3 Tips to Negotiate Local Media Trade Schedules

local media buying

Trade is a great way to increase your local media presence, but make sure to negotiate up-front in order to get the most out of your investment.

Most advertising vendors will accept a trade of your products (i.e., merchandise, gift cards, etc.) for advertising space/time.
This can benefit an advertiser in two ways; first, to get your products out in the market for consumers to try and second, to increase your advertising schedule.  This can be especially helpful if you are promoting a special product, like your floral department for Valentine’s Day.

You can utilize trade by either developing a dedicated schedule tied to the product, or simply provide the product to the vendor in exchange for an advertising schedule.

Consider the following items before finalizing your next trade schedule:

1. Value

When determining the value for the trade, you will need to make your expectations clear to the media outlet up-front.  Determine the value for the goods or services you are supplying, and make sure they are willing to meet or exceed that value in advertising.

If the goods or services you are offering are a great value to the media outlet, they will often accept this in trade.  Gift cards are a good example of a valuable trade item. The radio station could use the gift cards in a station promotion they were already doing, and the giveaway would help build listenership.  It’s a win/win for both parties involved.

2. Placement

When trading for advertising, you want to make sure your media partners are held to the same guidelines you would hold them accountable for with paid advertising.  You should receive the same rates and placements you negotiated for a cash schedule.

Don’t pay more for your advertising than the value you are receiving, just because it is trade.  Don’t accept increased rates, low rated programming, overnight spots or poor placement.

3. Accountability

After the trade schedule has run, hold your vendors accountable just as you would your cash schedule all the way from placement to invoicing.  For TV stations, let the station know you will be posting these schedules as you do the paid schedules.

If you ordered a specific number of rating points on your trade schedule, they should guarantee delivery to the same percentage as your cash schedules.  Your TV/radio spots should not be preempted.

Trade schedules can be a great way to increase your local media exposure, at a minimal cost. But, the best rule of thumb for placing trade schedules is to always make sure everything is in writing and agreed to before the trade is finalized.

Leslie Kill

About Leslie Kill

Leslie is an Associate Media Director at Sheehy+Associates, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. She has been entrenched in media for a little over 10 years, allowing her the privilege to work with clients and in markets big, small and many places in between.

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