In media terms, what does trade mean? It can be a really useful way to mutually benefit a client and a media vendor. How does that work?
For the client side, sometimes advertising budgets are very tight and may not allow for a strong buy on media like radio, television, print, outdoor, online, etc. Some clients, usually restaurants or attractions, have an allotment of tickets/coupons, etc. in a trade budget that they can utilize as “payment” instead of real cash. By giving trade tickets to media vendors, the client in return will receive anything like on-air mentions, an on-air schedule, billboards, ad space, etc. Trade allows clients to stretch the media dollars to really boost the existing cash campaign.
On the media vendor side, trade can be used as incentives for employees, gifts for clients, free lunches for clients, or prizes for listeners/viewers/readers/users, etc. Trade can be viewed as a form of gift card for media vendors.
For media buyers/planners, trade is a different beast than a traditional cash schedule. It’s really important that schedules are separated into different buys, invoices are properly labeled, and trade schedules are tracked to insure that all ran according to the agreement. Another good tip is to always make a contract agreement with trade. That way, both sides understand the expectations.