Archive for October, 2012


By Joanne Crump, Vice President, Media Services Director, Canadian Media

In today’s economic landscape client advertising budgets are coming under intense scrutiny. According to a recent report by the Canadian Marketing Association, advertising accounted for 80% of the marketing budget in the 1980’s. Today it’s at 50%, with digital being the only area of growth.

These media trends are leading to an increase in online publishers. And even with the increase in digital spend, the number of sites available to advertisers far out-weighs the demand. The result is a growing inventory of  digital advertising and greater fragmentation, particularly for display ads. .

There’s a perfect storm brewing for those responsible for delivering sales and revenue targets in digital media.

Corporate Trade is an alternative, and a complement, to ad exchanges 

So, what’s the answer for media owners who want to maximize value from their advertising inventory and leverage potential revenue streams?

Media trends indicate owners are turning to ad networks and/or ad exchanges. However, these options don’t always equate to full value for the publisher. A good alternative is Corporate Trade.

Corporate Trade (aka Corporate Barter) is a well-established industry.  Online media owners, media agencies and brands are now using this tool to realize extra value from online marketing expenditures.

Active is currently working with digital owners, across a wide variety of sectors, partnering on display, rich media, pre-rolls, sponsorships, performance based campaigns and social media. In addition, Active has secured trading relationships on emerging platforms like mobile and RTB.

How Corporate Trade benefits digital media owners

Corporate Trade generates incremental revenue for digital media owners in several ways:

  • Attracting new advertisers to digital
  • Encouraging existing brands to increase annual spend
  • Increasing expenditure with media owners that use Corporate Trade

Corporate Trade also generates incremental revenue by providing goods and services to media owners, including:

  • Marketing activities
  • Capital expenditures
  • Conference expenses
  • Prizing
  • Other cash investments

In return, digital media owners pay with advertising inventory.  The Corporate Barter company then leverages the inventory to execute digital marketing campaigns.

What to look for when sourcing a Corporate Trade organization

  1. Digital media owners should only consider established organizations with longevity in the Canadian marketplace. Size, volume and depth of relationships are key to delivering value.  It’s these qualities that contribute to financial stability, ensuring the Corporate Trade organization is around for the long term.
  2. Ask your Corporate Trade partner whether they have a dedicated digital team in Canada.  You want to ensure there are dedicated digital resources in-house who understand the media. Visit their office and get a feel for their expertise.  Connect with their employees on LinkedIn.
  3. Ensure the Corporate Trade relationship is open, transparent and honest.  Ask for references.  Look for client and media owner testimonials. The Corporate Trade partner should be able to demonstrate a solid track record with both clients and media providers.

Growth in Corporate Trade is expected to continue as media companies face increasing inventory management pressures.  Given the turbulent economy those who don’t consider Corporate Trade are missing valuable revenue generating opportunities.

Getting To Know Us: Kyla Francis

In our latest edition of “Getting To Know Us”, I spoke with the enterprising Kyla Francis, Senior Manager, Retail Merchandising.

Explain your job as you would to a 5-year-old.

That would be tough, but if I had to, I’d tell them I help my customers spend their money in a way that gives them more bang for their buck.

Why your role and why @ Active?

Active is about finding solutions for clients. When our customers started requesting solutions for their Retail Marketing initiatives, we decided to do our research and source leading and innovative vendors who can live up to the quality standards that our clients required as well as work within the Active model. Now that we can meet the customer demand, an entirely new department was born.

Tell us about your charitable cause of choice and the last thing you did to support it?

I support Team Fox which is the Michael J Fox foundation for Parkinson’s Research as well as The Arthritis Society of Canada. I’m actually in the process of planning a fundraising event to support it. Stay tuned!

If you weren’t in your current career you would probably be …

Writing novels on the beach.

Adjective your family would use to best describe you?

I asked my sister and she said charismatic. Hmmm…interesting.

Adjective your Customers would use to best describe you?

Accommodating.

Adjective your best friend would use to best describe you?

Funny (sarcastic funny).

Biggest trend impacting your area of the business to date?

Digital and interactive merchandising is at the forefront of my division. From talking holograms to touch screen  displays, the whole world is going digital but it also has a great impact environmentally.

What’s the most innovative thing you’ve seen a customer do to unlock value from their assets?

I think its great that our customers use their Trade Credits to expand their marketing budgets and not just offset them. Not only are they using their problem asset to pay for their marketing initiatives, they are using them to expand their  budgets. What marketer doesn’t want more budget?

Favourite Ad of all time?

My favourite ad right now is the Red Stripe Big Words Commercial- hilarious!

By Scott Miles, Client Relationship Associate

Client Solutions Associate

Your business has entered into a Corporate Trade deal. You have exchanged an underperforming asset, perhaps excess inventory, in return for Trade Credit that can be used with cash to pay for routine budgeted business expenses.

To get the most out of your Corporate Trade deal, here are some best practices to consider:

1)       Bring all departments on board: A Corporate Trade deal is a financial solution – enabling the restoration of an asset’s book value where a company may have otherwise realized loss. For this reason, a significant number of Corporate Trade or barter deals may originate with procurement, supply chain or finance. Yet, Trade Credit usage is what delivers value. Anyone involved in the actual redemption of your Trade Credit – primarily marketing folks – should be aligned with all other departments in regard to the internal objectives of the deal. Ideally, leadership of each department should ensure that the necessary steps needed to achieve these objectives are communicated down the chain. It’s important that the parties involved with using the Trade Credit understand the financial benefit and receive incentives to drive it.

2)       Incentives accelerate Trade Credit usage: Even if every department within a company understands the financial benefit of using Trade Credit, sometimes a little nudge is helpful. Placing incentives behind credit usage can produce great results. For example, given the bottom line benefit  of Trade Credit redemption, one customer felt justified in giving an incentive to the person who managed acceleration of credits internally. Incentives don’t have to be centralized or financial. In fact, it is just as effective to connect incentives to pre-existing company activities. One idea is creating an internal rewards and recognition program, where “rewards points” are given to marketing and brand managers with the highest Trade Credit usage rates.

3)       Always involve your media agency: There is a reason that corporate barter and trade specialists like Active International work without taking a media fee. While we do employ experienced media professionals, as a company that offers a financial solution our primary value proposition is not in the planning of your media campaigns. Rather, our value is in the ability to allow you to fund a portion of those campaigns with your Trade Credits. The agency is a key partner when it comes to Corporate Trade. Working hand-in-hand with your Corporate Trade specialist, the agency is your media guru who ensures that the campaigns are tied to your strategic goals.  Your Corporate Trade partner works with your agency on the purchase of media.

4)       Think global: If your company operates globally, consider the possibility of transferring a portion of your Trade Credits to other offices for redemption in international markets. Corporate Trade companies like Active International have operations in 14 countries around the globe, and routinely facilitate this kind of arrangement as part of a given trade deal.

5)       Consider every expense a potential opportunity for Trade Credit redemption: Strong Trade Credit usage drives the success of a Corporate Trade. Active International, for example, has a team dedicated to each customer across a variety of expense areas – media, retail merchandising/print production, freight and travel. A Client Solutions Manager (that’s me!) is your point person, designated to work closely with your agency and all relevant parties on your business to ensure that your Trade Credits are redeemed in an efficient and seamless fashion. Never hesitate to ask your Corporate Trade partner whether you can apply Trade Credits to an upcoming expense. Whether you’re looking to book a sales conference in New York next fiscal, preparing to go to market with an ad campaign, have upcoming production costs for point of sale, your Corporate Trade partner could be a helpful resource.

Your turn: What best practices have you used to implement a Corporate Trade deal in your organization?

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