Canadian Digital Advertising Trends for 2016 (Statistics)

The majority of Canada’s top advertisers will increase their digital marketing activities and budget in 2016, according to new statistics from AdGear by Ad Hoc research. While amazing progress has been made in recent years and growth has accelerated, this data indicates that digital advertising has yet to fully mature in Canada.

“The survey clearly indicates that there are as many companies that perceive themselves as leader of their industry (24%) as there are that see themselves as lagging behind (28%), with the bulk of them (43%) considering they are at par,” the report states.

2016 Digital Advertising Budget

  • 40% of advertising budgets were spent on digital in 2015, which is expected to climb to 44% in 2016.
  • Direct response advertising ate up 57% of advertising budgets in 2015, with participants expecting that to grow their digital budget by at least 3% in 2016.
  • The remaining 43% of 2015 budgets were spent on branding.

Internal or External Media Buying Management?

  • 54% of Canadian advertisers prefer to manage media buying internally, 18% use an agency, and 28% use both.
  • 66% of Canadian advertisers surveyed say they prefer the flexibility and control of managing media buying in-house.
  • 51% believe it is more cost effective to manage media buying internally (partially or entirely).
  • 77% outsource digital advertising management to an agency to tap into superior expertise.
  • 24% believe it is more cost effective to outsource.
  • 38% of Canadian advertisers surveyed are dissatisfied with digital media agencies.

Programmatic Buying

Joe Zawadzki, CEO of MediaMath, simply defines programmatic buying as “The use of technology to automate processes and the use of math to improve results. It is the future of marketing, available now.”

  • 32% of Canadian digital advertisers say they’ll increase programmatic buying by 29.4% in 2016, while 34% expect it to match 2015 spending.
  • 42% of respondents say targeting is the number one advantage of programmatic buying. 35% like the efficiency and expertise benefits.
  • 55% of participants say they prefer a Canadian programmatic technology provider due to regional expertise.

Mobile Advertising

42% of respondents say their mobile advertising spending will increase in 2016, while 26% say it will stay the same. Those who anticipate an increase expect it to jump an average of 31.3%.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessWill you increase your digital advertising budget this year? Please share your plans in the comments below.

Source: Digital Advertising Trends: What to Expect in 2016. AdGear (Montreal and Toronto). Dec. 2015.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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nice article thanks for sharing with us.

Mohsin Maredia

These number are very helpful .
Thanks for sharing the insight..

pankaj karnwal

nice one thanks for sharing with us.

F. Flewelling

Valuable insight! Thanks for sharing!