Using corporate barter for marketing services a 'good procurement win'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
9 June 2014

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10 June 2014 | Will Green

Buyers of marketing services have been urged to use corporate barter as a “good procurement win”.

A conference heard goods and services could be exchanged for marketing services, resulting in the acquisition of the same amount of media services for less cash.

Peter Rowe, group sourcing manager for marketing at Royal Bank of Scotland, told ProcureCon Marketing in London: “Barter addresses a couple of goals. We can swap out the cash that is put in the budget for marketing with non-cash. We can deliver the same amount of media for less money. It’s a really good procurement win.”

However, delegates were told it was important to choose goods and services for barter that could be measured so it was clear what value the activity was bringing to the organisation.

“If you’ve never used barter before, use something that’s safe, that you can measure and test,” said Rowe. “Expand your barter process as you go along. If you can’t measure what you’re doing it will always be a subjective argument within the business.”

The conference heard that a lack of understanding was the biggest barrier to more widespread use of the corporate barter, which involves using both cash and inventory to pay for marketing services.

Bernhard Glock, media consultant at the Bernhard Glock Media Leadership Company and formerly of P&G, said: “I have been using barter for 20 years. I staffed it with a dedicated person at P&G. One of the barriers is lack of understanding and mistrust about how you get a better rate. It’s still not transparent enough how you get value out of this process."

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