As we entered a third national lockdown last week, businesses across the country have had to reassess their Q1 plans, with some swift rescheduling required by media agencies, especially those with clients in the hospitality sector.
I have certainly experienced an increased number of calls recently, as barter is being looked to not only to trade cash investments in media but also leverage dwindling budgets and create value from surplus stock and assets.
For the uninitiated, barter can seem quite an abstract concept and many companies might believe they don't have the right type of collateral. Hotel rooms, flights and retail or entertainment vouchers are the more traditional stock, but barter companies are very adept at remarketing virtually anything that a client wants less of, to fund something that they want more of. In my career I've been involved in deals that involve anything from frozen food, tyres and paper coffee cups to tools that create perforated edges in pastry!!
In terms of what surplus stock or assets can be turned into, as well as media inventory it is possible to fund production, research or audit costs to things such as additional administration support. Some clients don’t have the budgets to test a new medium or format, so we’ve helped create these budgets and tailored deals according to their pressures.
The pandemic has obviously had a huge impact on the types of assets being bartered. Alcohol companies have had large surpluses due to cancelled festivals, sporting events and concerts and retail companies without a strong online offering have amassed excess stock, to name a few examples. It also affects the type of inventory clients want in return, with a big rise in the requirement for office furniture following the first lockdown last March.
Luckily, helping companies ride market changes is what barter is ideally suited to. Everything has a value and barter companies are experts at realising that value, when the usual routes to market are subdued.
It will therefore be an essential part of helping the hard-hit hotel, travel and entertainment industries get back on their feet following lockdown, because as marketing budgets get cut, companies can utilise their own surplus assets to fund media spend, such as hotel rooms, cruise packages, flights, entertainment and cinema passes.
Group M, Britain’s biggest media buyer, in fact predicts a strong recovery in adspend in 2021, so the outlook hopefully looks positive if brands can continue to ride the wave.
At this point, it may be that I’ll be inundated with deals on PPE, hand sanitizer and even surplus vaccinations… but that’s the beauty of barter!
We all just need to hold on until the comeback, so if you are an independent agency currently struggling with re-planning schedules on reduced budgets or a company with surplus stock, then why not give me a call and see how I could help. As a barter consultant, I’ll find the best model that works for you with the most suitable barter agency.