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.