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Digital adspend grows in Canada

News, 14 March 2016

TORONTO: Digital advertising is on the rise in Canada as half of all marketers in the country plan to allocate less adspend to TV this year than they did in 2015, according to a recent survey.

The Canadian Leading Markets survey, conducted jointly between research firm Nielsen and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), forecast that digital's share of adspend is likely to increase across video, search, display and native.

While almost all (94%) marketers in Canada continue to spend on TV – the medium accounts for 42% of their available budgets – the report found they are incorporating more forms of digital advertising into their campaigns than other forms of traditional media, such as print and radio.

This also is reflected in their plans for programmatic, with one-third of Canadian advertisers reporting that they plan to increase their budgets dedicated to programmatic.

Indeed, almost half (44%) of digital advertisers say they are already buying more than half of their advertising programmatically.

As spending on digital grows, marketers are using campaigns for both brand-building and measurement, such as sales impact and ROI, although those with bigger budgets are prioritising brand-building.

According to the report, more than two-thirds (69%) of marketers with budgets of C$10m and more are focused on branding impact, compared with just a quarter (25%) of their counterparts responsible for budgets of less than C$5m.

Those marketers with smaller budgets are prioritising spend on radio, digital display and search because of lower costs per impression, immediate sales impact and ROI.

Meanwhile, those with bigger budgets are allocating 40% more of their budgets to TV and 150% more for digital video.

Elsewhere, the report found that the click-through rate (CTR) is the most used method for measuring the ROI of digital media for performance-based campaigns.

Direct sales measurement comes a close second for Canadian marketers, while "dwell time" – the amount of time a visitor spends on a page – is most widely used for brand-focused campaigns.

"Reaching the right target with a viewable ad is critical to having a measurable impact on brand lift in a branding campaign," the report said. "And there is perhaps an even greater imperative for viewability and targeting accuracy in quick-hit performance-focused campaigns."

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast estimates internet adspend of C$4.3bn in 2015, a 12.3% rise from 2014's total. Further growth of 11.8% is expected this year.

Data sourced from Nielsen, ACA; additional content by Warc staff