With the Canadian Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Conference coming up in a couple of weeks, we sat down with Steve Mast and Adrian Capobianco, co-chairs of this year’s conference, to discuss some of the inspiration for the theme and speaker selection as well as what marketers can hope to learn.
Q1: The theme of this year’s Digital Marketing Conference is about "digital gaps" – can you elaborate?
There is a lot of media and marketing attention towards digital marketing. There is also much talk about the increased spend in the space. Despite all of this, the facts still show a huge gap between where consumers spend their time and where marketers spend their dollars. Marketers are lagging consumers with marketing spending that is behind the times!
Specifically, various sources show that North American adult consumers spend approximately 20-30% of their media consumption time in digital channels. On the flip side, marketers spend on average 8-10% of budgets in digital channels. This gap between marketing and advertising investment and consumer trends was the inspiration for this year’s conference. The theme breaks into three areas:
1. The gap in spend – outlined above.
2. The usability/content gap – most marketers do not pay enough attention to building a rewarding and engaging user experience commensurate with the significance of the online channel. Compare for example the investment that any major marketer with a physical consumer channel (auto, banking, retail, etc.) invests into the physical infrastructure, staffing and so on, and then compare that to the online channel. In many cases, a corporate website represents the single largest consumer facing channel … yet the investment pales in comparison.
3. Future gaps – these gaps are amplified when you look at ’emerging digital platforms’. It is stunning to note that the 20-30% of consumer time in digital channels often excludes activities such as gaming and mobile. Changing consumer habits such as those occurring with gaming or the stunning reach and ubiquity of mobile opportunities are quickly creating future gaps that provide huge opportunities for those willing to take action.
Q2: Are there any Canadian marketers closing these gaps?
To be perfectly honest it is very tough to tell. There is media coverage of organizations like P&G and GM swinging significant global allocations of marketing dollars to digital channels, but it is hard to quantify at a Canadian level. On aggregate, the clear answer is no. In isolation, we’re sure there are brands that have closed the gap. Perhaps we should use OneDegree as a forum for marketers who feel they are quantitatively closing this gap to stand up and be acknowledged!