Most vendors today want more than partners that perform well; they want loyalty from their partners, whether that loyalty is exemplified through an exclusive relationship or more aggressive selling of the vendor’s product. But vendors often hit stumbling blocks when it comes to inspiring loyalty in their partners. Incentive programs are tricky and often so bogged down in rules, regulations, and deadlines that they do nothing at all. One common attempt to increase partner loyalty has been to implement expensive programs, but that’s no longer as feasible or attractive to most vendors. What’s the solution? Upping the exposure of programs you already have—and making it clear how they benefit your partner.
For example, one of the most important—and attractive—benefits you can offer partners is marketing development funds. Whether in the form of co-op or MDF, most vendors offer partners some financial support for mutually beneficial marketing campaigns. But many vendors neglect to promote these programs, which means that partners either aren’t aware of their existence or have no idea how to apply for these funds. Let your partners know on a regular basis what funds are available and how they can be best used. You might be surprised at the loyalty-inducing effect of marketing your own programs a bit more!