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Get the Most From Your MDF Dollars

Recent studies report that as much as 60 percent of available marketing development funds (MDF) go unused. By some measures, that adds up to $15 billion of unspent marketing budget every year in the US alone.

If you’re a channel partner and eligible for MDF dollars, but unsure how to best use those funds, we can help. Spear Marketing Group is a full-service B2B marketing agency with extensive partner marketing experience, and a long track record of designing and executing successful MDF-funded programs.

Check out these useful resources or fill out the form to request a meeting with one of our experts.

What to Expect from Your Meeting

Your initial 30-minute consultation with a Spear expert will be a discussion of your company’s goals, objectives, product/solution and target audience. (We will email you prior to the call with questions.) Expect to hear ideas and options for how to best meet your objectives based on your projected MDF budget. Following the meeting, a formal proposal or quote can be provided upon request.

If you have specific questions or a particular campaign or need that you want to discuss during the session, let us know in the comments field when you fill out the form!

Free MDF Consultation

Get a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts on how to maximize ROI from your MDF dollars.

“The team at Spear has been AMAZING to work with! I think of them as a true extension of my marketing team. Very professional, thoughtful, and always keeping us on track.”

— Director of Marketing

CM200 Award

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We’re a very lean marketing team with limited bandwidth. How much time will you need from us to develop and execute the program?

Time required for initial input, creative review, and approval cycles varies depending on the scope of work. (A content syndication program requires less investment than say, a LinkedIn campaign.) Overall, however, expect the demands on your time and resources to be minimal. Our services are turnkey (strategy, creative, content, media, execution) and designed to minimize client requirements.

Q: I don’t have a Marketo or a HubSpot. Can you still create a lead generation program for us if we don’t have a typical tech stack?

Yes, there are plenty of lead generation programs that don’t require the sophistication of a marketing automation platform. We can design the program to align with your technology (or lack thereof). Spear doesn’t resell technology, but we partner with leading martech, adtech, and salestech providers and can also advise on or recommend technology investments when needed.

Q: The sponsoring partner insists on us guaranteeing tangible results from MDF funds. Can you guarantee results?

Yes, we can guarantee results when needed. Certain channels such as content syndication operate on a cost-per-lead basis and so, to the extent those channels are part of the overall program, we can guarantee a minimum number of leads or that leads meet a certain profile. (We can also assist with the program proposal that goes to the sponsoring partner when you apply for funds.)

Q: We sell a complex product to a very technical audience. Can you help us with content?

Spear works with B2B companies exclusively, and 90+% of our clients are technology providers. Our experience includes marketing highly complex and technical products to a range of business and technical audiences, in product categories that have included biotech, heavy equipment, AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise software. We’re quick studies, and happy to share examples of content and campaigns we’ve developed for similar companies.

Q: The sponsoring partner needs us to work with an approved vendor. Does that prevent us working with Spear?

Not necessarily. We’re an approved agency for all of the major cloud vendors, and a long list of other leading technology companies. Email our team at if you have specific questions or requirements.

Q: We use Marketo/HubSpot/Pardot. Can you build assets like landing pages in that platform that so that leads are tracked and routed accurately?

Spear has a dedicated team of Web developers with years of experience building emails, landing pages, and related campaign assets. Our team supports Adobe Marketo Engage, HubSpot and Pardot (Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement), and we’ve worked in other platforms (Eloqua, Act-On, Mailchimp) also. Plus our design team is expert at best practices for UX, email, and mobile design.

About Spear Marketing Group

At Spear, we take a unique, holistic, full-funnel approach to MDF-funded programs that melds strategic advice, creative flair, and technical savvy. Our unique combination of channel marketing and demand generation expertise makes us the ideal partner to help you get the maximum return from MDF dollars.

We’ve worked on MDF-funded programs with dozens of B2B clients ranging from small, local MSPs to global giants. Our expertise spans SMB to enterprise, software to services, and industry sectors including accounting, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and real estate. Whatever your focus, we understand your business.

Choose from one of our pre-packaged MDF programs or let us custom-design a campaign or set of deliverables that meets your specific sales and marketing objectives. From ABM to SEM, from content development to turnkey campaign execution, Spear capabilities span the entire customer lifecycle. Whether your MDF budget is $10,000 or $1 Million+, we have the strategic, creative, and technical expertise to generate the results you need.

Schedule a meeting with one of our experts to discuss ideas, options, and how we can help.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banner Ads
  • Blog Design
  • Content Syndication
  • Direct Mail
  • Display Advertising
  • Email Campaigns
  • Event Promotion
  • Landing Pages
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Target Account Campaigns
  • Webinar Invitations
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Online Advertising
  • Paid Search (SEM)
  • Template Design

MDF Program Options

Choose from one of our pre-packaged MDF programs or talk to one of our experts to tailor a campaign or set of deliverables that meets your specific needs. Contact Spear with questions, for a quote, or to discuss any one of these programs in more detail.

Customer Case Study

2-page success story featuring a key customer. Includes outline, copywriting, layout/design, custom graphic to use on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook)


Webinar + Lead Gen

Production and recording of 40-minute Webinar plus a post-event lead generation program to promote the recorded event

100 Leads: $12,625
200 Leads: $16,735
300 Leads: $20,850

eBook + Lead Gen

Development of a custom 4-6 page ebook, plus a lead generation program to promote downloads

100 Leads: $19,450
200 Leads: $23,560
300 Leads: $27,675

Content Syndication + Lead Nurture

1–2 month content syndication program leveraging existing content to generate 100-200 in-profile leads

100 Leads: $11,225
200 Leads: $15,340
300 Leads: $19,450

3-Month LinkedIn Campaign

3-month campaign on LinkedIn including campaign set-up, audience definition, ad creative (2 ads), and ongoing management and reporting.


Target Account Campaign

2-month campaign utilizing content syndication and LinkedIn targeting partner’s target account list (minimum 100 accounts)

100+ Leads: $20,315
200+ Leads: $24,430
300+ Leads: $28,540

Insights: MDF Funds & How to Use Them

This article is re-published from the Spear blog, The Point. Click here to subscribe.

The rules by which partners are eligible for marketing development funds (MDF), the way in which those dollars are allocated, and the manner in which partners can use the funds, vary widely. Some MDF programs are highly structured, with a pre-configured menu of options or deliverables. Others rely solely on the partner submitting a proposal for how they plan to spend the funds and what results they project.

Whatever the process, partners should invest the time in planning and preparation to ensure those sales or marketing dollars reap the greatest reward. At our agency, we’ve developed and executed a wide range of MDF-funded programs for dozens of tech clients. Here’s what we believe makes a difference:

  • Understand the requirements for reimbursement and how you’ll be expected to measure success. Work with your BD representative or agency partner to define clear expectations and KPIs.
  • Define your message. What’s your unique selling proposition (USP) in the context of your partnership with this particular vendor? What is the value-add that makes you distinct from other partners in a way that customers would want to work with you? Weaving that story into content, ads, and other campaign assets will help your company stand out.
  • Establish firm roles and responsibilities for the review process: marketing, corporate communications, sales, etc. Approval cycles on partner-related campaigns can be complex, so it’s wise to have agreement up front on who needs to review what, and how quickly.
  • Define up front the kind of system access needed to implement the program being funded: marketing automation, CRM, CMS, LinkedIn accounts, email templates, image libraries, etc. Don’t let last-minute security protocols prevent you from getting a campaign in market.
  • If you’re strapped for marketing resources, ask your BD rep if the vendor has a marketing concierge service (as many do) or if they have a list of approved agencies who are authorized to work with partners and through whom MDF funds can be spent. A qualified agency can advise on the best use of funds and provide the expertise (strategy, creative, media, marketing ops) to maximize results. Many will even help write the proposal to apply for funds.
  • What content assets or other calls to action (CTAs) have worked best in the past? What actions do you want your prospects to take? The sales team may want demo requests but the best option may be a content asset (say, an ebook) that appeals to someone with the problem that your solution can solve. Be realistic. Set the bar too high and campaign results may be compromised.
  • Certain lead generation programs – notably content syndication – tend to be popular uses of MDF funds because they’re perceived as easier to launch and manage and because they guarantee a tangible result to the sponsor. But “easy” doesn’t always equate to the best choice. Depending on your audience, product category, and level of brand awareness, maybe what you really need is a search campaign. Or an ad on LinkedIn. Or an engaging content asset (ebook, Webinar, white paper) that can pay dividends over the long term and serve a myriad of uses (Website CTA, lead nurturing, lead generation, social media). Consider your options carefully.
  • If you do invest in lead generation, set clear expectations for sales follow-up. Don’t buy hundreds of leads if you don’t have the BDR team or a nurture program to maximize their value. (Tip: most raw marketing leads benefit from a nurture sequence before turning over to sales.)
For a free consultation on how best to use MDF funds, contact Spear to schedule a 30-minute meeting with one of our MDF experts.