Editor’s Note: Brandmuscle recently sponsored the report discussed here, which was assembled by Gleanster Research. The report findings are complementary to Brandmuscle’s own State of Local Marketing Report, but the research initiatives were entirely separate.

Gleanster Research recently surveyed 1,536 marketers in 11 key industries to explore the state of co-op and market development funds. What they captured were unique perspectives from both brand marketers – who are responsible for managing co-op and MDF investments for a national or global brand – and local business owners who benefit from these programs. The findings build on surveys conducted by Gleanster research over the last five years capturing input from 3,590 brand marketers in distributed marketing environments.

The goal behind Gleanster’s research was to uncover why billions of dollars in co-op funds and MDF programs are reported unused every year and help brand marketers make more strategic investments in people, process and technologies to support these programs. These findings were designed to understand challenges and best practices with respect to how national and global brands execute, manage and measure the success of co-op and MDF programs.

Important takeaways from the report include:

  • Across the board, brand and local businesses report that co-op and MDF programs are valuable and should be reviewed annually to align with sales growth
  • Local business owners struggle to implement scalable digital investments – an area where brand marketers can help with co-op and MDF programs
  • 75 percent of local businesses who participate in co-op and MDF programs take advantage of 2 or more programs per year
  • On average, only 52 percent of available co-op and MDF programs are used by local businesses, leaving an estimated $33 billion of unused funds on the table
  • Four out of five brand marketers indicated they were currently building a business case for optimizing co-op and MDF, or planned to in the future

As a sponsor of the report, Brandmuscle is offering you a complimentary copy of Gleanster’s 2015 State of Co-Op and MDF Report to share practical insights you can immediately apply to your co-op and MDF programs.

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And if you haven’t yet, check out the highlights of Brandmuscle’s State of Local Marketing Report to dive deeper into ways national brands can ensure MDF and co-op funds are allocated toward the most effective local marketing efforts.