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Reflections on the Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Survey


The Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Survey (conducted by Ipsos) surveys marketers, agencies, and consumers to provide a snapshot of digital marketing trends in Canada. It’s always important to interpret the trends and understand the market fundamentals and momentum, but the role of executives is to synthesize and connect the dots. Here are a few high-level observations and reflections:

Key takeaway #1: Marketing is becoming more complex

This year, 43% of marketers reported that it’s harder to be a digital marketing expert today compared to two years ago. Further, 28% of today’s marketers have difficulty keeping up. Gaps in knowledge are evident among senior management too – one in five marketers say their senior management knows very little about the digital space. This is likely due to the rapid pace of change we’re seeing across so many digital tools. The digital marketing field is constantly evolving with more tools, processes, and algorithms. Expectations from senior management are rising at the same time.

Marketing executives have to consider what impact this has on their business. If there are gaps in knowledge at multiple levels within an organization, this hinders all aspects of business, from day-to-day operations all the way up to strategic planning. In many cases, we are likely spreading ourselves “too thin” by trying to have too many vehicles operating at the same time (more vehicles = more complexity). Marketers should focus on what they actually need and have capacity to deliver, and execute it well. Also, recognize that complexity is here to stay: Millennials are driving lasting digital change that brands need to keep up with.

Key takeaway #2: The industry has a need for specialists

The Pulse revealed that many marketers reported bringing their marketing in house to save money. Yet, at the same time, there seems to be a shortage of skills required to handle these tasks. 40% of marketers are essentially “winging it” when it comes to digital marketing, reporting they know either a little bit, or enough to get by. This simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to tasks like....

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