Where To Find Your Consumers Online In 2018

May 17th, 2018 | ACA Team, Association of Canadian Advertisers

In an increasingly competitive business environment, knowing where your customers are online is more important than ever, but that can be tough in a dynamic, fast-changing  — some might say chaotic — digital landscape.

At a recent ACA Webinar, comScore’s Darrick Li provided ACA members with some help via a comprehensive review of Canadian consumer behaviour data in the latest Digital Future in Focus report.

Drawn from comScore’s deep research across demographics, devices, and platforms, the data can be used to inform strategic decision-making and tactical discussions about how to best target audiences and optimize ad messaging, said Li.

For example, In Canada (like most markets) the vast majority of internet access is multiplatform, with just 12% going online from a mobile device only. (This latter group includes a lot of older adults that have replaced out-dated desktop machines with tablet devices.)

But what may surprise many in media and marketing is that a significant number of Canadians today, 30%, are still desktop only. This is likely attributable to the Canadian appetite for video content.

“We are a nation that loves watching video content,” said Li. And because desktop provides a richer experience than mobile, a lot of Canadian video watching still occurs on computers. “We have found that video time spent on desktop devices has continued to rise,” he said.

However, on the whole, time spent on smartphones continues to increase at a dramatic rate; it’s now almost twice the time spent on desktop, about 160 hours a month, or five hours a day.

In Canada, 40% of our time is spent on desktop while 60% is on mobile, which breaks down to 15% on tablet and 45% on smartphone. “We are disproportionately higher in time spent for tablet devices in Canada,” said Li.

While mobile’s ascendance has been the message for a few years now, the numbers show just how important it is for marketers to ensure their budgets reflect those consumer mobile behaviours. Advertisers need to ensure they are putting their ads on the right device at the right time, said Li. “And smartphones seem to be almost two of every three minutes spent accessing the internet, so it is a very important one.”

Going further into mobile behaviours, LI said more than 80% of mobile time in all markets is in app as opposed to via a mobile browser. “A lot of our time is being spent on apps,” he said. “When we look at Canada specifically it is around 85%.”

“So again as an advertiser it is, ‘What have we done in the past year or what are we thinking of in the coming year to make sure we are reaching our consumers in the right platform within mobile? Are we going to browser impressions only or are we finding ways to get into the most popular mobile apps?’”

In terms of specific apps that reach the most Canadians, Facebook is number one, followed by Facebook Messenger, YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps, which is unusually popular in Canada compared to other markets. It didn’t crack the top 5, but Snapchat is also growing quickly in Canada, he said.

Overall, the Google/Facebook duopoly remains dominant, but Canadians are spending more time on top 100 sites aside from the big two, rising by about 4% last year. “Our time is being spent more and more on the other 98 top properties,” he said. “That is a healthy sign for the advertising market in Canada.”

In terms of the types of content Canadians are spending most of their time with, entertainment and multimedia (which includes YouTube), social networking and instant messaging dominate, accounting for fully 42% of all time online. “If you look at your digital media advertising plan and look at how many dollars or impressions are going to video and social, you would hope it would align with this.”