The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
April 15, 2003
Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
NATE Attendance Zooms Upward, While Ad Industry's AAAA Attendance DropsThe commercial barter industry (trade exchanges and corporate barter companies) in the U.S. is responsible for approximately $1.5 billion of aggregate business for their clients, while the advertising business is 200 times as large.
So I found it interesting to compare this past week's attendance at the annual convention staged by the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) in Atlanta, to that of the annual meeting by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) held the same week in New Orleans.
NATE drew 125, up from 83 last year. AAAA saw 243, fifty fewer. Comparing industries is similar to comparing "apples" and "oranges," but in fact, providing services to a client remains the goal of both.
And what's obvious is the potential ubiquitousness of barter, relatively untapped considering its possibilities, versus the ad industry's future growth which appears caught in a zero-sum game. Ad budgets leveling off, and new ad business (growth), often comes down to taking clients from one another.
Barter's use, as a business tool, far exceeds that of the commercial barter industry. In fact, in a pie chart, the commercial barter industry's multi-lateral services would appear to be a small sliver in the overall picture.
Bilateral trading, one-to-one, is much greater. For instance over $30 billion of real estate "1031" tax-deferred real estate exchanges occur every year, and the airline industry's 10 trillion airlines miles (valued at 2¢ each) have created a $200 billion trading currency...to cite just two examples.
With few exceptions, the commercial barter industry doesn't totally comprehend the potential magnitude of additional business that will come their way when network infrastructures expand, mature, and deepen with successful penetration into the greater business community.
One of the goals of the industry should be adopting a Bill Gates-like mantra. Microsoft's founder's vision was to see a computer on every desk and in every home. The barter industry's mantra should be to have an educated, competent barter person in every company.
Build It And They Will Come
The industry's realization of its potential isn't guaranteed. It will require enormous dedication, perseverance and a razor-like focus. Personal responsibility (by those within the industry) must first create an expanded infrastructure with more goods and services available, which will be needed to service a much larger client base.
Massive and continual educationwhich the industry has never been willing to underwriteis sorely needed, followed by the ever-present challenge of "walking the talk," i.e. providing outstanding, competent service all the time.
While annual conventions are stimulating and motivating, in and of themselves they are not enough. Long term visionaries are needed...thinking big and thinking ahead. One of the gravest problems in life is self-limitation: refusing to fulfill one's potential and limiting how we live so we can diminish the amount of anxiety we experience.
Industry greatness will come about only when we recognize that our attitude limits our potential, and then choose to change that attitude.
"The Internet Has Changed The World"
That's what CEO Larry Ellison of Oracle, the second-largest software company in the world, believes. "The internet is hugely important, it not only has changed the technology industry, it's changed the human services industry."
He's very excited about the future. "It's going to be one of the most stunning changes to watch in the 21st century," referring to watching both capitalism in China and professional services in India explode. "These two huge countries are transforming themselves."
What's most remarkable about India, Ellison says, is the quality of its people and the caliber of their computer engineers. "India has a very bright future."
Ellison, personally worth $16 billion, says the bulk of his fortune is going to go to medical research and biotechnology research. He believes philanthropy should not be measured on the basis of how much one gives away, but on the basis of how many lives were saved out of what one gave away. "Today we measure philanthropists entirely the wrong way."
Editor's Note: Information technology is thriving in India, which has a large pool of well-educated, English-speaking workers. The Indian IT industry's sales rose from $150 million in 1991 to $13.5 billion last year, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry. India isn't alone. Other offshore tech centers have sprung up in Ireland, Russia, China and Poland. And U.S. firms have started to outsource more tech projects to near-shore providers in Mexico and Canada.
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Media Ownership Still Concerned About Regulators
The broadcast- and newspaper-industry are fearful about a new proposed "diversity index" that will be used to judge the impact of local media mergers on news and information.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it is responding to a mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals that it justify its ownership restrictions with data. And plans to draft nationwide rules based on the index that would instantly indicate whether a proposed deal would be allowable in a given market.
The index is expected to significantly relax current restrictions because it would take into account competition from cable, Internet, and other information sources that didn't exist when the rules were first adopted in the 1960s. The new rules are likely to allow deals in smaller markets that were out of bounds in the past, such as a merger between two television stations.
The following message was used to promote one's trade exchange. The exchange owner sent this flyer/message out to every member....
Trade Is The Competitive Edge-Spread the Word!
We have begun co-publishing a monthly newsletter entitled The Competitive Edge that is a generic overview of barter in today's competitive marketplace.
In addition to providing the newsletter to you (our members) we have also begun a prospecting campaign using the publication. Each month we mail The Competitive Edge to businesses that would be an asset to our exchange, and follow up with phone calls.
Many trade exchanges have successfully used this newsletter, published by BarterNews magazine, to educate potential clients about trade and therefore attract new members. And we hope to have the same results here!
You can help us spread the word by providing some counter space or other conspicuous area to display The Competitive Edge to your clients. Waiting rooms, bookshelves, reception areas...wherever your customers have a chance to pick up a copy of the newsletter, they also will have a chance to find out more about bartering in today's economy.
Each month's issues offers new insights into the advantages of using trade and how it can improve a company's cash position. Every business owner will find the articles interesting and educational.
To learn more about The Competitive Edge newsletter and how it can help build your trade exchange, click here.
Every barter company in the world is listed here click through to our global list of barter companies.
PLEASE NOTE: The Global List of Barter Companies has been updated. Check out the new companies added, as well as changes made to the existing listings.
Also, the U.S. list of barter companies has been recently updated. Check it out!
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