Toronto, ON, November 2, 2021 — Social media and influencer marketing are expected to play larger roles in marketing plans as part of a pandemic-accelerated shift to digital, with a net 70% of marketers estimating increased spend on social in 2022, according to the 15th annual Digital Marketing Pulse Survey released today by Ipsos Canada, the Canadian Marketing Association and strategy. More than nine in 10 (93%) marketers and agencies say they use social tactics always or often, even as people resume pre-pandemic behaviors.
“Marketers’ growing reliance on social is due to the effectiveness attributed to this tactic, the ease with which consumers are reachable, and the need of many public companies for short-term results,” says Steve Levy at Ipsos in Canada. “We expect to see more resources devoted to paid ads on social, social media content creation, community building and influencer marketing.”
The success of the social marketing reflects consumers’ activities on the channel, which returned to, and in some cases surpassed, 2019 levels. About three-quarters (74%) of Canadians visited a social networking site in 2021, up from 69% in 2020, and 60% are willing to receive information from a social network, a three-year high.
“Little deters Canadians in their use of social media,” says Levy. “The public may express some concerns over privacy and safety, but they do little to change their social media behaviour.”
Influencer marketing is also gaining importance, with nearly four in 10 marketers (39%) using influencer marketing always or often, a historic high. Email marketing continues to be strong and, as shoppers return to retail, marketers are again turning to on-premise digital signage.
“The research shows marketers’ resilience and adaptability, even in unprecedented times, to reach their customers” says John Wiltshire, president and CEO of the Canadian Marketing Association. “Most consumers today have high expectations that brands will provide them with relevant, personalized offerings, and marketers are diligent in meeting their expectations.”
While the squeeze on Canadian ad agencies persists in 2021, there is a continued appetite to retain some core tactics, largely email marketing, websites, and SEO in house citing accelerated turnaround time and a reduction in costs.
“As marketing leaders face change on so many fronts, relaying how their counterparts are approaching new market realities is a valuable framework for planning. This year’s Pulse check helps us understand how brands are responding to their common challenges – context that marketers are asking us for," says Lisa Faktor, associate publisher of strategy.
The Digital Marketing Pulse Survey measures familiarity and usage of 15 digital marketing tactics among client-side marketers and agencies. The study also includes a consumer poll on their perceptions and behaviors.
The full report is available to CMA members and strategy subscribers.
About the Canadian Marketing Association
The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) strengthens marketers’ significant impact on business in Canada. We provide opportunities for our members from coast to coast to develop professionally, to contribute to marketing thought leadership, to build strong networks across all economic sectors, and to shape positions advocated by the CMA to strengthen the regulatory climate for business success. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation signifies that recipients are highly qualified and up to date with best practices, as reflected in the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards.
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