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Canadian Net Usage and Views: Think Big

Here are the first of several posts overdue from the CMA Digital Marketing Conference conference. The first is a runthrough of the presentation by Brent Lowe-Bernie of comScore Media Metrix, updating our picture on Canadian internet usage and his take on what’s needed to get through to your target audience.

Here are some numbers:
* Since 2001, usage has gone up 35%, and 12% in the past year. French Canadian usage has increased 20% since 2001. Of English Canadian users, the 55+ group has seen substantial increase of 47% since 2001. The current breakout is: 18-24 at 17%; 25-43 at 23%; 35-54 at 44%; 55+ at 16%.
* Internet users skew higher income compared to average Canadians, with 41% at $75M per HH and University grads at 39%.
* The middle group of 25-34s and 35-44s consume the most internet content.
* Broadband usage is 75% vs. 25% for dial-up, compared to US 56% broadband (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a higher number in the US from newer stats). Broadband users are more prone to search and purchase online.
* In Canada $519 million will be spent on online advertising this year, or 4% of ad media, vs. 8% in the US.
* Search stats: Google owns 60%, searchers are online buyers, 16% are heavy searchers and make up 35% of the most frequent purchasers. Vast majority of searches conclude offline: 92%. Purchasers are often not made in the original search session, 85% are made in a subsequent search session and 18% in 90 days. 60% of conversions are from generic terms.
* Canadians have a larger reach in information and news, business and finance categories, more than most countries. They will also travel everywhere to get it: CBC, CNN, BBC. Top topics for 25-54s: car rental, health, pharmacy, food, movies, home furnishings, travel (couldn’t write fast enough for the rest).
* More women searching and shopping online, and as online shopping becomes more commonplace, US is seeing an increase in other categories, such as large appliances sold on the net.
He threw in a couple tips for online advertising: include your logo/make it visible and follow best practises, and for sponsorships make sure to include an online component to make it work really well.
Brent concluded with a reminder that the internet is not just about advertising, it encompasses all aspects of consumer touch, from awareness, sales, service, through CRM. It’s always on. Therefore be creative, “if you’re not scraping your knees you’re not trying hard enough. Push the envelope. It’s bigger than you think and working better than you know.” Well said.

One Comment

  1. David McLachlan
    David McLachlan November 9, 2005

    Thanks for sharing this June.
    In a previous life I used to have great access to the full comScore Media Metrix reports which ranked the top 500 sites visited by Canadians (note – NOT “Canadian” web-sites) each month.
    It was very educational and helpful strategically to compare traffic to many individual sites which fell under the same corporate umbrella and yet were often funded very differently. ie. not related to their ranking.
    On my wishlist is a sneak peek at the top 50 or so sites Canadian’s visit. comScore occasionaly publishes such small subsets as news releases but hasn’t done so for Canada in quite some time.

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