Canadians use the Internet more than anyone else in the world. They spend more time online, have more wired households, are more sophisticated in our online behavior, do more searches. Pick your metric, Canada is ahead of the pack when it comes to online usage. For example, when we look at average hours spent online per month, Canadians are top with 40 hours, followed by Israel with 37.4 and South Korea with 34. The US is in 8th place with 29.4. Canada also leads the pack in Online Reach, with 70% of households wired. This time, the US comes in second with 59%. Average pages viewed per visitor? Canada comes in tops with 3800. The UK is second with 3300 and the US clicks in with 2500. See a pattern emerging? They spend a hell of a lot of time online there. And much of that time is looking for something to buy. Canadians are the world’s best shoppers. You research every purchase down to the nitty-gritty detail. The Internet was created for shoppers just like you.
By common consensus with most Canadian search marketers I’ve talked to, Toronto seems to be the epicenter of the orifice that Canadian advertisers have lodged their collective heads in. The city doesn’t get it, the province doesn’t get it, the country doesn’t get it. When it comes to search, Canada (with a few exceptions) is clueless.
I remember my first SES in Toronto. I had been attending the US shows for a few years previously, and it was with more than a hint of nationalistic pride that I attended the first Canadian show. But my jaw soon dropped at the questions I was fielding from the audience. This group was at least 3 years behind the US market. That was 4 years ago. Since then, the US has dramatically outpaced Canadian growth in search savviness. And if you look elsewhere, almost every market I’m familiar with, including the UK, France, Italy, Germany and even China is rapidly gaining on the US. But Canada still seems to be blundering its way forward, overlooking the fact that Canadians spend a huge amount of time online using search engines. It’s to the point where it’s unforgivable.
Show Us the Money!
Here are just a few of the stats I pulled from comScore, Yahoo! Canada and other sources:
Canadians spend $28.05 in online advertising per internet user. The US spends $71.43.
21% of Canadians media usage is online, but it gets 6% of the budget
In contrast, newspapers and magazines get a 7% share of total media usage, but capture 42% of Canadian ad budgets
The US spends almost twice as Canada per capita on search marketeering
Canadian shoppers get it, so why don’t business?
These are extracts from Gord Hotchkiss, A Canadian Search Marketer.
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