difficult to know where the best place is to reach your target audience. Then there is the question of how to reach them. What type of content is likely to draw them in and help convert leads into sales?

Equally, a lack of time to research and find good uses for the funds is another obstacle that frequently crops up. And even if you do manage to find the time to start looking into marketing activities, it can be tricky to identify what the best investment will be.

When using allocated funds, there is also immense pressure to prove return on investment (ROI), which can be daunting.

Any of this sound familiar?

It’s easy to think “I’ll just leave it for now” when you aren’t quite sure which route to take. But every penny left on the table is a missed opportunity, which could allow your competitors to gain resources and customers that could have been yours!

How to optimise your JMF

Joint Marketing Funds are an excellent opportunity to expand your digital and social media presence. To do this effectively, you first need to find out more about your local market through consumer research. The more you can understand and cater to this demographic, the greater an advantage you will have over competitors. As such, it’s worth devoting some of your marketing funds to researching your local audience and finding the best way to engage with them, as well as where to reach them.

Secondly, you need to create new content (or repurpose existing content) to help position you as a thought leader. This will show potential customers that you really get their problems and can offer a valuable solution through your products and services.

Content could include anything from blog articles and social media posts to e-books and instructional videos — but educational content typically works best. Customers should want to buy your products and services not because you tell them to, but because they have learned valuable information from you and can see how your offering will benefit them. You should, therefore, try dedicating some of your marketing funds to producing informative pieces of content.

Finally, you need to be able to measure the success of your marketing activity effectively. For example, you might include calls to action in blog articles which link to tracked web pages and phone numbers. However, you also need to be able to interpret and analyse any data gathered, adapting to findings regularly to ensure your data works harder for you. After all, if you don’t understand what’s working and what’s not, how can you expect to improve going forward?

Investing in advanced tracking and analytics technologies, as well as experts to interpret the data you gather, is a worthwhile use of your marketing funds.

No more excuses

Remember, time doesn’t need to be a barrier to your marketing activities. Nobody is expecting you to do it all yourself. You just need to use your funds wisely to maximise lead generation.

Package-based marketing services offer a simple and streamlined solution. With a marketing package, you receive all the elements in your campaign for a fixed monthly price, so you know exactly where the funds are going — meaning less time worrying about what to do with them and more time to focus on closing the sale.

And the more revenue you bring to your vendor, the more funds they will give you to help you grow…

To find out how we can help you make the most of your marketing funds, get in touch today.