6 steps to finding the best Corporate Trade provider

Posted by KImberly Armstrong on Sep 19, 2013 12:07:00 PM

Active International has been in the Corporate Trade business for close to 30 years.


For the last three decades, our customers have asked countless questions about Corporate Trade: how does a transaction work, do I need obsolete inventory to use Corporate Trade, what is the difference between Corporate Trade and barter? (and much more). However, one of the most important considerations for organizations considering Corporate Trade is finding a provider who meets their needs.

Here are six easy steps every organization can take to find the very best Corporate Trade provider.

#1 Find established Corporate Trade organizations

The first step in finding the best Corporate Trade provider for your business is to look for the most established, independent Corporate Trade organizations in your market. Ask colleagues within your company and industry for references. Talk to your media buying agency and search online.

When identifying Corporate Trade organizations you will likely run across both independent and agency-owned Corporate Trade companies. There are important differences.

Independent Corporate Trading companies are focused 100% on trade. Agency-owned Corporate Trading companies are part of larger holding companies and are therefore driven by a different business model. Independent Corporate Trading companies create trades that deliver measurable incremental value when applied to marketers’ media plans.

#2 Do the personalities and culture fit?

Chemistry is an important part of every business relationship. Meet with the companies you initially identify. Visit their office and start a conversation. Ask about their expertise in key areas relevant to the transaction at-hand, as well as anticipated, future transactions. Can they handle inventory resale as well as excess real estate, aging capital equipment and sponsorship commitments that are no longer on strategy?

#3 Look at the options to spend your Trade Credits

Understand the depth and breadth of categories in which you can spend Trade Credits. The more options for using Trade Credits, the faster you will get your distressed assets off your books. Reputable Corporate Trade organizations are able to combine Trade Credits with cash to get the business goods and services you require including media, point of sale materials, printing, freight, logistics, travel, event space and even hotel rooms.

#4 A dedicated Corporate Trade account management team is key

Look for an organization with a dedicated account management team who regularly completes formal business reviews and annual satisfaction surveys with their clients.  You want a responsive advisor who takes the time to understand your business intimately and who helps you understand the ROI of your transaction.

#5 Do you trust and respect them?


You will also get an indication of the ethical compass that guides the companies you are considering by taking a look at their Corporate Social Responsibility program. Do they have one? Is it meaningful and transparent with clear goals and measurable results?  How happy are their employees and so they regularily monitor and invest in their happiness and engagement?

#6 Ask for references and Corporate Trade success stories

Narrow your list of potential Corporate Trade partners down to a manageable short list. Ask the short list companies for references, as well as case studies, from companies with similar challenges to your own.

Once you find a Corporate Trade provider with whom you are comfortable, there is no need to jump in immediately with both feet. Try a Corporate Trade test transaction before embarking on a larger asset sale. 

The most important factor to ensuring success is spending your Trade Credits quickly and efficiently—without compromising the quality of your media plan. Running a test media campaign will offer a good indication of a Corporate Trade provider’s overall ability to deliver results.

If you have questions about Corporate Trade's suitability for your busienss, request a free assessment with one of our experts.


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Topics: Corporate Trade 101, Corporate Trade Best Practices

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