2010 Canadian Digital Trends

One of the challenges that Canadian marketers face is the lack of research information tailored specifically to this country. I recently came across a very interesting report published by comScore and focused on Canada. Named “2010 Digital Year in Review”, the report analyzes the latest trends in the Canadian Internet usage and online behavior.

Below are of the some of the findings:

Canada continues to be the world leader in Internet usage. Canadians rank number 1 in average hours/visitor and average visits/visitor in Q4 of 2010, which is hardly a surprise. From a marketing perspective this finding only reinforces the fact that any company that is serious about doing business in Canada has to have an Internet presence.

Baby boomers are the fastest growing online audience.The number of unique visitors in the +55 age bracket grew 12% in the last quarter of 2010. Most new subscribers to the social networking sites also come from the 55-64 age group (+36%) and 65+ (+34%). Surprised? I was for sure. So the “my target audience doesn’t use the internet that much” line can no longer be used as an excuse.

Canadians like to engage in online conversations. The use of social networking platforms have continued to increase in 2010 by 13% in terms of unique visitors, with the strongest gains made by Hubpages.com (+63%). LinkedIn (+35%) and Twitter (11%). Facebook remains the most popular social media platform with more than 20,000 unique visitors in Q4 of 2010, while MySpace.com saw the biggest decrease (-42%). Blog sites have also experienced a significant growth (+9%) with Technorati leading the way (+40% year over year growth).

E-mail is becoming a less relevant tool in the online communication mix. E-mail sites have experienced a significant decrease in number of unique visitors vs 2009 (-28%), and engagement (-18%).

The mediums in which online ads are delivered are changing. Online advertising budgets are redirected to Social Networking sites to the detriment of e-mail. Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are the main beneficiaries with an increase of 15 billion impressions, while e- mail delivered 5.1 billion less impressions in Q4 of 2010.

Mobile marketing is still in its infancy stage. Canada is not yet a major player in the medium that is predicted to grow the fastest in 2011.This is due in part to the fact that Canada has of the highest mobile phone ownership costs in the world and modest mobile phone penetration compared to other countries.

The findings in this report are very useful to any marketer in charge of developing the online communication strategy and budget. Congratulations to the team at comScore for a job well done.

To download the full report visit http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Presentations_Whitepapers/2011/2010_Canada_Digital_Year_in_Review

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