Ad Spend Perspective: How Did Canada’s Ad Market Fare In 2021 and What Does it Mean for The Market as We Enter 2022?

January 26th, 2022 | Kelly Fedoruk, Senior Manager, Client Solutions, SMI

Picture it. It’s Q1 2020. Canada’s ad market was in a growth position vs the prior year, with January and February ad spend from the larger national advertisers tracking up +3% vs the same months in 2019. Then in March the pandemic took over, ad dollars began to leave the market, and Canada would face twelve consecutive months of YoY declines, the first five of which were seeing double-digit losses. Even the historically strong holiday period in Q4 saw less ad spend than the year before, finishing down -4%.

There was hope for 2021, but it started out soft, with both January and February spend unable to reach the same levels as we saw in pre-pandemic years. March 2021 was the first month where Canada saw cross-media ad spend surpass both March 2020 and March 2019 levels. Perhaps Canada was finally rebounding? Maybe advertisers were feeling confident enough to start spending again? Not so fast.

Q2 told us otherwise with ad spend still down -6% vs Q2 of 2019. If Canada had any hope of returning to pre-pandemic investment levels in 2021, it would have to be in the back half. We didn’t disappoint!

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How to avoid one of the biggest mistakes in social media marketing

December 1st, 2021 | Shazia Khan, Social Media Strategist, Globe Content Studio

Social media is no longer a fresh-faced rookie on the marketing scene – a fun, easy and effective way to get your name out there – it’s now a primary business engine. We rely on it to generate leads, push sales, provide customer service and analyze complex data.

Globe Content Studio, as a division of a major news outlet that reaches 20 million Canadians a month, has worked with a broad array of advertisers across every industry. We’ve learned how they think about, execute and extract value from social platforms, which means we’ve seen a lot of what works …and what doesn’t.

Many brands both large or small, in fintech or flower arranging, online or IRL, tend to make the same social media missteps. Which isn’t surprising, especially in 2021. But here’s the biggest one – and how you can avoid it.

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Why it’s never a good idea to squeeze your agency too hard. (Particularly now.)

November 17th, 2021 | Stephan Argent, Founder and Principal, Listenmore Inc.

Are you a marketer that wants to squeeze more from your agency? Do you feel like they should be doing more? Delivering better results? Turning things around faster?

All sound like good ideas, right?

What’s surprising in our experience is that while most marketers aspire to have their agencies deliver more, better and faster, their approach almost always ends up having the opposite effect. Particularly now.

Hit hard by the great resignation, agencies are already scrambling to retain employees and fill gaps left by those who’ve already left. And if you’re already feeling the effects as a client, stepping up the pressure and asking for more will likely only make a bad situation worse.

“Depending how hard agencies have already been squeezed, marketers could face rate hikes of up to twenty percent.”

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Contextual x Emotional: Creating Stronger Brand Connections

September 22nd, 2021 | Jonah Cait, VP, Strategy and Product, Hotspex Media

In recent years digital advertisers have been focused on brand safety; the act of preventing ad delivery in unsuitable environments. When running programmatic campaigns, inventory filtering is highly recommended to ensure brand suitability, but let’s not kid ourselves – inventory that’s “not brand unsafe” doesn’t exactly mean it’s an optimal placement.

So what can we do differently? How can advertisers maximize the relevance and impact of their advertising? Here are a few tactics that advertisers are currently using:

Page Sentiment

Page sentiment is the classification of pages into one of three signals: positive, neutral, and negative. A recent study from IAS found that 80% of ad viewers were more receptive to ads near positive sentiment content, 93% were more favourable to ads near positive sentiment content, and 24% were more likely to remember ads near positive sentiment content.

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Inward, Onward: What the Canadian audience needs right now

September 16th, 2021 | Yen Conrod Tran, Business Marketing Lead, Canada, Pinterest

As the world navigates yet another new phase of partial reopenings and potential lockdowns, we’re at a crossroads. It’s natural that marketers are trying to meet the next moment. But here’s what our latest research says: if your marketing message focuses only on the changes in front of us, you’re missing an important part of the picture.

During the pandemic–as people stayed inside–they went inward. They adopted new routines and rituals. They redefined their values and reprioritized their time. In other words: people did the work. They really like who they became and they want to keep that up.

Last year millions of new users in Canada turned to Pinterest to navigate their “new normal” and to stay engaged and inspired during the lockdowns. These are the five different personas that emerged during the pandemic:

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Audience Literacy in the Age of Analytics

September 9th, 2021 | Arundati Dandapani, Chief Editor and Intelligence Officer (CIO), Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC)

In this blog article, Arundati Dandapani of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC), discusses some of the challenges and opportunities of cross-platform audience measurement. On September 21, 2021 the CRIC is hosting a free webinar called The Future of Cross-Platform Audience Analytics, at which the ACA’s VP, Media Policy and Marketing Capabilities, Judy Davey, will be speaking, alongside other thought-leaders.

A Fragmenting Media Insights Landscape

Researchers and brands grappling with “audience measurement” are often struck by the methodological differences between self-report diaries (where consumers reported their radio listening and television viewing habits in diary entries) and the passive measurement of media consumption behaviour with devices installed in people’s homes. While the medium might be the message for most brands or insight marketers, consumers don’t really care about the make and shape of content so long as it gives them what they need.

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