Ipsos Reid Study of Canadian Marketers Shows The Canadian Marketing Community Has Evolved From “Don’t Go There” To “Managing Ambitions” When It Comes To Digital Marketing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Toronto, ON – In the last six years, the Canadian marketing community has evolved from a “Don’t go there” mentality to “Managing the ambitions” of senior management with digital acknowledged as being complementary to traditional marketing. A new study conducted by Ipsos Reid in collaboration with the Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing Magazine asked Canadian marketers about their thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors towards the changing world of digital marketing, and how their business is managing and embracing it.

The survey results, released on the eve of the CMA and Marketing’s Digital Day Conference reveal that marketers are increasingly focusing time, effort and money on digital media (social network marketing, Twitter, search and mobile) at the expense of traditional media (and particularly print and radio) while at the same time paying close attention to ensuring that they are getting a return on this investment.

Again, in 2012 the study found that more than six in ten marketers agree that their “senior management is very interested in digital marketing.” Perhaps this is a sign that digital is becoming a mainstay. Another indication of this evolution is the allocation of marketing dollars compared to last year. We continue to see a shift in sentiment within the marketing community regarding the allocation of marketing dollars across media in the coming year. According to Canadian marketers, spending will continue to increase compared to last year for online (up 71%) and mobile (up 67%) with nearly two-thirds of those increasing spend on online or mobile expressing plans to spend more on search and nearly eight-in-ten planning to spend more on social media. This reflects a clear and ongoing change in the Canadian Marketing landscape. While these are substantial increases, they represent either the same level of growth or slightly less growth versus a year ago.

Digital still continues to gain popularity but efforts may be mismatched

Marketers are becoming more familiar with what digital has to offer in its various forms. Increasingly, marketers tell us that their brands are integrating digital elements into their marketing campaigns. At the same time, the public’s appetite to receive information via the digital media seems mixed. While 83% of online Canadians are accepting of receiving promotional emails and 61% approve of online display advertising, only 53% approve of receiving advertising on Social Networks and just 26% are accepting of receiving promotional ads on their mobile device. Moving forward, the Marketers challenge is not only to keep abreast of new techniques as they evolve but also to ensure that consumers are willing to accept information via these media.

Email Marketing is alive and healthy

E-mail marketing remains the most frequently used component in the digital tool box…indeed its growth was stronger in 2012 than was the case in 2011. It is the medium that most marketers are familiar with and as a result it remains the most mature aspect of the digital mix – e-mail marketing is not going away…far from it. Some suggested that this 2012 growth is a function of disappointment in social and a move back to what is familiar, controllable, measurable and in many cases the in-house capability to leverage customer databases for engagement.

The Twitter effect

Almost half of the Marketing community in Canada is familiar with Twitter and are frequently using the platform for marketing purposes, despite the fact that just 17% of Canadians are actively engaged with Twitter. Is this a mismatch? Probably not, given Twitter’s amplification potential.

Best Practices for Digital Marketing

The best digital practices identified by marketers focus on the need to be mindful of privacy and to offer an easy opt-out process, while ensuring that communications are targeted and relevant to the audience. They also include the need to be more engaging/interactive/entertaining, to ensure that the platforms are user-friendly and offer clear messaging and the critical need to integrate campaigns across all relevant platforms. All of the best practices mentioned by Canadian marketers fall under the mantra of knowing who to target, knowing what to say, establishing metrics to measure success, and executing in an ethical fashion. But at the same time, it is also clear that best practices in digital marketing are not terribly different from those best practices that we have been observing for many years in traditional marketing.

The data contained in this article is based on the findings of a joint CMA and Ipsos Reid online study fielded from August 21st to September 13th, 2012 among CMA members and Marketing Magazine subscribers. This online survey of 381 marketers and Advertising agency staff is not based on a quota sample and hence the respondents’ demographic profile may not be exactly reflective of the overall CMA membership/Marketing subscription base.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Steve Levy
Ipsos Reid East

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Ipsos Reid Study of Canadian Marketers Shows The Canadian Marketing Community Has Evolved From “Don’t Go There” To “Managing Ambitions” When It Comes To Digital Marketing

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Steve Levy
Chief Operating Officer, Canada